High school soccer players who reported experiencing a concussion during the past 12 months or any prior lifetime concussions had an 85% higher risk of leg injuries during the season, compared to athletes without a concussion history.

“This prospective study of high school soccer players is consistent with research in older athletic populations and suggests risk of lower extremity injury is increased after return to play from concussion,” says Alison Brooks, MD, MPH, who presented the study at the 27th Annual Meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

In the study, Brooks and her research team studied a group of male and female soccer high school players from 52 different high schools over the course of an entire year. The athletes completed pre-season baseline questionnaires to understand their concussion history, and were then monitored by Licensed Athletic Trainers during the season.

The study suggests that adolescent athletes with a concussion history may have ongoing neuromuscular and neurocognitive issues that can increase their risk of injury, though these factors are not identified with current clinical post-concussion testing, according to a media release from the AMSSM.

“This study provides further evidence that there may be ongoing sub-clinical deficits after concussion that are currently difficult to detect but increase an athlete’s likelihood of sustaining a subsequent injury,” Brooks says, in the release.

[Source(s): American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, Newswise]