FIFA World Cup 2018 — Will There be Concussion Miscues Again?

FIFA World Cup apperances 1930 – 2018 Picture courtesy of Dufo, from Wikimedia Commons

Ah, the long, lazy days of summer have arrived….or have they?

With a caveat that I must be mindful that fellow colleagues in different parts of the world may be experiencing different workloads right about now, I have been feeling of late both a sense of lassitude and a sense of professional, shall we say, anxiety.

My children’s school year has wrapped up — they certainly are in the mode of being lazy.  The multiple school sports I cover as a pediatric sports medicine physician have largely wrapped their respective seasons too.  There is a bit of a lull in my clinics.

On the other hand, in the larger sporting world, the schedule is most definitely heating up.  I find this to be one of the most interesting times of the year for sport.  In the USA, we are in the midst of the NBA and NHL basketball and hockey finals, and MLB baseball offers multiple games daily.  To our north, the CFL has just started its season.  In Europe, the tennis stars Rafael Nadal, Garbine Muguruza and others are experiencing the joys of Roland Garros.  Golf’s U.S. Open is just around the corner.

And, of course, in less than two weeks, the FIFA World Cup kicks off in Russia. The quadrennial event — alongside the Olympics probably the biggest global sporting event on the planet — opens on June 14 and will continue for a month, until the championship game on July 15.

Like many of my colleagues, I am a fan of sport as well as a physician.  I care about who plays, and find myself cheering on certain teams and certain players [Vamos El Tri!]

Like many of my colleagues as well, however, I am also eyeing this World Cup as a doctor, and I approach the event with concerns over how concussions will be handled in 2018. Read more of this post

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Deck the halls.

Advent is here — a time of anticipation.  When I was a child, my mother would get all of us children an Advent Calendar, and each day I’d eagerly open up the windows of the calendar to find the chocolate inside.  You too?

I enjoy the holiday spirit that inspires many of the people/organizations I follow on social media.  Even the staid ones play with the mistletoe, so to speak.  The British Medical Journal (BMJ), for instance, puts on the holly and the ivy, and has a very clever, festive theme on its Twitter feed for the month of December:  a daily “Christmas Cracker,”(#BMJChristmasCrackers) that leads one to ponder issues like…whether Santa is a healthy role model or whether eating turkey really can make one sleepy.

Not quite Advent chocolate, but, at my age, I could use something low calorie. As the saying goes, you can’t outrun a bad diet (and, furthermore, I can’t run any more).

We, too, get festive this time of year at CJSM, notwithstanding the hard work our Editor-in-Chief (EIC) Chris Hughes will be doing throughout the Yuletide season taking care of his charges as a team physician for a Premiership football side. While you (and I) will likely be enjoying a quiet Boxing Day, he (and many team docs) will be taking care of business for the sides they cover.

Our elves busy at work packaging up the next edition of CJSM

Our last issue of the year (published in November)  is a bit like an Advent Calendar — open up the pages of the issue, and you’ll find a veritable smorgasbord of interesting topics to sample.  One I particularly liked explores disparities in access to athletic trainers and how this impacts concussion management in high school athletes.  The EIC himself has given a nod to a systematic review on the treatment of acute patellar dislocation.

Too busy to read because you’re travelling?  We’ll have a new podcast to add soon to the ever growing list of ones CJSM has already posted to iTunes.  So subscribe to the feed and listen to your heart’s content.

Whatever your plans this Season, if you are in sports medicine, be sure to include CJSM along with the requisite eggnog and fruitcake.

Ho ho ho!!!!

 

Ice Hockey & Head Injury — can we have one without the other? The podcast

I am pleased to introduce our most recent guest to the CJSM podcast: Aynsley Smith, RN, PhD of the Mayo Clinic.  She is the lead author of a new General Review in our September 2017 issue: Concussion In Ice Hockey: Current Gaps and Future Directions in an Objective Diagnosis.

Dr. Smith and the Mayo Clinic have been at the forefront of research into the prevention, diagnosis and management of concussion in ice hockey.  The Mayo Clinic has hosted three semi-annual ‘ice hockey concussion summits,’ the most recent having just taken place at the end of September

It’s probably always a good time to talk about concussions in ice hockey, but perhaps never better than the start of the NHL season  [my hometown Columbus Blue Jackets open their season tonight!]

In our conversation, Dr. Smith and I cover a lot of ground:  old time Stanley Cup drama, fighting, promising new developments in objective diagnoses, and the potential for rules changes and more to minimize the risk in this exciting, fast-moving contact sport.

The review is open access — which means it’s freely available.  So….subscribe to the CJSM podcast on iTunes, or go directly to our website for a listen to the conversation I had with Aynsley.  And then get the article itself for your weekend reading.

A Twitter Journal Club

casemI want to alert you to a very interesting innovation which was instituted at the end of 2016 and will continue into this new year:  the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM) Twitter-based journal club.

You read that right — a journal club, on Twitter.

We’re all familiar with journal clubs.  In fact, the fellowship in which I teach (Nationwide Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine) just completed its monthly journal club yesterday, with the fellow (sports medicine physician in training, Jonathan Napolitano) leading the group of doctors through a study published in our January 2017 CJSM: Reliability Testing of the Balance Error Scoring System in Children Between the Ages of 5 and 14.

I recently wrote of the vital, and increasing, importance social media plays in the dissemination of sports medicine research.  A Twitter journal club is an example of that phenomenon.

The CASEM Journal Club just got off the ground at the end of 2016, and had as its first selection another CJSM study: Physical Exam Risk Factors for Lower Extremity Injuries in High School Athletes:  A Systematic Review. Seems like both CASEM and I found this to be particularly intriguing.  To wit, I cajoled the lead author of that study, Jimmy Onate, into recording a podcast with me.  And then he pulled duty on the CASEM Journal Club as the guest author, interacting on Twitter with folks from around the globe.  What a great opportunity — to get to ask the author directly the questions one has after reading his/her study.

The study for this month’s CASEM journal club is the same one we deconstructed in our fellowship yesterday:  the reliability of the BESS in a pediatric population  It hits close to my heart.   Read more of this post

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