N. Seehusen1, V. Mucci2,4, K. E. Welman3, C. J. Browne4, F. Feletti5,6, A. J. Provance1,7
1 Sports Medicine Center, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Aurora, Colorado, USA
2 Laboratory of Neuromotor Physiology, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Italy
3 Sport Science Department, Movement Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
4 School of Science, Western Sydney University, New South Wales, Australia
5 Department of Diagnostic Imaging Society, Ausl Romagna, S. Maria delle Croci Hospital, Ravenna, Italy
6 Department of Electronics Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano University, Milan, Italy
7 Department of Orthopedics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado, USA
Background. As participation in extreme sports continues to grow internationally, the number of concussions sustained during these activities is predicted to increase. Due to the lack of organizational frameworks, governing rules, or regulated competitive structures, the incidence of concussion and its management specific to extreme sports athletes remains difficult to determine. Methods. Relevant papers were screened from PubMed using a combination of terms related to extreme sports and concussion. After considering existing literature, papers that did not fit the authors’ agreed-upon definition of extreme sports were excluded. Results. Eleven manuscripts met inclusion criteria. Of the eleven, only five studies reported on more than one extreme sport while the other six were sport-specific. Three were review papers that used sport-specific data to generalize about extreme sports. Conclusions. The results of our review indicate that the current literature available for concussion in extreme sports varies highly in study design and type of sports investigat- ed. Due to the lack of knowledge regarding concussions in extreme sports, there needs to be an emphasis to better document and record concussion incidence in extreme sports, as well as the need to develop specific return-to-play guidelines for healthcare professionals treating extreme sports athletes.
KEY WORDS: Concussion; extreme sports medicine; mild-traumatic brain injury; sports-related concussion; post-concussive syndrome.