AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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Rise in Lower Extremity Injuries Possible Result of New Concussion Prevention Rules in NCAA Football

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Based on new tackling rules to avoid helmet to helmet contact in the NCAA, more student-athletes are finding themselves with an increased amount of lower extremity injuries, such as knee, ankle or thigh. The increase in these types of injuries is an unintended consequence of the rule change. The research team looked at data from 57 institutions on injury rate ratios between 2009/10-20011/12 and after the new rules from 2012/13-2014/15. “Nearly a third of all concussions in collegiate athletics occur during football. With the relatively recent rule changes, concussion rates have not decreased. Our analysis of the NCAA Injury Surveillance Database though noted increased rates of ankle and knee injuries, which may result in osteoarthritis and disability issues later in life for these athletes,” said lead author, Robert Westermann, MD, from the University of Iowa. “Athletes may be making contact lower on the body, to avoid the head-to-head contact and thus, stiff game penalties.” To read more, click here

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