In the JournalsPerspective

Study: NHL players who sustained a concussion did not have performance, style of play changes

Compared with athletes who missed play for non-injury related reasons, investigators of this study found no changes in performance or style of play among National Hockey League players who returned to sport for at least five games following a concussion. 

Researchers evaluated 94 National Hockey League players who had sustained a concussion and 58 players who had missed time for a non-injury related reason. Investigators recorded game play statistics and totaled information for five games prior to injury or absence and five games after injury or absence. Generalized linear models were used to compare the groups for each post-concussion/absence statistic. Covariates included in to the models were pre-concussion/absence statistics, position played, games missed and concussion history.

Results showed the models did not reach statistical significance, which demonstrated concussed players and those in the control group were not different with regard to the performance or style of play after they returned from either a concussion or non-injury related absence. by Monica Jaramillo

 

Disclosures: Kuhn’s father is the team physician for the National Hockey Leagues Nashville Predators Hockey Club. Please see the full study for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.

Compared with athletes who missed play for non-injury related reasons, investigators of this study found no changes in performance or style of play among National Hockey League players who returned to sport for at least five games following a concussion. 

Researchers evaluated 94 National Hockey League players who had sustained a concussion and 58 players who had missed time for a non-injury related reason. Investigators recorded game play statistics and totaled information for five games prior to injury or absence and five games after injury or absence. Generalized linear models were used to compare the groups for each post-concussion/absence statistic. Covariates included in to the models were pre-concussion/absence statistics, position played, games missed and concussion history.

Results showed the models did not reach statistical significance, which demonstrated concussed players and those in the control group were not different with regard to the performance or style of play after they returned from either a concussion or non-injury related absence. by Monica Jaramillo

 

Disclosures: Kuhn’s father is the team physician for the National Hockey Leagues Nashville Predators Hockey Club. Please see the full study for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.

    Perspective
    Gregory D. Schroeder

    Gregory D. Schroeder

    The authors of this manuscript should be commended on their effort to determine the effect of a concussion on performance-based outcomes in professional National Hockey League (NHL) athletes. Using generalized linear models that accounted for pertinent variables, the authors compared "Performance" and "Style of Play" metrics between athletes who were diagnosed with a concussion and athletes who missed time for non-injury personal reasons. They found no significant difference in performance or style of play outcomes between athletes who were diagnosed with a concussion and athletes who missed time for personal reasons. The authors then argue a concussion in NHL athletes does not affect their performance.

    Like similar studies looking at the effect of spinal pathology on professional athletes performed by myself, Wellington Hsu and others, the authors used injury reports and publicly available reports to identify athletes with a concussion, and this limits the validity and granularity of the data; however, without a comprehensive detailed league database that tracks the diagnosis and treatment of injuries, this methodology is the best feasible methodology. This limitation is critical when interpreting these data, as it is likely that pertinent factors, such as the severity of the concussion, are not considered in this study.

    • Gregory D. Schroeder, MD
    • Spine surgeon The Rothman Institute Philadelphia

    Disclosures: Schroeder reports no relevant financial disclosures.