New research based programme for management of Concussion

(L-R) Professor Barry Willer, Professor Willem Meeuwisse, Professor Paul McCrory, Dr Andy Franklyn-Miller, Ruby Walsh, Dr Sanna Neselius, Dr Eanna Falvey, Dr Michael Turner
Sports Surgery Clinic hosted its’ 5th Annual Sports Medicine Conference at the weekend, focusing on “Concussion: Diagnosis and Rehabilitation”, at which a new way of managing the symptoms of concussion was presented.
The main aim of the conference was to discuss latest concussion research which will inform and aid in the creation of a pathway for patients who have suffered concussion, which can be adopted internationally as best practice in the management of the condition for both elite sportspeople and the general population.
The Post Concussion Rehabilitation Pathway, a new process which is being developed by Professor Paul McCrory, Chairman of Sports Surgery Clinic Research Foundation, Consultant Neurologist, Internist and Sports & Exercise Physician, from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, Australia with the Sports Medicine Service at Sports Surgery Clinic in Dublin, led by Research Director Dr Andy Franklyn-Miller, was presented.
Dr Andy Franklyn-Miller commented “The most commonly reported symptoms of concussion are headache, balance disturbance, confusion, dizziness and nausea, and memory and concentration issues also feature.  Although a standardised period of rest is the current guideline, this does not always reliably allow the full resolution of symptoms. The SSC Rehabilitation pathway will address exercise, sleep, mood, balance, vision and concentration in anyone from recreational to elite, to guide the recovery process.”
According to Prof McCrory, “The focus in public debate about the issue of concussion to date has been on the recognition of players with concussion on the field and potential severity of concussion within sport, and successful campaigns from sporting bodies, including the GAA and IRFU in Ireland, have highlighted the need to ‘Recognize and Remove’.  What we are saying today is that research into recording both the baseline and subsequent post concussion injury rehabilitation data will improve our knowledge and inform the development of a care pathway that can be used internationally.”
Sports Surgery Clinic Research Foundation will work with patients who have sustained a concussion; patients will undergo a comprehensive assessment with a sports physician and the rehabilitation teams, who will record medical history, balance, eye movement control, and conduct exercise testing, neuro-cognitive testing and MRI imaging.  This will allow a complete assessment of symptoms and graduated intervention, resulting in a safe, supervised and evidence-based pathway of treatment.  Research studies will then be developed using the baseline screening data and rehabilitation data to further improve the information known about this process.
Attended by sports medicine experts such as Dr Simon Kemp, Head of Sports Medicine, Rugby Football Union in England, Prav Mathema, National Medical Manager to the Welsh Rugby Union and Dr Adrian McGoldrick, Chief Medical Advisor for the Irish Turf Club, the conference was addressed by speakers such as Professor Willem Meeuwisse, Sports Medicine Centre & Co-Chair, Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary and Dr Michael Turner, Medical Director of National Concussion and Head Injury Centre, London who presented on taking a targeted approach to concussion rehabilitation and long term monitoring of retired athletes.
The Concussion Position Statement of the GAA was outlined by Ger Ryan, Chairman, GAA Medical, Scientific and Welfare Committee and National Hunt Jockey Champion Ruby Walsh officially opened the conference by talking about concussion from the perspective of a jockey.
Other speakers included:
  • Dr Sanna Neselius MD, PhD – Specialist in Orthopaedic Surgery, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Sweden
  • Dr Eanna Falvey MB, BCh, PhD, MRCPI,MmedSci, FFSEM – Director of Sports Medicine, Sports Surgery Clinic, Team Doctor of Irish National Senior Rugby Team, IRFU
  • Professor Barry Willer PhD – Department of Psychiatry, University at Buffalo, USA
  • Colm Fuller MPhty MSK, MISCP – Lead Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Sports Surgery Clinic.
Addressing the delegates, Geoff Moylan, CEO of Sports Surgery Clinic, said, “This conference builds on the momentum of the launch late last year of the Sports Surgery Clinic Research Foundation, established to lead and facilitate national and international research programmes regarding Concussion, Genetics, Biomechanics, and Cellular Biotechnology.
“As Ireland’s leading provider of services in Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, the Sports Surgery Clinic has cared for over 150,000 patients in the last seven years.  The SSC Research Foundation is building on this strong clinical foundation to harness the vision and experience of leading international clinician-scientists and will make Ireland a leading international centre for sports medicine research.”
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