Panelist Talks About ‘Overlooked’ Neck Injuries, and the Real Victim of Concussions

(Editor’s note: Here’s a snippet of the coverage from the Sports Lawyers Association annual meeting in Atlanta last week. Look for more coverage in the June issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter.)

On the opening day of the Sports Lawyers Association annual meeting last week, Dr. Kevin E. Crutchfield, the Director of the Comprehensive Sports Concussion Program at LifeBridge Health in Baltimore, MD, proved to be a very insightful panelist during the discussion, raising two interesting issues.

The first centered on the connection between neck injuries and concussions. Crutchfield said that neck injuries frequently go undiagnosed after an athlete has been diagnosed with suffering a concussion to the detriment of the patient. He almost seemed to imply that, invariably, an athlete who suffers a concussion has likely suffered a neck injury. And in some cases, the reverse may apply.

Second, Crutchfield said the athlete he sees the most are the “beatees” from the high school and college football programs, rather than the “beaters.” The elite athletes don’t suffer concussions with the same frequency as those practice players, who fill out the squads.

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