Objective: To examine the mechanisms of injury for concussions in university football, ice hockey, and soccer.
Design: Prospective cohort deign.
Setting: McGill University Sport Medicine Clinic.
Participants: Male and female athletes participating in varsity football, ice hockey, and soccer.
Main Outcome Measures: Athletes were followed prospectively over a 10-year period to determine the mechanisms of injury for concussions and whether contact with certain areas of the body or individual variables predisposed to longer recovery from concussions. For soccer, data were collected on whether concussions occurred while attempting to head the ball.
Results: There were 226 concussions in 170 athletes over the study period. The side/temporal area of the head or helmet was the most common area to be struck resulting in concussion in all 3 sports. Contact from another player's head or helmet was the most probable mechanism in football and soccer. In hockey, concussion impacts were more likely to occur from contact with another body part or object rather than another head/helmet. Differences in mechanisms of injuries were found between males and females in soccer and ice hockey. Athletes with multiple concussions took longer to return to play with each subsequent concussion. Half of the concussions in soccer were related to attempting to head the soccer ball.
Conclusions: The side of the head or helmet was the most common area to be struck resulting in concussion in all 3 sports. In ice hockey and soccer, there are differences in the mechanisms of injury for males and females within the same sport.