We quantified the length of recovery time by week in a cohort of pediatric sports–related concussion patients treated at concussion clinics, and examined patient and injury characteristics associated with prolonged recovery.
A retrospective, cohort design.
Seven concussion clinics at a Midwest children's hospital.
Patients aged 10 to 17 years with a diagnosed sports-related concussion presenting to the clinic within 30 days of injury.
Main Outcome Measures:
Length of recovery by week.
Unadjusted and adjusted multinomial logistic regression analyses were used to model the effect of patient and injury characteristics on length of recovery by week.
Median length of recovery was 17 days. Only 16.3% (299/1840) of patients recovered within one week, whereas 26.4% took longer than four weeks to recover. By 2 months postinjury, 6.7% of patients were still experiencing symptoms. Higher symptom scores at injury and initial visit were significantly associated with prolonged symptoms by week. Patients who presented to the clinic more than 2 weeks postinjury or who had 2 or more previous concussions showed increased risk for prolonged recovery. Females were at greater risk for prolonged recovery than males (odds ratio = 2.08, 95% confidence interval = 1.49-2.89). Age was not significantly associated with recovery length.
High symptom scores at injury and initial visit, time to initial clinical presentation, presence of 2 or more previous concussions, and female sex are associated with prolonged concussion recovery. Further research should aim to establish objective measures of recovery, accounting for treatment received during the recovery.
The median length of recovery is 17 days among pediatric sports–related concussion patients treated at concussion clinics. Only 16.3% of patients recovered within one week, whereas 26.4% took longer than 4 weeks to recover.