Purpose of Review: Sports neurology is an emerging area of subspecialty. Neurologists and non-neurologists evaluating and managing individuals participating in sports will encounter emergencies that directly or indirectly involve the nervous system. Since the primary specialty of sports medicine physicians and other practitioners involved in the delivery of medical care to athletes in emergency situations varies significantly, experience in recognition and management of neurologic emergencies in sports will vary as well. This article provides a review of information and elements essential to neurologic emergencies in sports for the practicing neurologist, although content may be of benefit to readers of varying background and expertise.
Recent Findings: Both common neurologic emergencies and less common but noteworthy neurologic emergencies are reviewed in this article. Issues that are fairly unique to sports participation are highlighted in this review. General concepts and principles related to treatment of neurologic emergencies that are often encountered unrelated to sports (eg, recognition and treatment of status epilepticus, increased intracranial pressure) are discussed but are not the focus of this article. Neurologic emergencies can involve any region of the nervous system (eg, brain, spine/spinal cord, peripheral nerves, muscles). In addition to neurologic emergencies that represent direct sports-related neurologic complications, indirect (systemic and generalized) sports-related emergencies with significant neurologic consequences can occur and are also discussed in this article.
Summary: Neurologists and others involved in the care of athletes should consider neurologic emergencies in sports when planning and providing medical care.