A Comparison of Dynamic Response and Brain Tissue Deformation for Ball Carriers and Defensive Tacklers in Professional Rugby Shoulder-to-Head Concussive Impacts

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Title: A Comparison of Dynamic Response and Brain Tissue Deformation for Ball Carriers and Defensive Tacklers in Professional Rugby Shoulder-to-Head Concussive Impacts
Authors: Rock, Bianca Brigitte
Date: 2016
Abstract: The long-term consequences of repetitive mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs), or concussions, as well as the immediate acute dangers of head collisions in sport have become of growing concern in the field of medicine, research and athletics. An estimated 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur in the United States annually, with the highest incidence having been documented in football, hockey, soccer, basketball and rugby (Harmon et al., 2013). The incidence of concussion in the National Rugby League (NRL) corresponds to approximately 8.0-17.5 injuries per 1000 playing hours, with tackling having been identified as the most common cause (Gardner et al., 2014; King et al., 2014). The highest incidence of rugby concussive impacts is a result of shoulder-to-head collisions (35%) during tackles and game play (Gardner et al., 2014). Shoulder-to-head concussive events occur primarily on the ball carrier and secondarily on the tacklers (Hendricks et al., 2014; Quarrie & Hopkins, 2008). While some studies report that the ball carrier is at a greater risk of sustaining a concussion (Gardner et al., 2015; King et al., 2010, 2014), others have demonstrated a greater incidence of tacklers being removed from play for sideline concussion evaluation (Gardner et al., 2014). Given this discrepancy, the purpose of this study was to compare dynamic response and brain tissue deformation metrics for ball carriers and defensive tacklers in professional rugby during shoulder-to-head concussive impacts using in-laboratory reconstructions. Ten cases with an injured defensive tackler and ten cases with an injured ball carrier were reconstructed using a pneumatic linear impactor striking a 50th percentile Hybrid III headform to calculate dynamic response and maximum principal strain values. There was no significant difference between the two impact conditions for peak resultant linear and rotational accelerations, as well as brain tissue deformation. Differences between metrics in this research and past research where the impacting system was not reported were discussed. These differences reflect the importance of accounting for impact compliance when describing the risk associated with collisions in professional rugby.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/35118
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-5508
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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