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What Crosby’s return means for concussion recovery

Nov 21, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT

Sidney Crosby AP

There’s no doubt that anyone and everyone who’s discussed or been bothered by the proliferation of concussions in the NHL will be watching to see how Sidney Crosby‘s return to action goes tonight and from here on out.

With how the Penguins have taken very close watch on how Crosby’s recovery was handled and the precise care he received, Crosby and the Penguins could be providing the blueprint for how future players could be treated for similar injuries. Crosby’s injury also helped teach a lesson in how concussions are serious business.

Look at how relatively soon we saw Max Pacioretty and Nathan Horton return to action compared to guys like David Perron and Kurt Sauer. Everyone responds differently and treatment has to be adjusted.

Crosby, however, was meticulously watched at all turns by doctors and how he responded to treatment was monitored closely with the Penguins making sure to not push more and stress that he came back regardless of how the team was doing or where they were. After all, if you think Crosby enjoyed watching the playoffs from home, you’re crazy.

If Crosby can come back and not run into any problems and be able to survive the big bumps and bruises that will come through the year without any kind of relapse, then you’ll see a lot of teams making calls to Pittsburgh to find out just how they did things with Sid. While waiting so long to get a player back is hard to do, it’s worth it in the long run if they can come back to playing without any issue. Here’s to hoping that’s what we see happen with Crosby.

  1. 8man - Nov 21, 2011 at 10:56 AM

    Here’s what I’m hoping for, that the league can find a way using rules and equipment to significantly reduce the incidents of concussion. I remember Marc Savard’s press conference last year. I could see in his eyes that he was finished. We put men on the moon over 40 years ago. We can’t equip sports players well enough to minimize concussions?

    Bigger helmets and full cages for everyone!

    • cshearing - Nov 21, 2011 at 12:51 PM

      You are assuming bigger equipment will stop these concussions, when it most likely has led to more concussions. Face shields?!?! What do they have to do with concussions?

      We need to get rid of the hard plastic armor these guys wear for elbow and shoulder pads first. Better diagnosis and treatment will help too. Crosby’s treatment can probably be used as a blueprint on how to treat. His diagnosis? Not so much. Who know if he even misses much more time if he does not return too soon for that Tampa game?

  2. sknut - Nov 21, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    Granted its from afar but it does seem the helmets could be improved. I would think the technology is there and how many players wear mouth guards? I believe I heard that mouth guards could prevent some injuries as well.

  3. cshearing - Nov 21, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    I saw a report recently that said mouth guards reduce concussion occurrence by around 5%. Not good at all. The most recent research I have looked at also points to the fact that the helmet might not be all that important either, other than to prevent that direct impact to the skull.

    That direct impact is not what causes most concussions; it is the brain being sloshed around too quickly inside the skull and becoming “bruised” that is the culprit. No matter how hard the helmet this can happen. Some researchers are looking into ways to increase the pressure of the fluid inside the skull to prevent as much “sloshing”. This avenue might be promising, but more research is needed.

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