by Kevin D. Heaton, DO
Another prominent professional athlete is in the news for concussion issues this week. Sidney Crosby, one of the best NHL players on the planet, suffered yet another setback in his struggles with concussion. After missing more then 10 months with symptoms of post-concussion syndrome Crosby finally returned back to the ice on November 21st. He was back to his old dominant self, scoring multiple points each game with speed and precision. That is until a game on December 5th against the Bruins when he took a few significant hits and the following day stated that he “just didn’t feel right.” His repeat ImPACT test was reportedly normal. However, he is now out indefinitely.
So what are we to take from this unfortunate event? The first is that Sidney Crosby, in a way, should be seen as a concussion ambassador. Someone who understands the significant short and long-term consequences of concussions and is taking it seriously. Rather than trying to push through his symptoms or even lie about them he is being truthful and working with his medical staff on a safe and gradual return to play. The second is that the ImPACT test is not the only determining factor in returning someone to play after a concussion, it is one of many. How a person feels always trumps a normal test.
Sidney Corsby understands that there are more important things in this world than playing hockey. What is all the fame and wealth worth if you are not healthy enough to enjoy it? And trust me, talk to anyone with significant post-concussion symptoms and I bet they would gladly trade all the money and fame in the world just to feel normal again. Well done Sidney. I wish you a full recovery.