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Update/concussion question(4 posts)

Update/concussion questionPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jan 14, 2003 12:22 PM
If anyone is interested I went to the doctor today after having an MRI last Wednesday. The scan was relatively good at least in comparison to what it could have been. There are 2 fairly noticeable grey spots on the MRI depicting damage from my crash in March. Grey spots an average person/person who's only had minor concussions would never have. Luckily the damage hasn't affected me day to day.

Now where my question is... that the chances of having another crash 60 km/h flying head first into the ground are next to none. I know that. But what effect will a less severe concussion/bump to the head have? In the year prior to my accident I had the worst of luck. I got knocked out twice (once only a few days prior to the accident and the other having amnesia after having a run in with a car for about half an hour) then hit my head fairly hard three other times. But I will have had a year concussion free to recupperate from those starting in the racing season.

Thanks,
Nick
PodiumBound.ca
re: Update/concussion questionmixinbeatz
Jan 14, 2003 3:06 PM
All I can say is if I had spots on my MRI, I would consider avoiding racing all together or avoid mass start events. I know many people who have raced for many years(an of course crash from time to time) who have never had a head injury or even landed on their head. On the other hand, when I crash, I usually land on my head. I have broke or severly damaged 4 helmets in 5 years, 1 of those which was in a 35+ mph group sprint last season. Fortunately, my scan looked ok, but I always have the fear of more serious damage. In fact, it has led to me becoming a more well rounded rider in order to compete in other places in the race than the last 500 meters. Meaning group sprints kinda freak me out a little these days. I love bike racing, but my brain is more important than a podium finish. Be careful and make sure that you fully understand the risk.
dood. talk to your doctor. then, talk to another doctor, andbill
Jan 15, 2003 8:59 AM
another, until you find one that says you have two choices -- avoid the risk of reinjury by staying out of competition, or accept that there will be consequences.
The research as it has been explained to me (I'm not a doctor but a lawyer who has represented brain-injured clients) says that the risk from re-injury increases with every injury. Your March tumble likely would not have been as serious had you not been injured prior to that incident. The theory is that an injury leaves scar tissue that is less flexible and resilient, so that when your brain gets its next shake, the less plastic tissues tear worse than they otherwise would. I'm not sure that the effects lessen over time -- I heard one doctor say that all head injuries are cumulative, including from years before. When you suffered your March injury while your tissues likely were still somewhat inflamed and not yet healed from the last earlier injury, you likely did quite a bit more damage.
You can accommodate brain injury by adaptive strategies, but, after about two years, it has healed as much as it is going to heal.
Yup, the effect of concussions can be cumulative...Gregory Taylor
Jan 15, 2003 10:11 AM
...meaning that you become more prone to injury -- Brain Injury with capital letters -- if you whack you head again. Nope, I'm not a doctor. Just a cyclist that had two concussions in an 15 month period of time.

Should you race again? That's up to you. But make an informed decision. You have to ask your doctor (and, ideally, ask for a second or third opinion from other doctors) about the risks that you might have in resuming a high-risk activity like bike racing. And yes, I'd say that bike racing can be a high-risk activity.