Dave Duerson, traumatic encephalopathy answer

Dave-Duerson-traumatic-encephalopathy-answer-photoDave Duerson killed himself to advance the cause of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. He shot himself in the chest and requested his brain be tested for this disease. The results were released today and he did have a progressive condition.

The doctor, Dr. Ann McKee, said:

Dave Duerson had classic pathology of CTE and no evidence of any other disease, and he has severe involvement of all the structures that affect things like judgment, inhibition, impulse control, mood and memory. The likelihood is that if he hadn’t had the CTE, he wouldn’t have developed those symptoms that he was experiencing at the end of his life and perhaps he wouldn’t have been compelled to end his life.


Why would you fail a concussion test

why would you fail concussion test photoThrough some excellent reporting by Alex Marvez, a report surfaced that some NFL players might be sandbagging the baseline testing used to determine concussion effects and steps during the season.

The baseline concussion test is used by the NFL to enforce a strict policy of concussion handling. The NFL has long been plagued by many in the media and former players for not taking a proactive stance when it comes to concussion effects.

At the end of February, the league released guidelines that all teams must follow to determine a baseline indicator against future concussions.

One of the doctors in the release said:

What is the medical impact of playing more football games

doug flutie electronic billboardThe NFL is considering moving to 18 regular season games. While this hasn’t been approved by the league or the union, it does loom on the horizon.

A very brief Associated Press article came out today referencing Doug Flutie and Jim Kelly and their experience playing 18 games in the USFL. As you may remember, the USFL had a number of different rules than the NFL one of which was 18 games in a season.

The article looks to be a stub instead of offering any detail. Still, it was enough to begin to think about the medical impact of playing 18 regular season NFL games. Right now, the league plays a number of pre-season games and the 16 regular season games. The pre-season games rarely feature the marquee players going all out for the entire game, so injury risk is reduced, but not eliminated.

How does Tommy John surgery work – Jake Delhomme

Who knew Jake Delhomme had Tommy John surgery? Somehow I missed this, but now that I know about it I thought it’d be a good idea to take some time to explain the procedure.

Tommy John surgery is actually the replacement of ulnar collateral ligament with another ligament in your body. Simple explanation: elbow ligament replaced with a leg ligament. Now, you don’t have to use a leg ligament, but they tend to be the better choice.

The elbow ligament is called the ulnar collateral ligament. I’m just going to use elbow ligament going forward. This ligament can become damaged by the motion of a pitcher in baseball. Tommy Johns suffered this injury in 1974 and it looked like his career was over. Dr. Frank Jobe is the one who conceived of the operation, though he wasn’t convinced it would actually work. Tommy John agreed to the surgery and then spent 18 months rehabbing his arm. The surgery was a success and he ended up pitching for another 13 years.

How to treat weakness and frailty – Steven Jackson

The St. Louis Rams are in horrible shape in not only the standings, but injured players. The personification of their injuries is Steven Jackson. Jackson was hailed as a perfect example of the new breed of running back when he was drafted in 2004. Big, brutal, but fast and smart, Jackson was to herald in a new era of rushing.

He’s failed.

The question that always swirls around Steven Jackson is his heart or commitment level. His toughness. If you look at his career statistics he hasn’t been the workhorse people thought he would.

How do broken ribs affect football players – Jason Witten

We’ve covered how to treat broken ribs before, but I wanted to take some time and explain how broken ribs affects football players. Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys has a single broken rib, so his play time is limited. You ask, “How can you play NFL football with a broken rib?” Ah, good question.

If you can continue to play football with a broken rib depends on several conditions:

  1. Is the rib broken or fractured? If the rib is broken clean you’re not going to be able to play. A fractured rib, though, will only cause a slight increase in pain.

How to immobolize neck injuries in football with a backboard – Bill Stull

Bill Stull, the Pitt quarterback, was carted off the field on Saturday in a game against Rutgers. While Stull’s injuries aren’t serious, it did raise an interesting question. What happens when you cart someone off the field during a football game?

In most cases, the first responders are worried about neck and spinal injuries. The key is to ensure nothing else is affected and that the patient is immobilized. This allows the body to not harm itself and allows easy transportation. With Bill Stull, they left his helmet on, immobilized his back and then strapped him to a rescue board to ensure his body didn’t move.

His father said today:

He’s a little sore today, but he’s good to go. It’s nothing like it could have been or what we thought it was.

How to treat a broken jaw – Keith Rivers

Keith Rivers is having a great rookie year for an awful Cincinnati Bengals football team. He’s second on the team in tackles and has been a much needed youth movement on defense. His rookie year has come to and end with a broken jaw. The broken jaw was suffered in a game on October 20, 2008 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The hit that caused the broken jas was delivered by Hines Ward and is thought to be a dirty hit. If the Bengals weren’t winless this story would have more legs.

Why do football players get MRSA staph infections – Kellen Winslow

We’ve covered how to treat MRSA staph infections in the past, but this time it’s come to light that Kellen Winslow suffered from a staph infection the last couple of weeks. His announcement caused shock in the Cleveland Browns organization. It seems they were attempting to cover up his staph infection.

Kellen went on to explain it was a lack of communication from the organization about the issue that really concerned him:

There’s obviously a problem it and we have to fix it. Just look at the history around here. It’s unfortunate, because it happens time and time again.

How do you treat a strained foot ligament – Aaron Schobel

Aaron Schobel is having a great year for the 4-1 Buffalo Bills, though he isn’t getting a ton of sacks. He’s an awesome pass rusher, but he’s been sidelined with a strained ligament in his foot. This is going to impact his ability to practice, but the good thing is the Buffalo Bills have a bye week. Aaron can take a week off, let it heal and get back to it.

I feel like the last couple games I’m starting to rush better. I haven’t got sacks. But I think I’m on the right track as far as doing what I need to do to improve, to help the team.

So, let’s talk about Aaron’s injury and his prospects.