A concussion is a form of mild traumatic brain injury.
The rate of concussion reporting in female athletes is increasing.
Female athletes have unique and distinct qualities that make them vulnerable to concussions, including less neck strength than males, allowing greater head motion, and hormonal fluctuations that impact the brain’s vulnerability to injury.
Most professional and collegiate sporting organization mandate that athletes with concussion be evaluated by a medical doctor with expertise and experience in diagnosis and treating concussions. However, inequities in athletic training and medical resources could prevent or delay specialty care in female athletes.
Determining when a female athlete is fully recovered from a concussion can be challenging. Females often have greater concussion symptom reporting and may have pre-morbid conditions, such as headache disorders, that complicate their clinical presentation.
There is very little knowledge about the long-term risks of concussions in female athletes. The overwhelming majority of research is conducted in men and male-dominated sports.
The Mass General Sports Concussion Clinic specializes in the care of athletes with concussion. Learn more about the clinical and research programs at the Sports Concussion Clinic.
Tears of the ACL are 4-8x more likely to occur in females than males.
Differences in movement patterns and muscle weaknesses can cause females to be at greater risk for injury.