2014 Volume 54 Issue 11 Pages 878-886
We review the current topic in sports-related head injuries including acute subdural hematoma (ASDH), concussion, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Sports-related ASDH is a leading cause of death and severe morbidity in popular contact sports like American football in the USA and judo in Japan. It is thought that rotational acceleration is most likely to produce not only cerebral concussion but also ASDH due to the rupture of a parasagittal bridging vein, depending on the severity of the rotational acceleration injury. Repeated sports head injuries increase the risk for future concussion, cerebral swelling, ASDH or CTE. To avoid fatal consequences or CTE resulting from repeated concussions, an understanding of the criteria for a safe post-concussion return to play (RTP) is essential. Once diagnosed with a concussion, the athlete must not be allowed to RTP the same day and should not resume play before the concussion symptoms have completely resolved. If brain damage has been confirmed or a subdural hematoma is present, the athlete should not be allowed to participate in any contact sports. As much remains unknown regarding the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of sports-related concussion, ASDH, and CTE, basic and clinical studies are necessary to elucidate the crucial issues in sports-related head injuries.