Physical examination of dizziness in athletes after a concussion: A descriptive study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Dizziness is commonly reported after concussion. With the forces experienced at the time of the injury, several anatomical locations may have been altered, causing dizziness. OBJECTIVE: Describe an objective examination and the types of impairment/dysfunction implicated by the results of clinical examination tests in subjects with dizziness after a concussion. DESIGN: Cross-Sectional. METHODS: Athletes between ages 10-23 were enrolled with a diagnosis of concussion. An examination was completed to identify areas potentially contributing to dizziness, including tests of oculomotor control, the vestibular system, neuromotor control, and musculoskeletal components of the cervical spine. Descriptive analyses were completed to define the anatomical areas/types of dysfunction identified by positive findings of the examination tests. RESULTS: All (n = 41; 100%) subjects had examination findings consistent with central dysfunction. Of these, 36 (97.8%) had oculomotor control deficits; 29 (70.7%) demonstrated motion sensitivity; and 6 (15%) had central vestibular deficits. Nineteen (46.3%) had peripheral dysfunction, including 18 (43.9%) with unilateral hypofunction, and 2 (4.9%) with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Thirty-four (82.9%) had cervical dysfunction, with 11 (26.8%) presenting with cervicogenic dizziness, and 31 (75.6%) with altered neuromotor control. CONCLUSIONS: Functional injury to centrally-mediated pathways, specifically oculomotor control, and afferent and efferent pathways in the cervical spine are commonly identified through clinical examination tests in individuals with a complaint of dizziness post-concussion. According to results presented here, a high majority (90%) of the participants demonstrated dizziness that appeared to be multifactorial in nature and was not attributable to one main type of dysfunction. The common pathways between the systems make it difficult to isolate only one anatomical area as a contributor to dizziness.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Reneker, JC; Cheruvu, VK; Yang, J; James, MA; Cook, CE

Published Date

  • April 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 34 /

Start / End Page

  • 8 - 13

PubMed ID

  • 29197811

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2468-7812

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.msksp.2017.11.012


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands