Dual-task gait stability after concussion and subsequent injury: An exploratory investigation
Persistent gait alterations can occur after concussion and may underlie future musculoskeletal injury risk. We compared dual-task gait stability measures among adolescents who did/did not sustain a subsequent injury post-concussion, and uninjured controls. Forty-seven athletes completed a dual-task gait evaluation. One year later, they reported sport-related injuries and sport participation volumes. There were three groups: concussion participants who sustained a sport-related injury (n = 8; age =15.4 ± 3.5 years; 63% female), concussion participants who did not sustain a sport-related injury (n = 24; 14.0 ± 2.6 years; 46% female), and controls (n = 15; 14.2 ± 1.9 years; 53% female). Using cross-recurrence quantification, we quantified dual-task gait stability using diagonal line length, trapping time, percent determinism, and laminarity. The three groups reported similar levels of sports participation (11.8 ± 5.8 vs. 8.6 ± 4.4 vs. 10.9 ± 4.3 hours/week; p = 0.37). The concussion/subsequent injury group walked slower (0.76 ± 0.14 vs. 0.65 ± 0.13 m/s; p = 0.008) and demonstrated higher diagonal line length (0.67 ± 0.08 vs. 0.58 ± 0.05; p = 0.02) and trapping time (5.3 ± 1.5 vs. 3.8 ± 0.6; p = 0.006) than uninjured controls. Dual-task diagonal line length (hazard ratio =1.95, 95% CI = 1.05–3.60), trapping time (hazard ratio = 1.66, 95% CI = 1.09–2.52), and walking speed (hazard ratio = 0.01, 95% CI = 0.00–0.51) were associated with subsequent injury. Dual-task gait stability measures can identify altered movement that persists despite clinical concussion recovery and is associated with future injury risk.
Howell, David R.; Bonnette, Scott; Diekfuss, Jed A.; Grooms, Dustin R.; Myer, Gregory D.; Wilson, Julie C.; and Meehan, William P., "Dual-task gait stability after concussion and subsequent injury: An exploratory investigation" (2020). Biomedical Sciences Open Access Publications. 187.