A “scattered” SCAT in a football goalkeeper: a case report
Background: In an acute field-side setting, it is often challenging to differentiate benign sports-related concussion (SRC) from potential, more sinister, intracranial pathology. Moreover, recovery in the ensuing days and weeks is often complex as the resolution of classical signs and symptoms does not always follow a standard pattern.
Aim: To highlight the value of a structured and repeated thorough clinical assessment approach toward SRC, particularly as atypical and unexpected sequences in patient recovery patterns may require further specialist referral and intervention.
Findings: A football goalkeeper sustained a concussion in which symptoms failed to resolve as expected. Deterioration in his clinical condition led to an eventual diagnosis of Chiari malformation (type I), which required surgical intervention.
Implications: Non-typical recovery patterns of concussion may be indicative of increased severity when considered retrospectively. However, clinicians should not discount the possibility of underlying conditions.
Keywords: concussion, soccer, sports-related head injury