In San Antonio, we all associate the last name of Robinson with basketball.  But recently, the  Robinson family has been linked to football.

Corey Robinson, the son of David “The Admiral” Robinson, has been playing football at Notre Dame for the past three years. He was an Academic All American in 2014 and has been elected student body president for this coming year. However, after sustaining his third concussion in one year, he has decided to stop playing football.

As part of my practice caring for student athletes who have sustained concussions, I am often asked “How many are too many?” While science has not answered that question definitively, it is my recommendation  that if a student athlete ha two concussions in a season than he or she is out for the remainder of that season. Three concussions in a particular sport and it is time to  consider other athletic pursuits.

Medical studies are trying to answer the specific questions such as what is the threshold number of injuries before traumatic brain damage is irreversible? Other research is investigating why  some people develop Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and others with similar trauma do not.

Do all concussions lead to long term damage? How much easier is it to get a second concussion than a first? How much easier is it to get a third concussion than a second? What is the best way to diagnose a concussion? What protocols help medical professionals like me in my job of preventing injuries, recognizing injuries, and  treating injuries while balancing return to play decisions ?

These are the daily evolving challenges medical professionals are facing.

Corey has to be a dedicated and gifted athlete to play at the level he does. He has to be a committed and determined student to have the success he has achieved. His dedication to his student community,  is exceptional. It could not have been an easy decision for him to make.

As a doctor and a father of a son of about the same age, I give him credit for putting together a team to help advise him. It must have been difficult weighing the risks and benefits of his actions, consulting with expert physicians, coaching staff, and family members to help make that decision.

Corey Robinson has made the news for his athletic accomplishments, and it may be that his off field accomplishments are more important. He understands that he can make significant contributions off the field as well. He has had a great role model in his his father.

Like Father, like Son.

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