When it comes to concussions, we just don’t know.
As doctors, we sometimes ignore the facts and evidence right in front of us, because our employer is telling us they need their star player back on the field, and if we do not clear him, they will find someone who will. As players, we refuse to acknowledge those who walked this path before us, we refuse to see their scars, their pain, their wheelchairs. It is a tough sport, we reason, and we are tough guys. If you cannot take a little hit to the head, maybe you should go take up baking.
Sidney Crosby and Austin Collie are in the dark. Countless other athletes join them, helplessly, hopelessly seeking answers about what is wrong with them and if and when they will be better. The rest of us are in the dark, too. We do not understand concussions. We may never understand how to prevent and fully treat them. But we can all step into the light and realize concussions are serious, that they cannot be walked off or ignored. This is a tough challenge for players, coaches, doctors, and fans, but not nearly as tough as it is for those players suffering from their effects.