Introduction: Impairments in postural stability have been identified following sports-related concussion. CaneSense™ is a recently developed mobile lower limb motion capture system and mobile application for movement assessment which provides an objective measure of postural stability. One of the components within CaneSense™ is the Post-Concussive Excursion Index (PCEI), a measure of postural stability expressed as a percentage of symmetry between lower limbs.
Purpose: The purpose of this case series is to examine pre- and post-concussion differences using two separate measures, CaneSense™, and a known test, the Balance Error Scoring System (BESS), in Division I collegiate football players.
Methods: A convenience sample of eight football players diagnosed with a concussion, were the subjects in this case series. All subjects underwent baseline testing prior to the start of pre-season camp consisting of the single limb stance (SLS) test with CaneSense™ and the BESS test. Twenty-four to 72 hours following their concussion, SLS with CaneSense™ test and the BESS test, were administered. Segmental excursions for the thigh and shank segments for each lower limb were combined into the Post-Concussion Excursion Profile (PCEP), which represents each segment's maximum excursion in the medial-lateral and anterior-posterior direction. The PCEI is a single metric generated to quantify differences within subjects by comparing the PCEP value between lower limbs during SLS where 100% suggests absolute symmetry.
Results: The PCEI value decreased significantly post-concussion (41.43 ± 15.53% vs. 87.41 ± 6.05%, p < 0.001) demonstrating a 52.6% decrease in inter-limb symmetry when compared to baseline values. There was an unanticipated 36.36% improvement in composite BESS performance post-concussion (10.5 ± 4.87 errors vs. 16.5 ± 8.49 errors, p = 0.10).
Conclusions: Differences in inter-limb postural stability were found in subjects post-concussion. By assessing postural stability in both lower limbs individually, using the PCEI, impairments were detected that otherwise would have likely gone undiagnosed using the BESS test alone.
Levels of evidence: Therapy, Level 4.
Keywords: Balance Error Scoring System; CaneSense™; Concussion; Performance-based measure; Postural Stability.