National Rugby League and Rugby Union are some of Australia’s most popular sports, both in terms of watching and playing. Because of their high contact and high speed nature, rugby can often result in a multitude of injuries. Virtually any part of the body can be damaged in both codes of the sport.
Dr Parkinson has a particular interest in sports injury surgery with a neurosurgical focus. He specialises in the treatment of spinal injuries and surgical conditions sustained during sport, and their treatment and rehabilitation. He has had the privilege of looking after many athletes and semi professional sports people.
Common Rugby Injuries
- Muscular strains
- Head injuries – e.g. concussion
What is a Concussion?
A concussion may be defined as a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. This trauma can be submitted to the brain directly (e.g. a blow to the head) or indirectly (e.g. a tackle). Generally the effects of a concussion are only temporary, but can lead to disturbances like headaches, and effect memory, balance and coordination. In some instances it results in a loss of consciousness.
Even though these injuries are very common among sports players, it does cause a certain degree of damage to the brain.
Unfortunately, even though concussions are frequent rugby injuries, many players will continue to play and not miss any of the match.
Dr Parkinson’s Involvement
Dr Parkinson has a particular interest in these head and spinal injuries associated with NRL and Rugby Union. This includes their physical rehabilitation. This interest leads on to include many other contact sports that can see the same injuries, such as AFL and combat sports.
Dr Parkinson has worked with Professor H.Hunt Batjer at Northwestern University in Chicago. Dr Batjer is appointed to the prestigious NFL Head Injury Committee, to study the immediate and late effects of head injuries in American NFL players. These findings have relevance to Australian contact sports, including rugby, soccer, and AFL football. He has consulted to the NRL on the implementation of head injury and concussion evaluation. Further research in Australia is ongoing.
Dr Parkinson recently spent time working with Dr Rick Fessler in the USA. A major focus of Dr Fessler’s work and teaching is sports injuries.
Dr Parkinson sees many sports stars who come to him for opinions and surgical care.