Concussion

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Definition of Concussion

  1. Caused either by a direct blow to the head, face, neck or elsewhere on the body with a resultant force transmitted to the brain.
  2. Typically results in the rapid onset of short lived changes in neurological function that resolves spontaneously.
  3. May result in structural brain changes, but the symptoms largely reflect a functional disturbance rather than a structural injury.
  4. Usually follows a progressive course of improvement.
  5. Imaging studies (brain CT/MRI) are usually normal.

Signs and Symptoms of Concussion

  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Confused about assignment
  • Forgets plays
  • Is unsure of game, score, or opponent
  • Moves clumsily
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Loses consciousness
  • Shows behavior or personality change
  • Forgets events prior to play (retrograde)
  • Forgets events after hit (posttraumatic)

Symptoms

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish
  • Feeling “foggy”
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Change in sleep pattern (appears later)
  • Feeling fatigued

Common symptoms of concussion from a series of injured high school athletes

  • Three most common symptoms:
    1. Headaches (55%)
    2. Dizziness (42%)
    3. Blurred vision (16%)
  • 46% experienced either cognitive or memory problems
  • 9% had loss of consciousness (“knocked out”)

Do you have to be “knocked out” to have a concussion?

  • NO!
  • In fact, only a SMALL number of concussed athletes were “knocked out”
  • Many studies have now shown that amnesia (inability to remember) is a much more common sign of concussion and ALWAYS indicates that a brain injury has occurred

In general and on average, the short term effects of concussion resolve within:

  • 7 days for professional athletes
  • 7-10 days for collegiate athletes
  • 7-14 days for high school athletes
  • 7-21 days for younger athletes
  • 90% of athletes with sport-related concussions recover within a month

*If you think your child has a concussion please contact our office for an appointment 615-352-2990. It is very important for your child to be evaluated by a physician.