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Concussion

Concussion

Physicians

Body parts

Overview

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury resulting in disrupted brain function. Concussion are common in athletes practicing high-contact sports such as football; however, automotive or household accidents can also cause concussions. While most are mild with full recovery, some concussions are more damaging. If medical attention is not sought in a timely manner, delays in recovery or second impact/post-concussion syndromes can arise.

Symptoms

Concussions do not cause loss of consciousness in the majority of cases, so most people are unaware that they may have one. The signs may not be immediately noticeable, and may last days or weeks depending upon the extent of the injury. Look for these signs:

  • Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
  • Confusion/Dazed Appearance
  • Difficulty concentrating/Delayed responses
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Slurred speech
  • Vomiting
  • Temporary loss of consciousness

Causes:

Concussions are the result of a blow to the head or direct force to the upper body that is transmitted to the head.

Treatments:

Treatment for a concussion will vary depending upon the injury and the individual. If a concussion is suspected, seek a medical evaluation from an experienced healthcare professional immediately. Professionals trained in Pediatric concussions should evaluate children and adolescents. Examinations and testing include:

 

Neurological Examination
During this exam, our Specialist will assess:

 

  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Hearing
  • Reflexes
  • Strength and sensation
  • Vision

Cognitive Testing
This test evaluates factors including:

 

  • Ability to recall information
  • Concentration
  • Memory

 

Imaging Tests
The following Diagnostic Imaging may be used for patients whose symptoms may be worsening with time:

 

  • Cranial Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan determines an injury by creating cross-sectional images of the brain.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) determines whether bleeding/swelling has occurred in the skull.

 

Concussion Baseline Testing

 

  • A preventative test taken before the athlete’s exposure to training or competition that can be compared to the post-injury test to detect a concussion.
  • Without the baseline test, a post-injury concussion assessment will only be compared to that of a general population rather than the more personalized results of the individual.
  • Baseline testing is a computer-based assessment that takes about 30-45 minutes. It may be administered for individual athletes as well as groups.
  • The Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey conducts baseline testing by appointment.