An estimated 10 percent of athletes
in contact sports such as football, hockey, and soccer suffer a
concussion each season. Concussions are brain injuries caused by a
bump, blow or jolt to the head.
NEW! Download our Concussion Awareness handout for parents and coaches.
Watch Dr. Mark Booher, Hendricks Regional Health Sports Medicine, discuss concussion injuries. This video is part 1 of a 3-part series about concussion management. View part 2 or part 3. Or, click here to view a 60-minute, in-depth presentation about concussions.
Radiology tests like a CT scan or MRI are useful in diagnosing many head injuries. However, they often cannot show a concussion, which makes them more difficult to diagnose and treat. Symptoms can happen immediately after a head injury, or arise after several days. Signs to watch for are:
• A headache that gets worse
• Drowsiness (or can’t be awakened) or insomnia
• Inability to recognize people or places
• Repeated vomiting
• Unusual behavior, confusion, irritability
• Weakness or numbness in arms or legs
• Slurred speech
• Memory loss
Concussions require early identification, careful evaluation and specialized management before an athlete can go back to their activities. Returning to play too soon after a head injury can lead to serious complications. For example, people that get another head injury before recovering from an earlier concussion are at risk of permanent brain damage from Second Impact Syndrome. That’s why it is important to see a doctor if you or a loved has a suspected concussion.
ImPACT is used in all of the high
schools we serve to evaluate how a patient’s brain is functioning after
an injury. Our staff uses ImPACT to measure a patient’s memory,
attention, processing speed and reaction time. This approach helps our
sports medicine team use scientific guidelines to determine when an
athlete is ready to go back to playing.
The staff at
Hendricks Regional Health Sports Medicine are experienced in recognizing and managing concussion in patients of all ages. We combine a comprehensive clinical exam with neuro-cognitive testing through the ImPACT program.