Sports Concussion Management
Concussion, also known as minor traumatic brain injury is the sudden and temporary loss or disturbance in nerve cell function of the brain that occurs as a result of a blow or an injury to the head. It is common among school children between the age of 8 and 13 who are involved in playing sports such as football, ice hockey, snow skiing, and bicycling.
Usually, concussions may be mild and does not result in long-term damage but repeated concussion can cause permanent brain damage. This condition can become life threatening if blood accumulates in the skull. Head injuries cause damage of the blood vessel under the skull resulting in accumulation of blood around the brain leading to brain displacement. This condition can become life threatening if blood accumulates in the skull.
Some of the most common symptoms of concussion include loss of consciousness, mild to moderate headache or feeling of pressure in the head, difficulty in remembering things, slurred speech, difficulty in thinking and making decisions, lack of concentration, and feeling confused and dazed.
Your doctor will ask you about the incidence of head injury and symptoms observed. The doctor may also ask some basic questions to assess the level of consciousness.
- Physical examination involves checking vital signs such as pulse, respiration and heartbeat. If heartbeats are irregular then you may be at risk of brain injury.
- Neurological examination which includes checking memory, concentration, vision, hearing, balance, coordination strength and sensation.
Other diagnostic tests such as X-ray, CT scan, and MRI scan may be required to rule out if there is brain damage.
Doctor uses two main scales, Glasgow coma scale and Rancho Los Amigos coma scale to determine the level of consciousness by checking their response to stimuli.
In addition he may perform other tests such as physical examination, neurological examination, scanning procedures such as X-ray, CT and MRI.
The main treatment for concussion is complete rest from physical and mental activities. Condition may improve gradually and check with physician before your return to sports activities.