A concussion is not a just a “bump on the head.” It is a traumatic brain injury that needs proper treatment whether it is mild or severe. At Wesley Children’s Hospital, our expert physicians specialize in concussion treatment and management for children and child athletes up to age 18 to maximize their recovery.
What is a concussion?
A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury that occurs when the brain is violently jarred back and forth or rotated inside the skull as a result of a blow to the head or body. This can “stun” the brain cells or even result in their death. You do not need to lose consciousness to suffer a concussion. It is the most common form of head injury suffered by athletes. Any athlete in motion is at risk for a concussion. This may occur in any sport, to boys and girls alike. Symptoms may appear immediately or develop over several days. They may last a few days to several month and interfere with schoolwork and social life.Concussion Symptoms
- Vision changes or vision disturbance
- Loss of balance
- Loss of consciousness
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory loss
A Post-Concussive Syndrome is the consequence of previous head injury. This term is now being used to identify concussed patients who are not improving as expected. Post-concussive Syndrome does not appear to be associated with the severity of a single concussion, but more likely the location of the brain injury. It is generally defined as the development of at least here of the following symptoms persisting at least four to six weeks: headache, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, social difficulties, anxiety, insomnia, concentration or memory difficulty and intolerance of stress. Anyone displaying these symptoms requires thorough physical and neurological examination by a medical specialist.
Second Impact Syndrome
Second Impact Syndrome occurs when a second concussion is sustained while an athlete is still recovering from a first concussion, during which time the brain is still injured and not able to protect itself to the best of its ability. This can catastrophic, even leading to death.
A Baseline Test assesses the student athlete’s balance and brain function. It is an important evaluative tool that focuses on balance, concertation and memory assessments. Ideally, this assessment should occur annually prior to the first practice of the season or at the beginning of the school year.
The best known treatment for a concussion in children is rest. However, it can take from to three weeks to fully recover, and it is very important that the brain injury is managed throughout the entire recovery process.