A concussion is a brain injury in which head trauma results in a temporary disruption of normal brain function. The injury occurs when a person's brain is violently rocked back and forth or twisted inside the skull as a result of a direct or indirect force. A concussion disturbs brain activity and should be handled as a serious injury. Proper healing and recovery time following a concussion are crucial in preventing further injury.
Athletes not fully recovered from an initial concussion are significantly more vulnerable to recurrent, cumulative and even catastrophic consequences of a repeat injury. Such difficulties are prevented if the athlete is allowed time to recover from a concussion and return-to-play decisions are carefully made. No athlete should return to sport or other at-risk participation when symptoms of a concussion are present and recovery is ongoing. The best way to prevent difficulties with a concussion is to manage the injury properly when it occurs.
If you feel any of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from the effects of a concussion.
If you observe any of the following signs, your child may be suffering from the effects of a concussion.
Symptoms may worsen with exertion. An athlete should not return to play until symptom free.
Diagnostic testing, which includes CT and MRI, may be needed. While these are helpful in identifying more serious injuries (e.g. skull fracture, hematoma, contusion), they are typically normal, even in athletes who have sustained a severe concussion. The reason for this is that concussion is a metabolic rather than structural injury.
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