Concussions and Brain Injury

Every single concussion is a brain injury

napier & vogel patient in ORThe doctors and specialists at Aurora BayCare understand the anxiety that comes with a concussion or other brain injury. We are here to protect your brain health. We offer advanced treatment for children and adults with concussions and brain injuries.

If you’ve fallen or hit your head, watch out for symptoms like confusion, headaches, or vision problems. If family and friends say you’re not acting the same, you should see a doctor. You may have a brain injury.

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury that interferes with normal brain function. Concussions are very difficult to diagnose, and symptoms may not appear immediately.

Unfortunately, concussions can have a long-term impact on your health.

Diagnosis

Your doctor may use a variety of screening tools to diagnose your injury. Tests may include tests for mental function, attention, memory, and concentration.

If a serious brain injury is suspected, your doctor may recommend a CT scan or an MRI. CT scans are typically used in emergency cases and will reveal any bleeding, brain swelling, bruised brain tissue, blood clots or other damage. MRIs are typically used in follow-up exams, after your condition has stabilized.

Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion

Ninety percent of concussions do not involve a loss of consciousness. Other symptoms include:

  • Headaches with nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Unusual behavior, including irritability or sadness

If you have these symptoms within 24 hours of a head injury, go to the nearest emergency department or call 911.

Treatment for Concussions

Concussions usually resolve within one to six weeks after an injury. But your brain needs help to heal! It needs rest (physical and mental) to repair itself.

A doctor can determine how much time is needed to recover. A recovery plan usually includes rest and a gradual return to normal activities.

After a concussion, recovery will vary depending on the injury, history of repeated concussions, age, and any lasting symptoms. Talk to your healthcare provider before you return to work, school, or sports.

Guidelines to follow:

  • Get plenty of rest and sleep
  • Minimize mental stimulation
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Stay hydrated
  • Limit social situations
  • Avoid or moderate: physical activity
  • Avoid or moderate: video games, computer use, reading, texting, driving

If problems continue beyond six weeks, you may have “post-concussion syndrome.” Some patients have trouble sleeping like they used to. Others may need help with thinking and concentration. And sometimes a head injury triggers ongoing emotional problems.

If you have lasting symptoms, our expert provider team will help you feel like yourself again. Every brain injury is different and needs a custom treatment approach.

Sports Concussion Program

Aurora BayCare’s sports concussion program includes baseline testing, evaluation, and treatment.

Many athletes can be reluctant to admit they may have been injured. That’s why it’s so important for coaches and parents to know the signs and symptoms of a concussion.

If you believe your child or athlete may have a concussion, contact your athletic trainer or physician right away. If symptoms worsen, go to the nearest emergency department or call 911.

 

Athletes who return to their sport too quickly following a concussion, and then suffer another one, have a high risk of serious brain damage.

ImPACT® Baseline Testing

Aurora BayCare is a provider of ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), the most-widely used and scientifically validated concussion evaluation system.

As part of ImPACT, we use brain function testing to get an objective overview of your child’s condition before a concussion. Then, if an injury occurs, we have medically reliable information to determine their ability to return to play.

ImPACT testing measures:

  • Attention span
  • Working memory
  • Problem solving
  • Reaction time

ImPACT is a 20-minute test used for athletes 11 and older. Results of a baseline test can be compared to follow-up scores if an athlete suffers from a concussion. We offer individual testing at the Aurora BayCare Sports Medicine Center in Green Bay. Or, group testing can be conducted at your school or team practice center.

Cost: $25 per athlete
To schedule your baseline or post-injury assessment, call Aurora BayCare Sports Medicine at 920-288-5400.

ImPACT is used by many high school and university athletic programs and several professional teams in the National Football League, National Hockey League, National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball. ImPACT baseline concussion testing can be crucial to your child’s health and safety.

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