If you have one sports-related concussion, you’re three to six times more likely to sustain another, which is dangerous because multiple concussions can lead to permanent brain damage. The physicians at Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine, with four locations in Cincinnati as well as offices in Oxford, Sardinia, and West Chester, Ohio, specialize in evaluating and treating concussions. They work with each patient to ensure they heal, then create a customized post-concussion rehabilitation plan. If you suffer a head injury, call the Wellington office that’s most convenient for you or schedule an appointment online today.
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) caused by a blow or bump to the head that’s strong enough to make your brain bounce against your skull. The injury damages brain cells and disrupts nerve connections, which causes chemical changes and affects your brain function.
One concussion isn’t likely to cause long-term brain damage. But if you have a second concussion shortly after the first one, or you experience several concussions, the injuries can lead to permanent brain damage.
Football is frequently in the spotlight as a contact sport with a high rate of concussions, but head injuries are also common in soccer, ice and field hockey, wrestling, and lacrosse. Sports medicine doctors are also seeing a rise in the number of concussions sustained playing basketball.
Statistics on head injuries treated in emergency rooms show that cycling is at the top of the list, followed by football, baseball, basketball, water sports, and soccer. Also, sports like boxing and MMA are more likely than football to cause a serious concussion.
After a head injury, your symptoms can appear right away or they may be delayed for hours or days. The effects of a concussion can last for weeks and turn into chronic symptoms, a condition called post-concussion syndrome (PCS). Concussions cause three primary symptoms:
Although you can lose consciousness, most people stay awake after developing a concussion but may have trouble remembering what happened at the time of the injury. In addition to the three core symptoms listed above, you may experience:
If you suffer a head injury while engaged in competitive sports, you should immediately stop playing until you can get a professional evaluation to determine whether you have a concussion.
The doctors at Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine use a research-based software program, ImPACT®, to evaluate your brain function. The information helps them determine the severity of your concussion and monitor your recovery.
The best initial treatment for a concussion is rest. Your brain needs time to heal, which means resting physically and mentally. You’ll need to reduce stimulation and limit activities that require mental concentration.
Your doctor may recommend adjusting your work or school schedule and avoiding any activity that increases your symptoms. As you’re able to tolerate more activity, you’ll follow a stepwise plan for gradually returning to your normal activities.
If you’ve suffered a head injury, call Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine or book an appointment online today.