Don’t wait for a suspected concussion to have your brain scanned
It’s hard to make the concussion statistics any scarier than they already are. Millions of traumatic brain injuries occur each year in sports and recreation-related activities. Many concussions are difficult to detect and many athletes underreport their injuries.
Concussions that are unrecognized or are mismanaged put athletes at risk of serious consequences from re-injury. Repetitive head trauma can lead to a permanent decrease in brain function. Timely diagnosis and prompt treatment can help prevent more serious complications.
PRE-SEASON BASELINE TESTING
Before an injury, obtaining baseline information on an athlete can make post-injury assessment more accurate because we have a snapshot of baseline brain function. At Summit Orthopedic Specialists, we use the ImPACT test. It’s a short neurocognitive computer test to evaluate multiple areas of brain function, including memory, problem solving, reaction times and brain processing speeds.
AFTER A HEAD INJURY
If you sustain a concussion (or suspected concussion), you should undergo a thorough evaluation and neurocognitive test within 24 to 72 hours after the injury. Your doctor should develop a comprehensive management plan focused on returning you to action safely.
It can be difficult to determine if the brain has healed from a concussion. Even after all symptoms have subsided, healing may not be complete. Follow-up neurocognitive testing can be a helpful tool in determining when you’re back at your baseline and can safely to return to activity.
Knowing the facts about concussion and taking the proper steps to treatment when you’re injured will get you back on the field faster.
Check out this article in the digital edition of SportStars Magazine… Check Your Head
Hunter Greene, M.D., is a board certified orthopedic surgeon with Summit Orthopedic Specialists in Carmichael. He specializes in adult and pediatric sports medicine.
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