A concussion can be a serious problem for athletes who take part in contact sports or recreational activities. A concussion is an injury to the brain caused by striking the head on another object. It may result in loss of consciousness or confusion, but the effects usually resolve in a few days. They are also commonly known as mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI).
Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS) is defined as “symptoms and signs of a concussion that persist for weeks to months after an incident.” These symptoms may include:
Concussions can happen to any boy or girl in any sport. The short-term effects of a concussion can generate additional problems or be very dangerous when athletes go back to the game before they fully recover from a concussion. Parents should make sure that children wear the right safety gear during all practices and games and that schools have a concussion plan.
WATCH: Concussion Video (from the Fort HealthCare Health Library)
ImPACT™ is a program Fort HealthCare has adopted providing baseline concussion screening to athletes who participate in contact sports such as football and soccer. The program manages concussions through a sophisticated test of the athlete’s cognitive abilities, including verbal and visual memory, brain processing speed, and reaction time to help health care professionals track recovery following a concussion. ImPACT™ standardized assessments allow for communication of post-concussion status to athletes, coaches, parents, and clinicians. It also assists health care professionals and educators in making decisions about academic needs following a concussion. The ultimate goal of ImPACT™ is to determine if an athlete is safe and able to return to play. Studies have shown that over 40 percent of high school athletes returned to play too soon after suffering a concussion. Even more alarming, one in six football players who sustained a concussion and lost consciousness returned to play the same day.
Given the unique nature of every concussion, it is important to manage them on an individualized basis. Fort HealthCare has a dedicated team of professionals specially-trained in managing ImPACT™ testing, reading the results, and coordinating the best care plan for individuals who have experienced an MTBI. As members of Fort HealthCare’s Sports Medicine team, this group of health professionals work with area schools’ administration and athletic departments, as well as with local sports organizations.
Laurie Runte, APNP-Provider Profile
Julia Neppl, MPT, LAT-Provider Profile
Paul Incha, PT-Provider Profile
Brian Meitner, LAT-Provider Profile