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Concussions or Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI)

What is a Concussion?

A concussion occurs when a blow to the head or body causes a disruption in normal brain function. An individual does not have to loose consciousness to suffer a concussion.

What are the Signs and Symptoms Associated with a Concussion or (MTBI)?

Signs

  • Vacant stare
  • Delayed verbal and/or motor responses
  • Confusion and/or inability to focus attention
  • Slurred or incoherent speech
  • Gross observable coordination
  • Sever increase in emotions
  • Memory deficits or amnesia
  • Any loss of consciousness

Symptoms

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Vision problems (blurred or double)
  • Hearing problems/Ringing in ears
  • "Foggy" or "slowed down" feeling
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased/Abnormal emotional responses
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Difficulty remembering

How is a Concussion or MTBI Managed?

The individual should be removed from play immediately and should not return to any activity until all signs and symptoms have been resolved. A re-injury – while still symptomatic – increases the chance of severe problems and complications, which may become life-threatening. A qualified medical provider should evaluate the individual as soon as possible.

What is the Recovery Time for a Concussion or MTBI?

Recovery from a concussion or MTBI can take 24 hours to 10 days, sometimes even longer, depending on the severity. The longer the signs and symptoms are present, the more time is needed to ensure a full recovery. A qualified medical provider should be consulted before a concussed athlete returns to any activity. Under the guidance of that medical professional, the athlete can gradually be re-introduced into activities over several days before returning to sport. Any return of symptoms should trigger a follow up with the medical provider.

For additional questions on concussions or any other sports medicine topic, call the Aurora Sports Medicine Hotline at (414) 219-7776 or (800) 219-7776.