A blow to the head, whether from a car accident, a sports injury, or a fall, can mean you have a concussion. A concussion is a brain injury that causes your brain to move rapidly inside your head. It temporarily alters brain function; you need to see the doctor. If you or your loved one has passed out from the blow, a visit to the emergency room is in order. Your brain is a delicate instrument.
Coastal Empire Orthopedics’ orthopedic surgeons, also trained as sports medicine specialists, work with young athletes and weekend warriors alike to help prevent concussions. When they do occur, our physicians, trained to treat concussions, provide the most advanced diagnostic and treatment protocols available.
Who is most at risk of concussions?
Children, teens, young adults, and the elderly are most at risk of sustaining a concussion. About 500,000 children up to age 14 are diagnosed with concussions in emergency rooms every year. That’s not too surprising. Children and teens are active — toddlers climb onto kitchen cabinets, children climb trees and falling, children and teens play sports and sustain hits to the head in Little League play.
Football, lacrosse, and hockey are the leading sports that produce concussions in collegiate athletes. Helmets don’t hold the head still, so they’re not very effective in preventing concussions.
In addition to sports, teens and young adults sometimes engage in risky behaviors like driving too fast or drinking too much, which increases the chance of a concussion. Those over 75 are also more at risk, mainly because of the dangers of a fall.
What are the common signs of a concussion?
If these symptoms appear, you should be taken to the emergency room right away:
- Extreme pain in your head
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy; unable to stand up and walk in a straight line; clumsy
- Repeated nausea with or without vomiting
- Mental confusion
- Pupil in your eye abnormally large
- Loss of consciousness, even if less than a minute
- Unable to speak clearly
- Seizures or twitching
- Repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions, or seizures (shaking or twitching).
- Unusual behavior increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation.
It’s essential to get medical help right away for a concussion. Your brain has experienced trauma.
However, sometimes a concussion isn’t as apparent at first. If you have any of these symptoms after an accident in which you hit your head, call Coastal Empire Orthopedics for an appointment.
- Headache that won’t go away
- Difficulty concentrating on work or schoolwork
- Unable to remember things you usually would remember
- Excessive fatigue
- Excessive moodiness
- Abnormal sleep patterns: sleeping more than average or insomnia
- Unusual lack of coordination
- Vision problems
Your Coastal Empire physician grades your concussion based on your symptoms. Loss of consciousness for more than one minute is the highest grade of concussion, and you’ll need several weeks of downtime for recovery. Up to one-third of childrens’ concussions can last longer than one month.
Call Coastal Empire Orthopedics or book an appointment online for all of your musculoskeletal needs.