Daniel P. Stein, MD
Board Certified Neurologist
Ryan S. Glasser, MD
Board Certified Neurosurgeon
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that occurs following a bump, blow or jolt to the head. It can also result from a fall or impact to the body that causes the brain to move quickly back and forth, as in a whiplash injury. The sudden movement interferes with how parts of your brain communicate and function.
Each year, approximately 10-15 percent of athletes who participate in contact sports suffer a concussion. While those who participate in football, basketball, soccer and cheerleading activities are particularly vulnerable, a number of people suffer concussions from every day activities, such as riding bikes, skateboarding or rollerblading.
Although most are not life threatening, concussions are complex neurological disorders that require a fast and accurate diagnosis. Signs and symptoms of a concussion can occur immediately; in some cases, however, they can take hours or days to appear.
While most people recover from concussions, a few experience persistent problems with memory or other neurological functions. Doctors believe individuals who experience severe or multiple concussions may be at a greater risk for neurologic disease and clinical depression later in life than the average person. Watch an ABC7 news segment on the link between Depression and Concussions.
Assessing & Treating Concussion Injuries
Sarasota Memorial’s Concussion Clinic team specializes in the treatment and prevention of traumatic sports injuries. Backed by the full resources of the health system, the program provides state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment options customized to help you recover safely and return as soon as possible to competition, play and every day life.
Our multi-disciplinary approach combines specialists in trauma and emergency medicine, neurosurgery, neurology, sports medicine and orthopedics, neuropsychology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, nursing and social work – all with advanced training and experience needed to diagnose and treat individuals with concussion injuries.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
• Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Mild TBI or concussion, can produce physical, cognitive and emotional symptoms that often heal quickly and require no treatment other than rest, observation and a gradual return to activity. Sometimes, however, these symptoms can become chronic and affect you in many ways, causing a significant impact on your family, job, social life and community interactions. If symptoms do persist, further neurological evaluation may be recommended.
• Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
People with severe head injuries often will require immediate hospitalization with close monitoring to determine if the brain has swollen and pressure inside the skull (intracranial) has increased. If intracranial pressure rises too high, medications may be administered or emergency surgery may be needed.
In these more severe cases, additional treatment to prevent seizures and infections is provided. Neurologists also may use cooling technologies to improve the long-term prognosis in patients suffering from severe brain injury.
Education is a key component to keeping concussions on the sideline. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, in collaboration with an expert work group, developed free online courses and a “Heads Up” tool kit that provides important information on preventing, recognizing and responding to a concussion for people on the frontline – athletes, parents of athletes and coaches.
Learn the 4 R’s of Concussion
For free educational materials, visit the Centers for Disease Prevention & Control’s website at: cdc.gov/concussion/
Recovering From a Brain Injury
Though much is known about different types of head injuries, recovery is sometimes difficult to predict. Some patients with severe initial injuries make dramatic recoveries within several months to a year, while patients with milder injuries sometimes encounter chronic neuropsychological and physical problems. Even in mild cases with no loss of consciousness, full and proper recovery can take up to a week or more.
For patients requiring physical and cognitive rehabilitation, Sarasota Memorial offers customized hospital-based and outpatient neuro-rehabilitation programs to meet each patient’s unique needs.
Physician Referrals & Appointments
For information about our program, or to make an appointment, please call Sarasota Memorial’s HealthLine at (941) 917-7777.