A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head to move rapidly back and forth. An estimated 3.8 million concussions occur every year in the U.S. Each season, an estimated 10 percent of athletes in contact sports, such as football, hockey and soccer, will suffer a concussion.
Fortunately, most athletes with a sports concussion will recover very quickly. Some, however, will have a prolonged recovery with lingering physical, cognitive or behavioral difficulties. It's important that athletes who may have suffered a concussion get assessed and, if needed, treated promptly to aid in the recovery process.
WellSpan's Sports Medicine team includes experts at diagnosing and treating sports related concussion injuries. Non-sport related concussions are managed by either the primary care physician or, for more involved or long-standing treatment, they are referred to Neurology for management.
We also work closely with area schools to provide athletic trainers who can perform on-field brain injury assessments and manage return-to-play protocols at the direction of a sports medicine trained physician. This partnership delivers important resources and care to schools, students and the community to keep athletes healthy.
How We Can Help
WellSpan offers the following services to treat concussions:
Our physicians and therapists stay current on the latest concussion treatment to ensure that our patients get the best possible care. Providers at all levels are trained on taking appropriate histories, doing exams and utilizing assessment tools that help make an accurate diagnosis.
Preseason baseline assessments are performed for our local high school athletes and club sports programs. Post-injury testing performed at the school or by one of our providers can aid in the diagnosis of concussion.
We develop individual treatment plans based on assessment results and the needs of the individual. Most athletic injuries may need a brief period of modified rest, with frequent reassessments that allow for gradual return to activity and school. Patients with more complex concussions may need assessment by our concussion rehabilitation team. This experienced group identifies appropriate therapies and treatment to help athletes recover and return to play.
ImPACT is a neuropsychological assessment tool used to evaluate an athlete's pre-concussive and post-concussive performance. The web-based program provides information regarding the severity of injury and a standard for evaluating return to play.
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