Sport-Related Concussion

Our sports-related concussion healthcare team at Greensboro Orthopaedics strives to deliver complete, comprehensive care. It is our goal to safely return each athlete/patient to their desired activity. We provide baseline testing as well as injury evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment options.

Baseline Testing…Why is it important?

A valid Baseline Concussion Test is the first step to effective concussion management. The baseline test is essentially a “physical” for the brain. It should be completed prior to any sports season. As the adolescent matures or an athlete sustains a head injury, the test should be retaken for an accurate baseline measure.

The computerized testing is set-up similar to a video game and takes roughly 30 minutes to complete. It collects information such as memory, reaction time, speed, and concentration to obtain a set of individual control data. The baseline test is appropriate for those between the ages of 10 and 59 years old, who are at risk for a sport-related concussion.

No concussion is the same. It is important to care for each concussion individually. It is best to have one’s own baseline concussion test scores to compare with their own post-injury scores. Without a baseline test to use for evaluation, an individual’s post injury scores can only be compared to the general population.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is traumatic brain injury that may or may not involve a loss of consciousness, often resulting from a blow or jolt that causes the brain to move quickly back and forth inside the head.  Concussion can result from a hit/blow to the head or somewhere else on the body. If you think you have a concussion, an immediate evaluation by a health care professional with concussion management experience is essential.

Signs and Symptoms

In most cases, symptoms will appear immediately after injury. However, sometimes symptoms may not appear right away. Signs & symptoms can persist later than you may expect; days or weeks after injury.

Concussion Symptoms may include:
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred Vision
  • Feeling Foggy
  • Sensitivity to light and/or noise
  • Feeling slowed down, Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Nervous or Anxious
  • Emotional, Sadness
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Difficulty remembering, concentrating
  • Vomiting
Red Flags Indicating a Medical Emergency: Go to the Emergency Room!
  • Worsening headache
  • Repeated vomiting/nausea
  • Slurred speech
  • Unequal pupils
  • Altered behavior
  • Worsening confusion; unable to recognize people or places
  • Experience loss of consciousness or seizure
  • Weakness or numbness in arms or legs

What to Do?

If you suspect an athlete has a concussion, they should immediately be removed from all activity, especially athletics/sports. It is essential for the athlete to be evaluated by an experienced healthcare professional with training in concussion management.  

To schedule an appointment with the Greensboro Orthopaedics concussion professionals, please call our Concussion Hotline: 336-544-3906

An untreated concussion can result in prolonged symptoms, delaying an athlete’s safe return to play.

Second Impact Syndrome (SIS) occurs when an athlete sustains head injury while still symptomatic from a previous head injury. SIS is of great concern in the pediatric athlete due to the immaturity of the brain. It is also a concern when a concussion is not reported or misdiagnosed. SIS results in cerebral swelling and increased intracranial pressure leading to coma then death. Although SIS is rare it must not be overlooked.

Diagnosis and Treatment

We care for athletes participating across the spectrum of sports & activities; including middle/high school, college, recreational, elite, and professional levels of play. After a complete evaluation & diagnosis of a concussion, our physicians and athletic trainers will provide individualized care, education, and support for optimal recovery and a safe return to play for an athlete. Part of our recovery plan for each patient who has sustained a concussion is to ensure open communication with the athlete, parents, coaches, teachers, and school administration.

Return to Activity

No one should return to play or physical activity while signs or symptoms of a concussion are present. It is recommend that an athlete with a suspected concussion not return to play until he or she has been medically evaluated. This is a requirement in North Carolina (Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act) to protect the safety of student-athletes.

Adam Kendall, MD is a Credentialed ImPACT Consultant, with expertise in neuropsychological testing to aid in sport-related concussion diagnosis and management. Click HERE to learn more about Dr. Kendall.
Greensboro Orthopaedics ImPACT Trained Athletic Trainers:
  • Ami Adams, MS, LAT, ATC
  • Ben Williams, Med, LAT, ATC, OPE-C
  • Bill Coburn, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS
  • Bruce Wolfe, MS, LAT, ATC
  • Richard Eurillo, MHA, LAT, ATC, OPE-C

Educational Resources

NATA

NCHSAA Concussion Awareness