Concussion

Etiology

  • Head trauma
  • Magnitude of insult varies
  • Can be single event or multiple/recurrent

Risk Factors

  • Male > female
  • Most common in childhood and older adults
  • Falls, motor vehicle accidents, sports, work related, military conflict
  • Prior concussion increases risk future concussion

Symptoms

  • Acute (up to 72h after event): headache, N, V, light and noise sensitivity, balance problems, visual disturbances, confusion, amnesia, feeling slowed
  • Sub-acute/chronic (days-to-weeks-to-months): persistent low grade headache, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, balance problems, dizziness, sound and light sensitivity, anxiety and depression, sleep problems, vision tracking problems, irritability, memory problems, problems reading
  • Vast majority fully recover within days to weeks

Physical Exam Findings

  • Exam findings are non-specific
  • May have loss of consciousness and/or confusion
  • Sometimes difficulty with smooth tracking w/eyes
  • Sometimes difficulty w/balance
  • Assess for injury to other areas of body (e.g. soft tissue/boney trauma, c spine injury, other) that might occur w/trauma