UTMB provides diagnosis and care for concussion and other mild traumatic brain injuries, including follow-up evaluation to
monitor any subtle problems that may occur in the weeks following the injury.
A concussion is the most common type of mild traumatic brain injury. No two concussions are the same and individuals may have some of the symptoms but not all of them. Symptoms may not show up immediately; they may be noticed a few hours or days later.
Symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury include loss of consciousness that is very brief, usually a few seconds or minutes; however, loss of consciousness does not have to occur—the person may be dazed or confused.
Patients with mild to moderate injuries may receive skull and neck X-rays to check for bone fractures or spinal
instability, although testing or scans of the brain sometimes appear normal.
A mild traumatic brain injury is diagnosed only when there is a change in the mental status at the time of injury—the person is dazed, confused, or loses consciousness. The change in mental status indicates that the person’s brain functioning has been altered, this is called a concussion. Most people with a concussion recover quickly and fully; however, symptoms can last for days, weeks or longer.
Concussions result from many types of incidents, but unique issues arise from sports-related concussions because decisions need to be made about safe return to practice and competition after a period of recovery.
For further reading on the prevention of sports-related concussions can be found at www.sportsconcussions.com.