Johns Hopkins All Children's Sports Medicine

Concussion in Young Adults

Our Pediatric Sports Medicine team put together these videos to provide information for you.

Concussions are brain injuries caused by a blow to the head or sudden movement of the head. We treat athletes from all types of sports where this injury is possible.

Concussion Symptoms

Symptoms of a concussion usually occur immediately after injury and may include headache, “foggy” feeling, loss of balance and exaggerated changes in mood. In addition, an athlete may experience feeling slowed down, ringing in the ears, sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea or vomiting. Athletes may be disoriented, confused, show a lack of coordination or clumsiness, and may be slow to answer questions.

Athletes with a suspected concussion should be removed from the game immediately and watched over the first few hours for declining mental status, persistent vomiting, a worsening headache, difficulty with vision or any abnormality in their ability to walk or communicate. 

Diagnosing Concussion

The effects of concussion cannot be seen on CT scan or MRI and there does not need to be a loss of consciousness associated with the injury. Concussions are often recognized on the sideline by athletic trainers, coaches, parents or even teammates.

Concussion diagnosis is made through clinical evaluation and assessment tools administered by a physician or athletic trainer. The evaluation looks at symptoms along with the patient’s balance, coordination and memory. We use ImPACT testing, a computerized neurocognitive test, for further assessment. This test helps to identify difficulties with memory, processing and reaction time. Used in conjunction with a thorough physical exam and balance testing, ImPACT is a useful tool in the management of concussion.

Concussion Treatment

Treatment for an athlete with a concussion includes both physical and cognitive rest. Your physician will determine the appropriate timeline for return to school and then return to sport.

Athletes should stop all training until they are symptom free. This decreases both the physical stress on the brain and the risk of a second injury.

When a student-athlete is symptomatic, we ask teachers to limit the volume of schoolwork and ask that testing is avoided whenever possible. We ask students to limit time on computers because eye strain can worsen headaches associated with concussion. Television, texting, and video gaming should be limited as these can also cause stress to the eyes and the brain of a concussed athlete.

With adequate rest, the majority of concussion symptoms will resolve and greater than 80 percent of athletes will be at their baseline in just two weeks.

Request a Consultation

If you’re concerned your child may have a concussion, call 727-76SPORT to schedule an appointment or request an appointment online with our Sports Medicine physicians, who will determine a diagnosis and recommend further treatment.

Meet Our Team

Sarah Irani, M.D. Sports Medicine

Sarah Irani, M.D., has joined All Children’s Specialty Physicians and the Sports Medicine program at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. During her fellowship, she served as part of the physician team providing coverage for athletic teams at the University of South Florida and Eckerd College as well as youth and NCCA events.
View Sarah’s Bio

Philip Mularoni, M.D. Sports Medicine

Dr. Mularoni is a sports medicine physician at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. His current research interests include concussion management and prognosis in patients with mild traumatic brain injuries. He is the chairman of the Medical Emergency Committee and lectures internationally on pediatric emergency and sports related topics.
View Philip’s Bio

Carlos Rodriguez, M.D. Sports Medicine

Dr. Rodriguez is a sports medicine physician at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. He completed a fellowship in Sports Medicine at Bayfront Medical Center.
View Carlos’s Bio

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