Sports Medicine

Concussion Diagnosis

Our Pediatric Sports Medicine team discusses Concussion Diagnosis.

Patrick Mularoni, MD

A concussion is caused by a blow to the head or a sudden movement of the head. The symptoms are usually immediate and often involve headache, "foggy" type feeling, loss of balance, and emotional lability. If a player has been injured and complains of concussion type symptoms, he or she should be watched very closely and should not be left alone over the first few hours following the injury. The athlete should be observed for declining mental status, persistent vomiting, a worsening headache, difficulty with vision or any abnormality in their ability to walk or communicate.

Concussion diagnosis is made through clinical evaluation and supported assessment tools administered by a physician or designate (often an athletic trainer). The clinical evaluation will assess the symptoms and the patient's balance, coordination and memory. All players with a suspected concussion should be removed from the game and should not return until they are evaluated by a physician who is comfortable treating concussion.

The physician will determine the appropriate timeline for the athlete to return to school and then return to sport.

At the AllSports Medicine Concussion Clinic, we use ImPACT testing. ImPACT testing is a computerized neurocognitive test that helps by providing objective data, helping us tofurther evaluate a concussed athlete's injury. We have expertise in the evaluation of pediatric concussion and are the only sports medicine program in the Tampa Bay area solely dedicated to the care of young athletes. Our goal is to get you back to the game as quickly and safely as possible.

To learn more about the features of a concussion, see our Concussion Guidelines.