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Concussion Assessment and Management

Pre-Concussion Appointments

Call (608) 265-8886 to schedule a pre-concussion baseline test for athletes 12 years old and older, if your school or organization does not offer them.

 

Post-Concussion Appointments

Call (608) 263-8850, after a concussion, to schedule a concussion evaluation with a Sports Medicine Physician.

 

Health Information

Concussion

Contacting UW Health Sports Medicine After Concussion

 

Athletes who have sustained sport-related concussions can call UW Health Sports Medicine at (608) 263-8850 to schedule an appointment with a sports medicine physician for a concussion evaluation.

 

What is a concussion?

 

Concussion refers to a mild traumatic injury to the brain without an associated structural abnormality such as bleeding. It may occur with or without loss of consciousness.

 

While concussions can occur from direct impact, many occur without any contact to the head. A sudden, abrupt stop, such as a fall to the ground or two players running directly into one another without hitting heads, can cause a concussion

 

Concussion Evaluation

 

UW Health Sports Medicine physicians will perform a thorough assessment and guide the athlete toward a safe return to sport. In some cases, physicians may use a brief neuropsychological assessment tool known as an ImPACT test. This test should be considered as one tool in a comprehensive concussion assessment.

 

Ideally, this test would be used to compare the post-concussion ImPACT results against pre-injury test results. This provides objective information to assist the physician in the development of a treatment plan and to ensure the athlete's safety in returning to sport.

 

ImPACT Neurocognitive Assessment

 

ImPACT is a user-friendly computer based testing program specifically designed as a tool in the management of sport related concussion. It records the athlete’s health history, current concussion symptoms and neurocognitive data. This test measures verbal and visual memory, processing speed, and reaction time. The test takes approximately 25 minutes to complete.

 

A large number of sports teams, including the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and the University of Wisconsin Badgers, use ImPACT as part of their concussion assessment.

 

Taking the Baseline Test

 

Athletes should take the baseline test, which evaluates the athlete's reaction time, concentration and memory with a series of questions, prior to head injury. That way, should head injury occur, UW Health Sports Medicine physicians will be able to compare pre-injury and post-injury test results.
 
The minimum age requirement to take the baseline test is 12 years of age. We do not recommend anyone under the age of 12 take the baseline test, as the post-injury test data gathered from athletes younger than 12 is unreliable. In addition, the test can be very challenging for kids younger than 12.
 
If your school or organization does not offer ImPACT baseline tests, the UW Health Sports Medicine Clinic offers athletes the opportunity to take the test. The cost is $20 and can be paid via cash, check or credit card upon arrival at our clinic. To schedule a baseline test with UW Health Sports Medicine, please call (608) 265-8886. Baseline tests are scheduled by appointment only.
 
Treatment

 

Treatment usually involves some components of mental and physical rest along with school accommodations. As the athlete's symptoms improve, the athlete will be guided back to school and exercise on a gradual basis. For patients with more chronic problems following a concussion, our Sports Concussion Rehabilitation Clinic may be helpful.