If you have had a concussion or suspected concussion Dr Tim Low has extensive experience in the diagnosis, management and safe return to sport from a concussion.
Dr Tim Low medically trained in Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine which includes concussion management. As per guidelines for every major sport in Australia a Doctor must give a clearance to a patient to allow them to return to sport.
Concussion is a type of brain injury. Fortunately the majority of concussions are mild and patients make a full recovery with no long term effects. Concussion involves changes to neurological function in a patient. Most patients make a full recovery, usually within 2 weeks. Occasionally patients have prolonged symptoms. Recurrent or poorly managed concussions can increase the risk of long term problems associated with repetitive concussions such as post-concussive syndrome, early dementia and depression.
With concussion there is a lag period between when the patient feels 100% normal again and when their brain has actually recovered, which differs from one individual to the next. That’s why every concussion patient needs to be managed individually.
During your appointment you can expect the following:
History taking where you will be asked several questions related to your head injury. The type of questions you can expect during this consultation include:
- Description of the incident
- Symptoms felt immediately at the time of injury, later that day and in the subsequent days after.
- Previous concussions and how long it took to recover from this concussion
- Occupational or Sporting activities
- Past medical history including any medications.
A cognitive and physical examination involving testing your memory, concentration and balance, and neck and cranial nerve examination if indicated.
Investigations such as a brain CT or MRI scan cannot diagnose a concussion accurately. The only time a CT or MRI brain scan would be ordered would be if a bleed on the brain is suspected or in a complex concussion patient.
A diagnosis with explanation in laymans terms (non-medical language that is easy to understand)
A management plan will then be developed in conjunction with the patient. Management may consist of:
- education of the condition and why it occurred
- advice on what to do and what to avoid making the condition worse
- exercise programs
- guide you safely back to sport with a graduated return to sport or activity programs
- if required referral to another health professional (physio experienced in concussion management)
Quick facts on concussion:
A concussion can occur without being “knocked out”.
A concussion can occur without direct trauma to the head and face.
Everyone recovers at a different rate from a concussion.
The brain of a child and adolescent takes longer to recover from a concussion than an adult on average.
Concussion cannot be diagnosed with a brain scan. A diagnosis is made based on various elements such as symptoms and what other people observe in the concussed patient.
Concussion in professional sport is managed differently to concussion in non-professional sport.
Concussion Screening and Management
Dr Low can perform Concussion screening at the start of the season before a concussion. By having a baseline for memory, concentration and balance, more accurate return to play can occur after a concussion is sustained.
It is recommended you make an appointment with Dr Low as soon as you are injured with a concussion so he can immediately provide you with accurate management to minimise time to get back on the field and prevent any potential long term effects. NO GP REFERRAL REQUIRED.