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At WakeMed, we believe that concussion is a treatable injury. Our goal is to help you or your child return to the activities you love as quickly and safely as possible.
There is no “one size fits all” approach to concussion management. Our team of experts works together to evaluate, manage, and provide individualized treatment to both children and adults.
In some rare instances, an injury that caused a concussion can result in bleeding that can be very dangerous. If you notice any of the following symptoms, please call 911 and go to the nearest Emergency Department right away:
Not all concussion programs are equal. Our comprehensive approach means that we have all the resources you need all in one place.
We are committed to understanding each patient as an individual, to develop a targeted treatment plan specific to your goals and needs. We use the most recent scientific assessment and evaluation tools to provide dynamic and personalized care.
The WakeMed Concussion Program includes an interdisciplinary team of:
We also work closely with other community providers, including Neuro-optometrists and Psychologists.
A concussion is a brain injury and must be treated carefully. It is usually caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, neck, or body, which causes the brain to move around inside the skull. This causes a temporary change in the brain’s functioning, and can lead to a variety of symptoms. Symptoms typically occur immediately, but may develop gradually over time. It is important to remember you don’t have to lose consciousness or even be hit in the head to suffer a concussion.
Recent research has taught us that there are actually different “types” of concussions. Although no two concussions are alike, many common symptoms include:
If you’re experiencing the severe symptoms listed at the top of this page, call 911 or visit the Emergency Department.
If you’ve suffered an injury to the head and think you might have a concussion—or would like to rule one out—we encourage you to make an appointment with one of our concussion experts as soon as possible. The sooner we can see you, the more quickly we can help you recover.
Knowing that concussion is an entirely treatable injury, our goal is to help patients return to school, work, sports and other enjoyable activities as quickly as it is safe to do so. The days of sitting in a dark room over long gone (and may even do more harm than good!), and we take a very active approach to recovery.
Because every person and every injury is different, it makes sense that no two concussions are the same, and we can’t treat them the same. Our concussion experts use the most recent research on evaluation and management of concussions to understand each injury, and each individual. Many of us were former competitive athletes, and we are mindful of the unique pressures faced by student-athletes. We understand the desire to return to play, but we also see the consequences of what happens when concussions are not managed well.
As part of a treatment plan, recommendations may include:
The length that symptoms last can be different for everyone, because it depends not only on the injury itself, but also on a person’s risk factors as well as their approach to recovery.
The good news is that with the right treatment by providers specifically trained in concussion management, most people are able to make a very good recovery. While we like to see patients soon after injury, we are also trained to treat those with long-standing symptoms as well.
Recent research has taught us that the best approach to recovery is a balance between rest and activity. The CDC recommends that at most after 2-3 days of rest, it is important to resume non-risk routine activities.
(Lumba-Brown A, Yeates KO, Sarmiento K, et al. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guideline on the Diagnosis and Management of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Among Children. JAMA Pediatr. 2018;172(11):e182853.)
The best thing you can do to help recovery is keep a very regulated daily schedule, including set bedtime and routine, eating healthy, staying hydrated, and doing your best to manage stress.
We have offices conveniently located at the WakeMed Raleigh Campus, as well as at WakeMed North Hospital. For more information, or to make an appointment with our concussion experts, please call 919-350-7331.
Your appointment will begin with ImPACT, the gold standard and only FDA-approved computerized cognitive assessment tool (and the same one used by the NFL, NHL, and many NCAA athletic departments). Our neuropsychologist completed a 2-year fellowship with the creators of ImPACT and developed a deep understanding of the how it can inform your treatment plan. Once you finish the test (~25-30 minutes), your clinician will conduct a detailed clinical interview, which gives him/her a chance to understand not only your injury, but you as a person. You will then undergo physical and neurological exams to assess balance, as well as vestibular (the system in charge of balance, motion, and dizziness) and ocular (eyes) functioning.
Once the evaluations are done, your clinician will be able to understand not only why you feel the way you do, but also what we can do to get you feeling better. Before you leave, you’ll have a comprehensive treatment plan specific to your needs.
At your appointment, we will also provide concussion education, and work with you to develop a strategy for return to school, work, and exercise. If referrals to other specialists or medication are needed, we’ll take care of that as well. Our program is unique in that we have all the resources you need all in one place. Our team will continue to work with you until you are fully cleared and back to your normal life.
The WakeMed Concussion Program team is committed to educating our community on recent advances in concussion management, and helping to promote safe practices. We would be happy to come speak with your school, team, coaches, athletic trainers, and others. If you are interested in having us speak, please call us at 919-350-7331.
If you have questions about concussions or WakeMed Concussion Program, please email email@example.com. Please note that this is not intended for scheduling purposes. For more information and resources on concussion, visit the Sports Neuropsychology Society.
3000 New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27610