Author(s): Mark E Halstead, Kevin D Walter
Sport-related concussion is a “hot topic” in the media and in medicine. It is a common injury that is likely underreported by pediatric and adolescent athletes. Football has the highest incidence of concussion, but girls have higher concussion rates than boys do in similar sports. A clear understanding of the definition, signs, and symptoms of concussion is necessary to recognize it and rule out more severe intracranial injury. Concussion can cause symptoms that interfere with school, social and family relationships, and participation in sports. Recognition and education are paramount, because although proper equipment, sport technique, and adherence to rules of the sport may decrease the incidence or severity of concussions, nothing has been shown to prevent them. Appropriate management is essential for reducing the risk of long-term symptoms and complications. Cognitive and physical rest is the mainstay of management after diagnosis, and neuropsychological testing is a helpful tool in the management of concussion. Return to sport should be accomplished by using a progressive exercise program while evaluating for any return of signs or symptoms. This report serves as a basis for understanding the diagnosis and management of concussion in children and adolescent athletes.