Jefferson University Hospitals

Concussions & Head Injuries

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If you or a loved one sustains a serious head injury such as a concussion, skull fracture or intracranial hematoma (ICH), you can be assured of receiving prompt, expert care from diagnosis through rehabilitation from the physicians and therapists at Jefferson Health.

Combining our staff's individual strengths and expertise in neurology, orthopedics, sports medicine, physical medicine & rehabilitation including physical and occupational therapy, neuropsychology, psychiatry and neuro-ophthalmology enables us to detect and treat mild, moderate or severe concussion with compassion and unparalleled expertise.

Should surgery be necessary, you will have immediate access to some of the most experienced and renowned neurosurgeons in one of the most comprehensive, academic neurosurgical programs in the country.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury caused by a force to the head or direct force to the face, neck or chest that is transmitted to the head, resulting in disrupted brain function. Typical signs and symptoms include physical, cognitive, visual and emotional symptoms such as headaches, amnesia, irritability, slowed reaction times, trouble concentrating and reading, as well as sleep pattern changes.

Those who are not properly treated after sustaining a concussion are more susceptible to delays in recovery, Second Impact Syndrome and/or Post-Concussion Syndrome.

Diagnosis and Testing of Concussive Injuries

Our specialists provide diagnosis of mild, moderate or severe concussions. Diagnosis and testing options include:

  • Baseline testing is available to teams each athletic season when patients are asymptomatic, to provide a healthy, pre-concussive marker for comparison in the event of subsequent injury.
  • ImPACT® (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is a computerized concussion evaluation system that helps our physicians determine treatment management and safe return-to-classroom and return-to-play decisions for injured athletes.
  • Balance Testing is a balance test used to establish balance and vestibular deficiencies and aides in setting up an individual therapy program.
  • Neuropsychological testing is available to discern potential neurologic conditions responsible for unusually prolonged recovery in some patients. Such conditions include epilepsy, dementia, stroke, multiple sclerosis and ADD as well as head injury.
  • Vestibular therapy is physical and/or occupational therapy for athletes with concussion that enables patients to ease back into activities, including athletics, school work and other aspects of their lives, at a gradual pace that limits the risk of reoccurrence of symptoms as their brains continue to heal.
  • Vision Therapy is provided by experienced occupational professionals who provide exercise programs targeted at eye tracking, convergence and cognitive endurance.
  • Graduated return-to-classroom, sport and activity protocols are used to coordinate with school athletic trainers, administrators and nurses to ensure that patients resume academics and athletics at a safe and responsible pace.

Concussions in Young Athletes

According to the Pennsylvania Safety in Youth Sports Act, school athletes who have sustained a concussion must be evaluated beyond emergency care. Athletes may not return to school and resume athletic activity until they have been medically cleared.  Jefferson Health has the necessary technology and expertise to evaluate kids and make sure it is safe for them to return to the field.

Concussive Injuries Treatment in Philadelphia

Jefferson Health patients range from athletes, members of the community or school teams and individuals who play recreational sports, to people injured in automobile, household, occupational or other non-sports related mishaps.

We can also help individuals with visual field disturbances, trouble reading, and headaches while focusing on text or other ocular eye problems that originate or are exacerbated due to concussion.

Our treatment methods include:

  • Step-by-step treatment plan coordinated with schools, athletic trainers, coaches and parents
  • Vestibular therapy
  • Exertional rehabilitation
  • Cognitive rehabilitation
  • Occupational and physical therapy
  • Treatment with a psychiatrist for patients requiring care for recurring or chronic side effects of concussion such as anxiety and depression.

Our services enable patients to ease back into activities, including athletics, schoolwork and other aspects of their lives, at a gradual pace that limits the risk of re-occurrence of symptoms as their brains continue to heal.

Make an Appointment

Please call 1-800-JEFF-NOW (1-800-533-3669) to make an appointment with a physician. For an appointment at Jefferson Rehabilitation, please call 215-955-1200.