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Medstar Health Monday - Week 18

Concussions 101

Many people have heard of concussions, but not many people understand what a concussion really is. Don’t worry,
that’s what sports medicine professionals, like athletic trainers and physicians, are for. Concussions are very
complicated but essentially, it is a bruise to your brain. What makes diagnosing concussions difficult is that you
can’t see it and doctors can’t see it on an X-ray, MRI, or blood test. Concussions can happen if you bump heads
with another player, get hit with a hard shot, or run into the goalpost, but they can also happen even if you don’t get
hit in the head! A hard fall or a car accident can shake your brain inside your skull and result in a concussion as
well. When you get a concussion you might have headaches, feel really tired, or have problems with your memory.
You might have some blurry vision, or lights and sound might bother you. It’s important if you get hit or have an
injury and you don’t feel right that you stop playing and let someone know. Your brain could be hurt and if you get
hit AGAIN that could be even worse. If you suspect you have a concussion, you should go to your primary care
doctor or a concussion specialist to be evaluated as soon as possible. You do not need to go to the emergency
room or an urgent care unless you are experiencing confusion, memory loss, slurring your words, repetitive
vomiting, or the worst headache of your life. Each concussion is a little different, just like snowflakes, and your
doctor will make your treatment plan specific for your concussion. In general, it takes two weeks for your brain to
heal, but may take longer. You should avoid too much activity, like watching television, using your cell phone, or
being in loud places as they can make symptoms worse. It’s also important to notify your teachers because
concussions can affect your ability to perform in school. Before you return to sports, a doctor should provide you
with written clearance. Look out for yourself and your teammates! If you don’t feel right or your friend is acting
funny after they get hit, it’s always safer to come out of the game than to risk damaging your brain!

Click here for a video regarding signs and symptoms of concussions.

Baltimore Union Sports Medicine Team

Union Sports Medicine Liaison: Bryan Caplan, DPT, MTC ([email protected])
Athletic Trainer:Amber Radtke, MS, LAT, ATC, NASM-CES ([email protected])
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Jay Dyer, CSCS ([email protected])
Vice President of MedStar Sport Medicine: Sean Huffman
Director of MedStar Sports Medicine Research: Andy Lincoln

Baltimore City (Harbor Hospital)
Physician: Jeffrey Mayer, Leigh Ann Curl
Sports PT: Chadd Baldwin
Concussion PT: Emily Coates

Baltimore County (Franklin Square)
Urgent Care: MedStar Franklin Square ED
Physician: Frank Dawson, David Cohen, Christopher Looze
Sports PT: Ryan Zimmerman
Concussion PT: Michael Ariete, Jana Bille

Baltimore County (Dundalk)
Physician: Kelly Ryan
Sports & Concussion PT: Laura Long

Baltimore County (Timonium)
Urgent Care: MedStar Prompt Care Towson
Physician: Andrew Tucker, Richard Levine, Melita Moore
Sports PT: Chad Keller
Concussion PT: Patrick Miller

Harford County (Bel Air)
Urgent Care: MedStar Prompt Care
Physician: Sean Curtain
Sports PT: Chelsea Mitchell
Concussion PT: Adrienne Nelson
Concussion PT: Tori Palmer

Baltimore County (Perry Hall)
Urgent Care: MedStar Prompt Care
Sports PT: Stephanie Stover
Concussion PT: Mark Musselman

MedStar Sports Medicine is the official medical team for the Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, Baltimore Blast, Washington Spirit, and more than 50 additional professional, collegiate, high school, and club teams.


Amber Radtke

Bryan Caplan
-Physical Therapist

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