Children's Hospital Colorado

Approaching Concussions in Children's Primary Care (S1:E2)

Concussion care is evolving as grading scales are no longer used and new guidelines advise when student athletes should return to play.

Primary care physicians (PCPs) can expect to see cases of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) in their office, most of which are treatable without additional medical expertise. PCPs can help patients manage their concussion symptoms and expect to see most cases resolve within a few days.

PCPs also need to look out for concussion comorbidities that may impact recovery, and watch for red flags that indicate the need for specialty care. These include delayed recovery or a high number of concussions in the patient's history.

Listen to our pediatric concussion expert discuss MTBI treatment in the primary care physician's office

Among the most common cases of MTBI are pediatric concussions in sports. Time away from sports can be frustrating for athletes, their parents and coaches. The timing may also coincide with school testing or other stressful events. Physicians need to work with children, their families and their support systems on when to return young athletes to play and to the classroom.

In this episode, Julie Wilson, MD, joins us to discuss the signs of concussion, options for concussion treatment and what to expect during concussion recovery.

Dr. Wilson is co-director of the Concussion Program at Children's Hospital Colorado and assistant professor of orthopedics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

In this episode, Dr. Wilson discusses:

  • The signs and symptoms of concussion in children and adolescents
  • Why grading scales are no longer used for concussions
  • Comorbidities that can impact concussion recovery
  • How long a patient needs to rest after a concussion
  • "Return to play" concussion protocol and why it's important
  • Addressing parent concerns in a treatment plan
  • The correlation between concussion rates and sports
  • Addressing the whole patient when treating for a concussion
  • Red flags in concussion treatment
  • When to worry about multiple concussions
  • Current treatment options for concussion management

Concussion care at Children's Colorado

Sometimes kids and teens need specialty care to help resolve their concussion symptoms and get them back to their regular activities. Our Concussion Program brings together experts in neuropsychology, psychology, physical therapy and more to provide comprehensive care for families navigating concussion recovery. Refer a patient to Children's Colorado.

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