Last week, Huddle hosted an Ask Me session on concussions with Cody Sasek, PA-C, ATC, assistant professor in the Division of PA Education at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and formerly a practitioner at the Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Clinic of Kansas City, where he provided care to weekend warriors and competitive athletes, including the Kansas City Chiefs.
“As medical professionals, we have to ask: What is an acceptable level of risk?” Sasek asked. “As our knowledge and awareness of concussion pathology has improved, there are increasingly challenging questions of risk versus benefit for the medical community to consider. Navigating concussion prevention, evaluation and management is a difficult but important conversation.”
Questions touched on return to activity protocols, approaches to dealing with concussions in minors and educating parents and the importance of not missing post-concussive symptoms. Here are the top 5 things we learned from this Ask Me:
5. The management of a concussion is always a moving target. Even the best developed treatment plan often needs to be modified based on a patient’s symptoms. Sometimes it is one step forward, two back, three forward over a period of time before complete resolution.
4. A concussed patient should take a conservative approach before returning to activities. Those activities that are most demanding or dangerous should only be reintroduced after the patient demonstrates an ability to return to lower levels of activity asymptomatically.
3. Diagnosis and treatment of concussions are highly individual to each patient. Sasek emphasizes, “The best advice is to carefully evaluate each patient, tailoring the treatment and management plan to their specific issues and problems.”
2. When working with student athletes Sasek advises, “Return to learn must come first. A team approach with medical providers, parents, teachers, and administrators, with the patient is crucial.”
1. Concussion and post-concussion syndrome have real long lasting effects on the brain functioning of patients. Check out this real life patient example.
To view the full discussion, visit Huddle and expect a new Ask Me session in the coming months.