RCautilli_7531F4x5A concussion is a brain injury sustained during a blow to the head. Symptoms can include, headache, lack of concentration, nausea, vomiting and changes in personality. Dr. Richard Cautilli Junior, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at St. Mary Medical Center, says we’re hearing more about concussions, because there is now more reporting of the injury.

He says it’s important to fully recover from a concussion to avoid permanent damage. To heal, a patient must avoid stimulation such as video games, school, work and athletics. The length of time needed to heal can be weeks to months. Dr. Cautilli says younger patients take longer, because their brains are still growing and take longer to mend.

Dr. Cautilli urges parents to keep a close watch on their children when playing sports. Any time a hit to the head takes place and there is a change in personality, seek medical attention. A doctor will be able to determine a diagnosis and make sure no other brain injury has occurred. And remember, recovering from a concussion takes time and can’t be rushed.