orthopedics, sports medicine

Learning about concussions

If anyone should know about the danger of concussions, it’s Mike Matheny.

The St. Louis Cardinals manager and former major league catcher had at least 25 of them in a 13-year major league career, according to MLB.com

The last one knocked Matheny out for good after a series of six foul tips deflected off his mask during a three-game period early in the 2006 season for the San Francisco Giants.

Matheny, now 46, has seemingly recovered and is functioning fine as manager of the Cardinals. But he told MLB.com, “I understand that there’s still a chance of repercussions because of all the concussions I’ve had in my career. … I’m hoping that the medical community can continue to gain information to lessen the risk of long-term repercussions from the concussions.”

What is a concussion? It’s a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination.

The number of Americans diagnosed with concussions is growing, most significantly in adolescents, according to researchers at the University of California San Francisco. They recommend that adolescents be prioritized for work in concussion education, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

Concussions can lead to time lost from sports, work and school, as well as significant medical costs.

Though symptoms resolve in most concussion patients within weeks, some symptoms last for months, including depression, headache, dizziness and fogginess. Neuroimaging and neuropathological studies also suggest there may be chronic structural abnormalities in the brain following multiple concussions.

At Signature Medical Group, we take concussions seriously. That’s why our team of specialists stays up to date with the latest techniques used to treat concussions and educate our patient-athletes how to avoid them. Set up an appointment today.