Concussion - what to ask your doctor - adult

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Definition

You had a concussion. This is a mild brain injury. It can affect how your brain works for a while.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your health care provider to help you take care of your concussion.

Alternative Names

What to ask your doctor about concussion - adult; Adult brain injury - what to ask your doctor; Traumatic brain injury - what to ask the doctor

Questions

What types of symptoms or problems will I have?

  • Will I have problems thinking or remembering?
  • Will I have a headache?
  • How long will the symptoms last?
  • Will all the symptoms and problems go away?

Does someone need to stay with me?

  • For how long?
  • Is it OK for me to go to sleep?
  • If I go to sleep, does someone need to wake me up and check on me?

What type of activity can I do?

  • Do I need to stay in bed or lie down?
  • Can I do housework? How about yard work?
  • When can I begin to exercise? When can I start contact sports, such as football or soccer? When can I begin skiing or snowboarding?
  • Can I drive a car or operate other machinery?

When can I go back to work?

  • What should I tell my boss about my concussion?
  • Do I need to take special memory tests to determine if I am fit for work?
  • Can I work a full day?
  • Will I need to rest during the day?

What medicines can I use for pain or headache? Can I use aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), or other similar medicines?

Is it OK to eat? Will I feel sick to my stomach?

When can I drink alcohol?

Do I need a follow-up appointment?

When should I call the doctor?

References

Begaz T. Traumatic brain injury (adult). In: Adams JG, ed. Emergency Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 73.

Giza CC, Kutcher JS, Ashwal S, et al. Summary of evidence-based guideline update: evaluation and management of concussion in sports: report of the Guideline Development Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 2013;80(24):2250-2257. PMID: 23508730 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23508730.

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