Concussion Care For Young Athletes

Sports Concussions

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of brain injury typically caused by a bump to the head, or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to be jolted. When this happens, tissues change shape, which can damage or stretch the brain cells and cause chemical and metabolic changes within the brain cells. This can make it difficult for brain cells to function and communicate properly.

Concussions and Sports

One of the most common ways children and adolescents get concussions is through sports injuries. Young athletes' brains are still developing, thus they may be at higher risk for the effects of a concussion. The way in which the injury happens may be very important in predicting how serious the injury will be. Although concussions are not usually life-threatening, they should be taken seriously and reported immediately to a medical professional.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms may include headache, confusion, lack of coordination, memory loss, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, ringing in the ears, sleepiness, and excessive fatigue.

KOC Concussion Care Team

Knoxville Orthopaedic Clinic's staff of certified athletic trainers are often the first healthcare providers to identify and evaluate those with a possible concussion. KOC provides these licensed medical professionals to area high schools to help keep student athletes safe and healthy. This outreach endeavor allows coaches and players the benefit of having a valuable part of the KOC Concussion Care Team available during school, at practices, and on the sidelines of the games.


Athletic trainers work very closely with KOC's sports medicine physicians. Knoxville Orthopaedic Clinic has two ImPACT certified concussion care providers, Dr. Joshua Johnson and Dr. Amber Luhn. ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is a neurocognitive assessment administered online in a controlled environment. ImPACT has two components, baseline testing and post-injury testing, which are used in conjunction to determine if a patient can safely return to an activity.

Dr. Johnson and Dr. Luhn

Physical therapists are another important part of KOC's Concussion Care Team. With a rehabilitation facility located in the same building as most of our physicians’ offices, OrthoTennessee Therapy provides convenient, patient-friendly services for injured athletes. Sports-related concussion injuries respond to physical therapy in the same way as other sports-related injuries. OrthoTennessee Therapy's concussion program helps get players back in the game.

Helpful Resources