Multidisciplinary Approach to Concussion Care
The comprehensive, collaborative efforts of the Cooper Bone and Joint Institute, Cooper Neurological Institute and Cooper Children’s Regional Hospital bring together adult and pediatric experts from a wide range of specialties to create individualized treatment plans for each concussion patient including:
- Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics.
- Trauma and Emergency Medicine.
- Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
- Nursing and Social Work.
- Sports Psychology.
- Physical Therapy.
- Accurate Diagnosis.
For children or athletes with direct trauma to the head, obvious signs of injury or suspected issues, the treatment team will perform a full neurological, cognitive, and physical evaluation. If neuro-imaging is necessary, Cooper University Health Care has state-of-the-art facilities including the latest technologies in EEG, CT, and MRI scanning.
Components of Care
The components of Cooper’s Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury Program are specific to each patient and severity of injury, but overall are aimed at restoring, enhancing, and supporting the patient’s quality of life. Our physicians collaborate seamlessly with school educators, guidance counselors, nursing staff, and school administrators to ensure accommodations are made for students returning to the classroom. And, if the concussion was sports-related, our team includes athletic trainers who are specially trained to work with the patient on proper return-to-classroom and return-to-play guidelines.
Return to the Classroom Guidelines
Our concussion specialists will work with a student’s parent, teachers, and health professionals to create a safe plan to return him or her to the classroom.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is not necessary for a child to be 100 percent symptom-free before returning to school. When concussion symptoms have lessened and are tolerable for up to 30 to 45 minutes, a child should return to school. This will usually happen within a few days/within the first week of the concussion.
Return to Play Guidelines
Our sports medicine physicians will construct a safe and progressive return-to-play program for the athletic patient once he or she:
- Is asymptomatic.
- Passes physical and neurological exams.
- Returns to baseline ImPACT scores if available.
Our physicians are happy to work with the patient’s athletic trainers in the implementation of this program. The goal of the physicians at the Cooper Bone and Joint Institute is to work with each patient on an individual basis and consult parents and coaches to help assure a safe return to all athletic activities. Prevention of recurrent head injuries is stressed through education by our sports medicine specialists.