Home > Services > Centers of Excellence > Center for Bone & Joint Health > Sports Medicine > Concussion Management print

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a disturbance in brain function that occurs following either a blow to the head or as a result of the violent shaking of the head. All concussions are serious. Recognition and proper response to concussions when they first occur can help prevent further injury or even death. 



Management & Treatment of Concussions

Once a concussion is identified, there are several steps to follow to promote healing.

  • Removal from activity and all exercise.
  • Athlete will take ImPACT within three days of injury.
  • No activity until cleared by physician.
  • Limited or no texting, computer or video games.
  • Driving may be restricted.
  • Avoid over stimulating activity (theme parks, movie theaters, concerts, etc.).
  • No headache medications unless advised by a physician.
  • School attendance and activity may need to be modified.

Click here to read Wisconsin's State Statute that governs concussions and head injuries.

How Do I Know If I Have a Concussion?

Signs & Symptoms

  • Headache
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Balance issues or dizziness
  • Double or fuzzy vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish or “in a fog”
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Concentration or memory concerns
  • Forgets instructions
  • Can’t remember plays
  • Doesn’t know what happened

Post Concussion Symptoms

  • Chronic headaches and/or headaches that increase throughout the day
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Personality changes (e.g. increased irritability, emotionality)
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Dizziness when standing quickly
  • Deficits in short-term memory, problem solving and general academic functioning

Concussion Myth versus Fact

Myth: A bruise to the brain.

Fact: A metabolic imbalance or dysfunction of the brain.

Myth: Person has to lose consciousness.

Fact: Ninety percent of concussions don’t lose consciousness.

Myth: Have to have a headache.

Fact: Multi-symptom injury that varies person to person.

Myth: You have to get hit hard.

Fact: Not just from “big hits;” a “bell-ringer or ding” is a concussion. It can occur from seemingly minor contact.

Myth: A CT Scan will show a concussion.

Fact: A concussion will not show up on CT Scan.

Myth: I feel fine, why can’t I play?

Fact: Brain function can be impaired even though you don’t present with physical symptoms. It is at this time when the brain is at increased risk for further or more serious injury.

What is ImPACT?

ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is the first, most-widely used, and most-scientifically validated computerized concussion evaluation system. ImPACT obtains objective data that measures how the brain is functioning and does not rely solely on how the athlete is feeling. The athlete may be symptom free and still be impaired.

It is used by every National Football League, National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer team and even the World Wrestling Entertainment and Cirque de Soleil. Additionally, more than 1,000 colleges and universities and more than 3,000 high schools also use ImPACT.

ImPACT is a neurocognitive test that measures six different functions of the brain. A baseline test should be taken prior to engagement in athletics. Then, should a brain injury occur, the athlete takes the ImPACT test again, to see if they are back to their baseline. ImPACT results can also be used to determine if the athlete needs to be withheld from school or seek further treatment.

Agnesian HealthCare provides ImPACT pre- and post-tests to all area athletes.

ImPACT Myth versus Fact

Myth: I will fail because I am not smart.

Fact: ImPACT is not an IQ or test of intelligence.

Myth: If I do bad on my baseline, I will get cleared faster.

Fact: Test is designed to flag inconsistent results, which means the baseline may not be used in determining return to play.

Myth: I will get cleared faster if I don’t have a baseline.

Fact: ImPACT can be used without a baseline test, but provider compares athlete to national norms for age and gender, which may cause them to be more cautious when determining return to play.

Return-to-Play Criteria

  • Athlete must be symptom free for 24 hours.
  • Pass exertion/exercise test administer by a licensed athletic trainer.
  • Take ImPACT test as advised.
  • Must be cleared by physician to return to play.
  • When cleared, athlete will participate in a gradual exercise progression over several days back to full activity. 

Who can I see to manage a concussion?

We have a team of physicians, nurse practitioners and athletic trainers that have specialty training in concussion management. 

Fond du Lac Regional Clinic - St. Agnes Hospital

Dr. Lisa Weber – Family Medicine                          (920) 926-8200

Dr. Gina Everson – Family Medicine                          (920) 926-8200

Dr. Warren Post – Pediatrics                                    (920) 926-8424

Fond du Lac Regional Clinic – West

Julie Schneider, APNP, Family Medicine                         (920) 929-7490

Deborah Vande Zande, APNP, Family Medicine                (920) 929-7490

Fond du Lac Regional Clinic – Mayville

Dr. Beth Collister, Family Medicine                                            (920) 387-7500

Fond du Lac Regional Clinic – Ripon

Dr. Richard Gauthier, Family Medicine                                   (920) 745-3180

Dr. James Wallace, Family Medicine                                        (920) 745-3180

Fond du Lac Regional Clinic – Waupun

Dr. Robert Nagle, Family Medicine                                          (920) 324-6800

Fond du Lac Regional Clinic – Markesan

Amanda Dickerson, APNP, Family Medicine                        (920) 398-2406



Concussion Prevention

Heads Up Concussion in high school sports.

Learn More »

Visit our on-line health library

Searching for information on a medical condition or disease?  Visit our on-line health library!

Learn More »

Video: Unsung heroes of sports medicine

A collection of surgeons, athletic directors, and physicians tell why an athletic trainer is critical to keeping physically active people safe.

Learn More »