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Concussion Recovery Time?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I suffered a concussion last week playing hockey with my son, what is the typical recovery time before I can get back out skiing? The doctor says the symptoms could last as long as six weeks, I can't wait that long, I'm going through skiing withdrawals! 
post #2 of 15
 Depends on the severity of the concussion. They're one of those things you don't want to rush back from, it can mess you up for life if you do.
I had a minor concussion this summer from playing volleyball. I had to wait 8 days before being active again. Also skiing caries a higher risk of hitting your head hard again than most sports so that could be part of why he is suggesting 6 weeks. You could try to get a second opinion and see what another doctor says, but listen to the doc for the sake of your brain.
post #3 of 15
That is a complex question with not enough information provided.  Was this your first concussion?  How bad was your concussion:  did you get knocked out, get your "bell rung", have a headache, associated nausea and vomiting.  Did you get a CAT scan? 

While I am not a neurologist or neurosurgeon I have read a lot about the subject recently as one of my kids suffered his 2nd concussion in 14 months this past year.  The simple answer is if you are having any residual symptoms whatsoever, don't participate in activities that could cause head trauma, and this includes skiing, until they are completely resolved!
post #4 of 15
Concussions are strange things -- sometimes they seem like almost nothing, sometimes you have problems for months. Recent studies on concussions have been raising a lot of issues on the longterm effects of multiple concussions in the NFL. Here's a good article on it from Malcom Gladwell:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/10/19/091019fa_fact_gladwell?currentPage=all
post #5 of 15
I have had many concussions from motorcycle racing over the last several years.  Each one has had its own recovery time ranging from days to weeks.  Though, speaking with my doctor, he has said return to your normal activities when you feel you are up to it.   So a lot will be based on how you feel, if your balance is all back to normal, etc.   Once you feel 100% I would talk to your Dr and let him/her know what your plans are.  You said the Dr said "symptoms" could last 6 weeks, not that you couldnt ski, but always safe to let the good Dr know your plans.
post #6 of 15

So you're hoping someone on the board will overrule your doctor on this question? Frankly, I'm flattered.

Unfortunately, this is one on which you've got to listen to the doctor. It's my understanding (as mentioned above) that medical advice regarding concussions has become considerably more conservative in recent years, as a result of better understanding of the dangers of multiple concussions and the speed (or lack thereof) of recovery.

It's becoming more common, at least for competitive athletes, to take tests when healthy to establish a "baseline" measurement for mental function, then to do the same tests after a concussion an compare them to the baseline. So far as I know, the result of this has often been the discovery that people are still impaired when they don't think they are (though they may recognize it later).

post #7 of 15
I'd be careful about going back to skiing too quickly. I have had about five concussions (I can't really remember how many, for some reason ;) ) What I have found is : even if you feel ok, your depth percetion, balance and reaction time is messed up for quite a while.  This is not ideal for an activity like skiing. Also, there is always the possibility you could fall and hit your head again and that could cause an even worse injury. Uh, wait a minute, what were we talking about?  
post #8 of 15
You might want to take it easy if you're still dizzy, maybe take a lesson or something instead (been there done that).
Edited by Ghost - 1/5/10 at 3:01pm
post #9 of 15
 1 year.

Unless you don't really care, then tomorrow.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pwdrhnd View Post

That is a complex question with not enough information provided.  Was this your first concussion?  How bad was your concussion:  did you get knocked out, get your "bell rung", have a headache, associated nausea and vomiting.  Did you get a CAT scan?  

 

This is my first concussion, didn't get knocked out, bell was rung hard, bad headache, nausea, dizziness, no vomiting and I passed the sobriety like test in the ER. I had a CAT scan which was negative for bleeders. Doctor has me on an oral steroids, pain killers, anti-nausea meds and muscle relaxers due to neck pain. The doctor told me it could be up to six weeks before these symptoms clear up, but couldn't say for sure. Just trying to get some kind of idea based on real world experience, I really want to get back on the slopes!
post #11 of 15
I had a collision skiing last season where I was briefly knocked unconscious. I was told I was out for less than 10 seconds, and when I came to I wasn't sure what slope I was on - though I wasn't dizzy or anything - just a little shaken. I was wearing a helmet and believe it was shock to my jaw that caused a "dental concussion", as I chipped a tooth in the process. I don't remember being hit as I was downhill of the other skier and didn't see it coming.

A few minutes after coming to, I snapped back into my skis and skied down the hill fine with my friends (I was hit on the headwall of a double black, so I preferred to ski myself to the bottom) and I took a pit stop for one run in the lodge to have a drink of water and see how I felt. I felt fine so I then resumed skiing after meeting my friends back at the lift line. I never thought much about it as I didn't think it was very serious - so I guess my waiting period was only the one run I missed...
post #12 of 15
The Prague guideline is no return to play until you are completely symptom free both at rest and during exertion.  With concussions, following this guideline is really important (more so than for any other injury) because multiple concussions are very, very dangerous - especially repeat concussions before the first one has healed.

Here's a great ppt presentation that goes over some of the recommended return to play guidelines as well as the implications of multiple concussions.

http://www.nyscha.org/files/2008/handouts/friday/FR-7.01%20Recognizing%20&%20Managing%20Concussion%20-%20Rieger.pdf 

And if you're interested, here is an interesting two part story about the long term effects of multiple concussions - mostly about former NFL players.  It's scary stuff.  
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mB1gFXfOZU
Part 2:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbxJgN2Udjg&feature=related

For anyone - if you have the time, I highly suggest you watch these. It's both eye-opening and also very captivating.

Elsbeth
post #13 of 15

Buckwild, the references from Elsbeth are excellent.  The last thing you want is a repeat head injury before fully recovered as this can result in serious injury or even death.  When your symptoms are resolved resume activity slowly to see if you have recurrence of your symptoms.  When you do go back to skiing, wear a helmet!

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
I always wear a helmet when I ski, I should have done so while skating. Lesson learned!
post #15 of 15

Concussion recovery times as has been said can vary greatly depending on the individual situation. The best rule of thumb is to wait until you are symptom free for a couple of weeks post injury. The consequences for brain injury when you aren't completely healed are pretty severe, it's called second impact syndrome. More information on concussion recovery http://www.brainline.org/content/2008/07/concussion-recovery-parents-play-important-role.html especially as it pertains to children. Sorry to dig up an old thread, thought it was a good resource to share.

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