How to Tell If You Have a Concussion

Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital’s athletic training staff provides support to many high school teams and at sporting events throughout Southeast Wisconsin. Part of their job is to educate athletes, parents and coaches about injury prevention, including concussions. They also provide on-site care, including evaluation for advanced medical care and help manage follow-up care.

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury, and all concussions are significant. You don’t need to lose consciousness to suffer from a concussion, and you can sustain a concussion without a direct blow to the head.

“Concussions left untreated can cause long-term problems,” said Erin O’Tool, MD, who leads the Concussion Care Network. “It is common for a concussed athlete to have one or many concussion symptoms, some that may evolve and emerge 24–48 hours after the injury occurs.”

Concussion Symptoms


  • Headache
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Balance problems
  • Fatigue
  • Sensitivity to light/noise
  • Numbness


  • Feeling mentally foggy
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Difficulty concentrating

Cognitive (Thinking)

  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • More emotional
  • Nervousness

Sleep Related

  • Drowsiness
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Trouble falling asleep

More Information

If you think you or your child sustained a concussion, seek care by visiting an Emergency Department or request an appointment with our Concussion Care Network.