Concussion and Acquired Brain Injury

The Norton Children’s board-certified neurosurgical team is led by Thomas M. Moriarity, M.D., Ph.D., a recognized leader in the field with extensive experience and specialized training.

Our specialized physicians in Louisville and Southern Indiana have the sophisticated tools and  skills to give you and your child a precise diagnosis and a treatment plan for concussion that minimizes risk, so your child can get back to being a kid again.

What Is a Concussion?

A concussion is an acquired brain injury, also called a traumatic brain injury, that results from the sudden, rapid movement of the brain back and forth in the skull. It can be caused by a bump or blow to the head, or by a hit to the body that results in the head and brain. This shaking or rattling of the brain stretches and damages brain cells, creating chemical changes in the brain that affect the mind and body.

Concussions can be classified as mild or severe, but all are serious and need professional medical help.

Download the Concussion Recovery Book for Families

Concussion Symptoms: What to Look For?

  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Confusion or dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates nearly 4 million sports-related concussions occur every year in the United States, many of which involve kids and young teens. Sports and athletics are a focal point of many conversations about concussions. However, mild acquired brain injuries can occur in a variety of nonsports activities as well. Experts believe millions of concussions go untreated because people do not know the signs.

What To Do for a Concussion

Concussions and other acquired brain injuries always should be taken seriously. You should not self-diagnose or treat a suspected concussion, as there are many myths and misconceptions. Medical professionals at Norton Children’s Hospital will perform a thorough examination and physical to determine whether your child has had a concussion, and they will walk you through the treatment process.

Concussion Treatment

Surgery typically is not required to treat concussions. However, neurosurgeons’ experience with severe brain injuries makes them good consultants on brain imaging and other processes related to diagnosing and treating.

Collaboration and multidisciplinary teams are core components of the entire Norton Healthcare system, which means your child has a wealth of resources available to them. The Norton Healthcare system includes Norton Sports Health, which alongside Norton Neuroscience Institute developed the Norton Neuroscience Institute Sports Neurology Center focused on protecting and treating young athletes.

Where to Go for Acquired Brain Injury Surgery

In 1988, Norton Children’s Hospital became Kentucky’s first Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center. Today, we are still the local area’s only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center. If your child has an acquired brain or spinal injury, our dedicated team will be with you from diagnosis to treatment.

Injuries to the brain and spinal cord can vary dramatically, but we approach every case with passion and proficiency. We are nationally recognized as one of the country’s best pediatric hospitals for a reason. Our multidisciplinary approach ensures your child gets a customized treatment plan, and we do our best to help you understand why we are recommending the care plan we present to you.

Why Norton Children’s Neurosciences?

  • The Norton Children’s Hospital Comprehensive Epilepsy Center is a Level 4 epilepsy center, the highest rating available from the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. Norton Children’s Hospital has held this designation since 2013.
  • We are the first in Kentucky and among first in the nation to use neurostimulation in a pediatric patient.
  • Regional neurology care is available for children across Kentucky and Southern Indiana. We travel to clinics in Bowling Green, Campbellsville, Corbin, Elizabethtown, Frankfort, Owensboro and Paducah, Kentucky; and Evansville, Indiana. We also perform a number of telemedicine visits each week.
  • The specialists with Norton Children’s Neurosciences use state-of-the-art technology to treat epilepsy, uncontrollable seizures and deep brain tumors in children who in the past would not be candidates for surgery, including:
    • Visualase: Technology that allows neurosurgeons to perform MRI-guided laser ablation surgery. Fewer than two dozen pediatric hospitals in the U.S. offer this technology.
    • Surgical Theater: Virtual reality (VR) technology that creates an immersive 3D view of a patient’s brain, allowing neurosurgeons, the patient and family to see inside the skull and brain to get a greater understanding of the condition and impact of potential procedures. Norton Children’s Hospital is the first hospital in the region to use this technology.
  • Dedicated multidisciplinary clinics for brain tumors, traumatic brain injuries, spina bifida, craniofacial injuries and disorders, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, spasticity, headache/migraine, autism and neurocutaneous disorders.
  • Our multidisciplinary craniofacial program was the first established in the Midwest.
  • We offer a neurogenetics clinic to evaluate and treat children with neurogenetic syndromes.
  • We have a neuropsychology program that specializes in the evaluation of children and teens with a variety of neurological, neurodevelopmental and medical conditions, including brain tumors and epilepsy.
  • Outpatient neurology facilities in downtown Louisville are equipped with in-office electroencephalography (EEG) capabilities and laboratory services in the same building, creating a streamlined, family-centered environment.
  • We offer the region’s first clinic to treat children with immune-mediated neurologic disorders.
Neuroscience

Norton Children’s Neuroscience Institute

Connect with the Norton Children’s neurology team
(502) 588-3650

Connect with the Norton Children’s neurosurgery team
(502) 583-1697

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