Concussion care for weekend warriors 5/2

By Sports Medicine and Performance Center Staff
Posted: May 8, 2018 - 12:36 PM

Stephanie Garrison is a competitor. The former collegiate soccer player fills her downtime with soccer, softball and sand volleyball

So when an opponent body-checked her into a wall during an indoor soccer game, she took it in stride, rested a few minutes and returned to play.

“I didn’t have any unusual symptoms, so I assumed I was OK,” she said

Two or three days later, Garrison felt the real impact of her injury – persistent headaches and some dizziness. Trips to a family physician and several specialists followed – along with a diagnosis of severe concussion.

Medication and rest didn’t help. Her headache became “the worst I’d ever had,” she said. “I wasn’t sleeping. I had trouble focusing. And I just felt ‘off’.”

Specialized concussion care
She was referred to The University of Kansas Hospital’s Center for Concussion Management and neurologist Michael Rippee, MD.

Dr. Rippee performed a series of tests and isolated the source of her pain. Her neck was injured “when her head whipped around during impact,” he said. “A nerve in the neck, housed in the cervical spinal cord, plays a big role in balance and pain.”

He sent Garrison to the Sports Medicine and Performance Center for physical therapy, which isolated the vertebrae that weren’t moving like they should and increased her range of motion. Treatment included exercises to increase flexibility.

Gradually, she began to see results and later returned to play with a new appreciation for good health.

“I’m still very competitive but know my limits now. I play aggressively but know that it’s just a game.”

The Center for Concussion Management provides a full spectrum of services:

  • Expert patient care
  • Leading-edge research
  • Education for family, trainers and coaches

Learn More about Concussion Management

For more sports medicine articles and information on the Sports Medicine & Performance Center at the University of Kansas Health System, go to or follow @KUSportsMed on twitter.




The University of Kansas Hospital Sports Medicine Archive