The key difference between concussion and contusion is that a contusion is an extravasation of blood beneath the skin or within the viscera while a concussion is a transient period of unconsciousness following a violent blow to the head.
First of all, a concussion happens when a large area of the brain is injured. This means the lesion is more likely a generalized lesion rather than a localized one. But a contusion is usually a localized lesion whose size may vary depending on the volume of blood that has leaked out.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Concussion
3. What is Contusion
4. Similarities Between Concussion and Contusion
5. Side by Side Comparison – Concussion vs Contusion in Tabular Form
What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a transient period of unconsciousness following a violent blow to the head. Following a head injury, a large area of the brain can get damaged, giving rise to the following clinical features.
- A persistent headache during the aftermath of the trauma
- Behavioral changes
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Abnormal speech
- Nausea and vomiting
These manifestations may not be evident immediately after an injury. Because of this reason, it is important to monitor the condition of the patient until the dangerous period passes away. Although a majority of the concussions do not pose any danger to the life, there is no way of identifying them accurately. Therefore, one should take each and every case of concussion seriously.
What is a Contusion?
A contusion or a bruise is an extravasation of blood beneath the skin or within the viscera. They are localized lesions whose severity can vary from none to life-threatening. Contusions are generally painful. Cerebral contusions are particularly dangerous and occur after a trauma most of the time.
Depending on the area of contusion, the patient can have different clinical manifestations. Furthermore, contusions increase the risk of thrombosis and embolism. They can be visualized using a CT scan.
What are the Similarities Between Concussion and Contusion?
- Both conditions can be life-threatening.
What is the Difference Between Concussion and Contusion?
A concussion is a transient period of unconsciousness following a violent blow to the head whereas a contusion is an extravasation of blood beneath the skin or within the viscera. A concussion is usually secondary to a generalized injury to the brain, but contusions are localized lesions most of the time. Moreover, a concussion happens only when the head is traumatized while contusion can occur anywhere in the body.
Summary – Concussion vs Contusion
Both concussions and contusions can be life-threatening conditions although people often tend to ignore their seriousness. Overall, the difference between concussion and contusion depends on the type of injury and the location they occur.
1. Kumar, Parveen J., and Michael L. Clark. Kumar & Clark clinical medicine. Edinburgh: W.B. Saunders, 2009.
1. “Concussion Anatomy” By Max Andrews – Own work. This file was derived from:Concussion mechanics.svg (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Pferdekuss” By Ribelle2289 – Own work (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia