SJMC Offers Baseline Concussion Testing for Youth Athlete Safety

sjws-logoSt. John Medical Center is offering a new low-cost baseline balance and neurocognitive assessment for young athletes who participate in a sport with potential for head impact. Offered through Rehabilitation Services, the program collects objective baseline data regarding balance and cognition for the individual. In the event of injury, the athlete will return for post injury testing and complete the same assessments. By comparing the pre and post injury objective data, health professionals can make safer return to play decisions.

“There’s a growing awareness about the damage that can be caused by repetitive blows to the head on the athletic field,” says Pam Lanter, PT, DPT, NCS, Director of Rehabilitation Services. “If your child is injured playing sports, you want to make sure he or she is safe before returning to play, particularly when a head injury is involved.”

Balance is a key indicator of brain functionality and can help determine when it’s safe for your child to return to play following a concussion. Current recommendations from the NCAA® and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA®) have identified balance as one of three assessment pillars – along with a neurocognitive assessment and a symptoms checklist – for making safe return-to-play decisions following a head injury event. This is especially important in sports where pressure to return to play can be significant for injured players.

“Often young athletes return to sport too soon and that puts them at risk for future head injuries. Being able to compare pre and post injury data is of great value when determining return to sport.” says Lanter.

St. John Medical Center is offering young athletes the opportunity to establish a baseline balance and neurocognitve assessment utilizing their NeuroCom balance technology and the ImPact cognition test. Taking this step before injury creates an invaluable reference point for measuring injury impact and provides objective data to help clinicians make safe return-to play decisions if a concussion occurs.

“Using the NeuroCom technology to establish a balance baseline is what sets our program apart from others in the community,” says Lanter.

For a limited time only, the fee for this invaluable assessment will be waived if you schedule your baseline testing before January 31, 2013.



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