Beating Bell-ringers

A jolt. A ding. A slam. A crash. Blows to the body can be pain enough, but when they cause concussions, people can struggle for weeks to overcome the resulting brain trauma. Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine Concussion Centers provide specialty concussion care to prevent long-term complications.

After a concussion, people often experience headaches, struggle to concentrate, and have trouble recalling information. Recovery takes longer in younger individuals, and middle and high school students are more likely than adults to be involved in sports that cause concussions, particularly football or girls’ soccer, so the Ben Hogan Sports Medicine Concussion Centers focus on student-athletes.

“Ten years ago, the medical world knew far less about concussions than it knows today, so adolescents who suffered concussions would return to normal activities before they were ready, complicating their recoveries,” says Ken Locker, athletic trainer with Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine. “Now we know that kids need more rest and time for the brain to recalibrate.”

The Ben Hogan Sports Medicine Concussion Centers provide ImPACT™ (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) analysis, a web based evaluation tool that compares mental function after a sports concussion. Athletic trainers and team physicians administer a baseline test to student-athletes at the beginning of a season so when numbers are compared after an injury, they correspond to individual responses. This is a preferred method rather than using national averages.

The ImPACT™ test takes intellect out of the game and focuses on reaction time, evaluating processing speed to within 1/100th of a second. Administrators can evaluate changes in attention span, non-verbal problem-solving skills, and responses to simple questions, providing physicians with a solid basis for prescribing therapy.

“When we find that student athletes have had concussions, we take them out of school and try to keep them away from any mental or physical stimulation, athletics, academics, and electronics that might slow recovery,” said Damond Blueitt, M.D., primary care sports medicine physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Fort Worth Hospital. “We develop plans for academic and athletic reintegration and keep a close watch on the students so we can get them back to school and onto the field when their brains are truly ready.”

Visit TexasHealth.org/BenHogan to learn about our concussion management programs.

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