SPORTS-RELATD HEAD INJURY
Professional Sports Concussion Care is a specialized practice that provides Neuropsychological evaluation and consultation to athletes that have sustained a sports-related head injury. With growing concerns about the effects of concussions on the brain, accurate diagnosis and return-to-play decision-making are critical to an athlete’s long-term health. As neuroimaging (CTI and MRI) is not contributory in the majority of concussive cases, Neuropsychological assessment provides the best window into the brain.
Second opinions are routinely obtained in Sports Medicine, and are especially helpful for athletes who have had multiple concussions or who are concerned about return-to-play safety. Our center specializes in making these recommendations in the best interest of the athlete. As is the case with many orthopedic injuries, athletes travel out of state to obtain a second opinion from a nationally recognized expert. Similarly, athletes travel to see Dr. Kutner to obtain an expert opinion after sustaining a sports-related head injury. We diagnose and treat professional, collegiate, and amateur athletes across various sports including Football, Boxing, Hockey, Rugby, Soccer, Baseball, Basketball, Formula 1, Mixed Martial Arts, and more.
Professional Sports Concussion Care is an independent practice and not part of any large hospital or health-care organization. Therefore, we have the flexibility to incorporate innovative testing procedures and are under no obligation to bring in unneeded testing and treatment to other specialists. Also unlike other clinics, Dr. Kutner does not utilize tests that he sells, endorses, or owns any percentage of. Our selection of assessments is based on a Best-Practice Model.
Professional Sports Concussion Care is led by Dr. Kenneth Kutner, a Board Certified Neuropsychologist with over 25 years of experience evaluating concussion in the NFL.
He has more than two decades of experience working with individuals who have sustained head trauma, ranging from mild concussion to severe brain injury. He specializes in the Neuropsychological evaluation of athletes seeking expert opinion for persisting cognitive problems from repetitive head injury sustained during their career. Dr. Kutner also specializes in the evaluation of individuals with stroke, brain tumor, hypoxia/anoxia, epilepsy, neuro-toxicity, dementia, Parkinson's, and other neurological disorders.
The Return-to-Play decision is a critical issue as sustaining a head injury while still recovering from a concussion can result in long-term health risks. On the other hand, delaying return-to-play when not clinically indicated could needlessly affect reaching contract incentives. Athletes who have sustained a concussion should always return on a graduated basis, beginning with light exertion and systematically increasing activity before returning to full participation in the sport.
For athletes who sustain numerous concussions, the question of when to retire may arise. With concerns of developing dementia, ALS, and CTE, professional athletes and/or their family members frequently have questions about risks to their long-term health if they continue to play. Athletes seeking an expert opinion can undergo a comprehensive Neuropsychological examination at our center and receive a recommendation to help them with the decision-making process.
Collegiate / High School Athletes
Family members of collegiate and high school students frequently have concerns whether a concussion is “one too many.” In other words, is the college or high school athlete at risk for long-term health problems if they continue to participate? At our center, athletes will undergo a thorough evaluation followed by a post-examination consult where test results and return-to-play recommendations will be reviewed in detail.
Additionally, premature return-to-classes after a concussion can result in poor academic performance, which can affect the student’s GPA and potential for collegiate and post-graduate studies. Our center will also determine when and how the athlete should best return to their studies.
Amateur athletes (weekend athletes) should not return-to-work until they are cognitively ready to resume their position. Premature return can result in decreased job performance, which could possibly affect job security. Dr. Kutner will determine if the athlete is cognitively ready to return-to-work and whether this should be on a full-time or gradually increasing basis. In certain cases, we understand that job security and financial factors may require an individual returning to work before they have fully recovered from their concussion. In these instances, we develop a cognitive remediation program and provide instruction in the use of effective compensatory strategies tailored towards your work.
Dr. Kutner performs Neuropsychological evaluation in order to determine etiology (diagnosis) and provide treatment recommendations for brain-related cognitive problems. Neuropsychological testing provides an objective examination of cognitive impairment utilizing a battery of tests, which have been scientifically demonstrated to be reliable as well as valid. Testing determines if impairment in attention/concentration, processing speed, memory, reasoning, language, and visuo-spatial skills have developed. Specifically, Neuropsychological evaluation provides objective documentation of brain impairment and associated cognitive deficits. Testing is also utilized to assist in determining the etiology of impairment. In many cases (i.e. Post-concussion Syndrome), Neuropsychological testing documents brain damage when other neurological methods, such as neuroimaging and EEG, are not sensitive enough to discern brain dysfunction.
Testing at our center consists of a comprehensive Neuropsychological examination. Professional Sports Concussion Care is unique in that our assessment provides significantly more diagnostic information than other centers that utilize brief 30-minute computerized tests, which are at best, only a screening device. Following the Neuropsychological evaluation, an individualized recommendation and treatment plan is developed. In some cases, athletes may require treatment for headaches, imbalance, and visual disturbance. In these cases, athletes will be referred to local physicians who specialize in neurology, ophthalmology, and physical therapy.
"Neuropsychological evaluation is critical to the decision-making process for return-to-play and concussion management. Seeking an opinion by an expert can help athletes return-to-play safely, reduce the risk of post-concussion syndrome, and extend career playing time."
Dr. Kenneth Kutner