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Concussion Baseline Testing: Preventative Medicine for Athletes

Creating a Fingerprint of the Brain

  • Baseline testing measures your brain function in a healthy state. This computerized test measures memory, attention span, and visual and verbal problem solving. Neurocognitive testing, like the ImPACT baseline test used by the Orthopedic Performance Institutem is the cornerstone of modern concussion management used by high schools, professional teams, universities, and clinical centers.
  • While concussions aren’t preventable, baseline testing is a great way to be prepared if a concussion ever happens. If you have an injury, the Orthopedic Performance Institute, or other healthcare provider, can compare a post-injury test to the patient’s baseline test and determine the extent of concussion for treatment and evaluate a safe return to activity. Objective data will help evaluate reaction time, memory capacity, speed of mental processing, and executive functioning of the brain.
  • As preventative medicine, an annual concussion baseline test is recommended to ensure an up-to-date record of a patient’s normal functioning.
  • Baseline evaluations take about an hour in office and include the following:
  1. Physical exam and review of personal history.
  2. Vestibular/Ocular-Motor (VOMS) screening to indicate balance dysfunction.
  3. ImPACT neurocognitive computerized test. This test is timed and takes about 20 minutes to complete.
  • $50 is charged for each concussion baseline screening. They are not covered by insurance.

Post-Injury Concussion Treatment

Our concussion treatment plan is part of a multidisciplinary approach for balanced care and treatment, and includes:

  • Physical exam and review of personal history.
  • Vestibular/Ocular-Motor (VOMS) screening to indicate balance dysfunction and, if necessary, needed referral to specialist for more detailed assessment and management.
  • ImPACT baseline computerized neurocognitive test to measure visual and verbal memory, reaction time, and processing speed. It takes 20 minutes and gives providers objective data to evaluate a patient’s post-injury condition and aids in tracking recovery.
  • If the patient has already taken a baseline test elsewhere, then the post-injury test results will be compared to the baseline scores and or/normative data.

Fees for concussion treatment are usually covered by insurance without additional cost to the patient. Claims will be submitted to insurance by the Orthopedic Performance Institute.

When treatment for a concussion becomes necessary, call (210) 545-7171, ext. 404 for a STAT appointment with Dr. Alexandra Matthews.

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