Vail-Summit Orthopaedics introduces ImPACT exam to evaluate concussions
EDWARDS — Vail-Summit Orthopaedics and Dr. Ernest Braxton, neurosurgeon, have launched a program for student-athletes to assist team physicians and athletic trainers in evaluating and treating head injuries (e.g., concussions).
In order to better manage concussions sustained by student-athletes, Vail-Summit Orthopaedics has acquired a software tool called ImPACT (immediate post-concussion assessment and cognitive testing). ImPACT is a computerized exam utilized in professional, collegiate and high school sports programs across the country to successfully diagnose and manage concussions.
If an athlete is believed to have suffered a head injury, ImPACT is used to help determine the severity of the head injury and to determine when the injury has fully healed.
“ImPACT testing is a game changer because it allows for a reproducible objective measurement of cognitive dysfunction and recovery after a head injury,” Braxton said. “I recommend all athletes involved in contact sports have a baseline test before the start of the season.”
The computerized evaluation is given to athletes before beginning contact sports practice or competition. This noninvasive test is set up in video game format and takes 20 to 30 minutes to complete. Questions assess neurological function and can include areas such as reaction time, memory, concentration, cognitive speed and vision.
If a concussion is suspected, the athlete will be required to retake the test. Braxton reviews both the preseason and post-injury test data to help evaluate the injury.
“Vail-Summit Orthopaedics is able to design a personalized return-to-play program for each individual athlete utilizing data from the ImPACT software,” said Greg Schlossinger, athletic trainer and concussion specialist for Vail-Summit Orthopaedics. “I’m excited to introduce this program to the community to keep our athletes safe.”