Summit Orthopedics And Bethesda Health East: Partners In Concussion Care
Through our partnership with the Bethesda Health East Concussion Clinic, Summit Orthopedics provides young athletes—and all of our patients—comprehensive concussion care that incorporates prevention, orthopedic sports medicine expertise, and experienced neurological assessment.
The Romans may have been the first to identify concussion as a medical condition, but the dangers of sports-related concussion injuries did not rise to widespread awareness in our country until neuropathologist Bennet Omalu discovered a link between chronic brain injuries and multiple concussions in American football players, and published his findings in 2005. At Summit Orthopedics, our partnership with Bethesda Health East ensures that athletes are treated with comprehensive concussion expertise.
Today, there is higher awareness about potential concussion risks, but there’s also still a lot that we don’t know. Medical research continues as athletic guidelines evolve to protect athletes from head injuries. Sports medicine physician Dr. Jack Skendzel explains how Summit’s partnership with Bethesda’s Concussion Clinic provides both the orthopedic expertise and the neurological knowledge to safely and comprehensively manage concussion injuries.
“Preventing concussion injuries before they happen is the goal,” he says. “Athletic regulations and requirements have been updated to provide safer play and better protection. When sports-related injuries do occur, the damage can be orthopedic and neurological. Summit brings orthopedic sports medicine expertise to these injuries, but we wanted to offer more.”
Neuropsychological assessment is currently the most sensitive way to evaluate problems with brain function following concussion, and this testing is now used systematically by the national football and hockey leagues, as well as by many colleges.
“A child’s brain is important and sensitive,” explains Dr. Skendzel. “When sports injuries occur, we are the experts for orthopedic care, but we feel that young athletes—and any patient treated for concussion—should also have the benefit of neurologic specialization to diagnose, manage, and monitor their safe return, not just back to the playing field, but also to normal life.
Concussions can cause headaches, poor concentration, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping. Proper care means getting young athletes safely back to the classroom and their studies, as well as getting them back to their sport. “Partnering with the Bethesda Health East Concussion Clinic to add neuropsychological expertise gives our patients comprehensive care through their treatment and recovery,” says Dr. Skendzel.
“We need a lot more research to really understand what the parameters are for concussion care,” he continues. “Until that research is in, we are going to be as careful as possible with our patients—and especially with our young athletes. All parents want to feel confident and comfortable that someone with expert knowledge is watching out for their kids—we’ve built the kind of comprehensive concussion care program that we’d want our own children to have.
Our sports team provides seasoned orthopedic care, and our partnership with Bethesda ensures the complementary benefit of neurological expertise. Together, we want to make sure that every child with a concussion receives the best possible care, and is safely returned to play when it’s appropriate.”
Sports medicine: Expert bone, joint, and muscle care
From Olympians to pro athletes to youth sports and those that just want to be more active – Summit Orthopedics delivers expert care by fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians. If you are recently injured or concerned about ongoing pain, Summit Orthopedics sports medicine specialists have the expertise to evaluate your discomfort and develop a plan to quickly and safely help you get back to being active.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as several additional community clinics.
“An active lifestyle requires superior physical function, and I understand that my patients have exceptionally high standards for their performance and joint health. My goal is to return patients to optimal function so that they can continue to perform and master their personal athletic goals.”
Emerging research warns that high school football athletes aren’t alone in facing concussion risks.
When it comes to the number of sports your child plays, Dr. Pepin advises that more is better.
Asking these questions can help you decide if regenerative medicine is right for you.