Three Ways To Access Concussion Care Through Summit Orthopedics

Concussion is a concern for athletes playing contact sports, but anyone can suffer a concussion as the result of a head injury. Summit Orthopedics has taken steps to make it easy for everyone in our community to access comprehensive concussion care.

In the fall of 2016, Summit Orthopedics and the Bethesda Health East Concussion Clinic entered a partnership to provide comprehensive concussion care for Summit patients. With Summit’s orthopedic expertise and Bethesda’s neurological concussion experience, this partnership offers athletes and patients treated by Summit a full range of concussion services. Concussion services can be accessed through Summit in three ways.

“It’s our mission to provide the highest level of care to our community,” explains sports medicine physician and surgeon Dr. Jack Skendzel. “Parents with student athletes are understandably concerned about concussion, and as the sports medicine partner for District 833 athletes, we’ve made it a priority to monitor our teams for concussion symptoms. But we want to make comprehensive concussion care available to everyone, and we are providing three ways to access the expertise of our concussion partnership.”

  • For student athletes in District 833, Summit’s athletic trainers are the point people and the first line of defense. “For students on these teams, there is the assurance that our people are going to be watching,” says Dr. Skendzel. “When a student in any Woodbury, East Ridge, or Park High School athletic program has signs of concussion, that student will be triaged and managed by the athletic trainers, and referred to a team physician like me when appropriate. We deliberately created a low threshold to access for our students because concussion is such a sensitive and important concern.
  • Summit physicians can also refer patients to Bethesda for care. “If we are treating a patient for an orthopedic injury and the patient reports concussion symptoms—like trouble focusing or dizziness—we can make a referral to Bethesda for concussion evaluation,” says Dr. Skendzel.
  • A third way to access comprehensive concussion care is through Summit’s OrthoQUICK clinics. “Concussion symptoms may not be apparent in the first few hours; parents may know that their child has a sprained wrist, but not realize that there’s a head injury as well,” explains Dr. Skendzel. “Clinic staff watch for signs or symptoms of concussion and will make a referral to our experts at Bethesda when there is reason for concern.”

Summit is also focused on education for the parents of young athletes. “Keep an eye on our website for announcements about concussion education classes at the Bielenberg Sports Center,” advises Dr. Skendzel. “Children may not always tell their athletic trainer about the symptoms they are having. We want parents to be educated and aware too.

“Like many injuries, every concussion case is different—and treatment protocols are evolving as studies tell us more,” says Dr. Skendzel. “We created this partnership to make sure that our patients have comprehensive treatment based on the latest research information. We do preventative education to try to avoid these injuries from happening, but when they do, we are going to be there for our community.”

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  • Jack Skendzel, M.D.

    “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.”

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