Finding a true “independent” health care provider for concussions in the NFL is a sticky situation; the NFLPA says they want one and the League is saying no. Of course there are various reasons as to why the League would not want an independent neuro there; cost being one issue, the other issue is that the players may actually be in greater peril – and I agree. Dr. Richard Ellenbogen co-chair of the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee explained this in an article in USAToday;
“No one knows the players as well as the athletic trainers, period.
“Having said that, some teams already have neurosurgeons on the sidelines. Having a doc show up just for a game takes away from the all-important baseline exam and continuity of care. It would be like getting operated upon by a surgeon who did not see you pre-operatively. Is that safer than having someone who saw you beforehand? The baseline is all important in making an assessment if a player is OK after a hit.”
Concussion are so subjective, most cases do not involve overt signs and it is incumbent upon the player to report what is going on. Trust is a HUGE factor for players – of all ages – but more so in the NFL where they are making a living by playing football. Although the tests are there and meant to be as objective as possible it is still a clinical diagnosis overall. The only health care professional Continue reading