In an effort to enhance patient access to advanced diagnostic testing and treatment of sports-related neurological injuries, the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic has opened the Kerlan-Jobe Center for Sports Neurology in Westchester.

As many as 40 percent of high school athletes who have suffered a concussion return to play prematurely, which can result in more severe injuries, according to the Kerlan-Jobe clinic. Research indicates that even with a mild concussion, the “ding” or “bell ringer” can take approximately one week for the athlete to recover.

And with 15.8 percent of football players who sustain a concussion with loss of consciousness returning to play the same day, Kerlan-Jobe believes it is imperative that young athletes be protected from this potential catastrophic injury.

“As physicians, one of our key concerns is to protect the emotional and physical health of our young athletes,” said Dr. Ralph Gambardella, president and chairman of Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. “The Kerlan-Jobe Center for Sports Neurology offers advanced pre- and post-diagnostic screenings as well as a highly trained team of clinicians who can develop the most effective treatment plan to help patients achieve a full recovery.”

Neurologist and medical director Dr. Vernon Williams will spearhead the center.

“By working with local schools and athletic programs, we can more effectively educate players, coaches and athletic trainers about neurological injuries such as concussions as well as increase awareness about its signs and symptoms,” said Williams.

Local schools like Venice and Westchester high schools can take advantage of the opportunity to receive instruction from Kerlan-Jobe doctors on the importance of identifying and diagnosing concussions.

A major goal of the Kerlan-Jobe center is to assist area colleges, school districts, and athletic programs in developing and implementing concussion management protocols including pre-season screening tests for athletes.

“The evaluation and treatment phase of our clinical program is paramount in helping our patients make a full recovery,” Williams explained. “By providing patients extensive screenings and evaluations we can accurately and effectively prescribe a course of treatment that will produce a positive outcome.”

Information, (310) 665-7200 or www.kerlanjobe.com.

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