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Balance assessment in the management of sport-related concussion

Kevin M Guskiewicz
Clinics in Sports Medicine 2011, 30 (1): 89-102, ix
21074084
Although neuropsychological testing has proven to be a valuable tool in concussion management, it is most useful when administered as part of a comprehensive assessment battery that includes grading of symptoms and clinical balance tests. A thorough sideline and clinical examination by the certified athletic trainer and team physician is considered an important first step in the management of concussion. The evaluation should be conducted in a systematic manner, whether on the field or in the clinical setting. The evaluation should include obtaining a history for specific details about the injury (eg, mechanism, symptomatology, concussion history), followed by assessing neurocognitive function and balance, which is the focus of this article. The objective measures from balance testing can provide clinicians with an additional piece of the concussion puzzle, remove some of the guesswork in uncovering less obvious symptoms, and assist in determining readiness to return safely to participation.

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