Adena Health Focus September 12, 2017

Head Games: New Adena Sports Medicine Physicians Discuss Concussions and Student-Athlete Safety

You don’t have to look hard to see some type of discussion about athletes and concussions these days. Turn on your local news; read about it in a national publication, there is even a movie starring Will Smith featuring athletes and concussions. With the fall sports season already in full swing at area high schools, the Adena Sports Medicine team wants to reassure our community’s student-athletes and their parents that when an injury does occur, we are here to help.

The number of reported sports-related concussions in children and teens has doubled in the past 10 years. The average middle and high school athlete recovers within 10 days of their injury. However, in some cases it can take up to a year. Recovery is slower in young athletes because their brains are still developing. 

 “Having multiple concussions in an athlete’s career definitely puts a player at risk for long-term cognitive effects,” said new Adena Sports Medicine physician Dr. Oludare Ogunsola “The younger the athlete, the more vulnerable the brain is to a concussion. While there is no set number, more than a couple in season raises significant concern for further participation.”

 As a former college athlete himself, Dr. Ogunsola, wants to remind everyone that major injuries can occur in any sport, not just football.

 “I was inspired to choose a career in sports medicine after injuring my knee while playing soccer in college,” he said. “I tore my ACL, which put me out for the rest of my college career. Due to this, I was able to turn my injury into something positive and I hope to help other athletes and patients do the same.”

Dr. Ogunsola earned his medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey- School of Osteopathic Medicine. After completing his residency at Houston Healthcare in Warner Robins, GA, he completed a Sports Medicine Fellowship at NOVA Southeastern University in Miami.

Joining Dr. Ogunsola as another new addition to Adena’s Sports Medicine team is Dr. Eric Liu. Dr. Liu earned his Medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica and during his residency and fellowship worked with many athletes and patients with dealing with concussions.

“Players are taught to hit hard and head on,” said Dr. Liu. “The sports industry tries to compensate that by creating better helmets or more protective equipment, which does not help the overall issue. It is similar to how making a better airbag will not prevent car accidents. It all comes down to playing smart and that is what I always try to stress with my patients.”

 Dr. Liu also wants to remind those who have experienced a head injury and parents the importance of rest. “You have to not only rest your body, but your brain too,” he added. “Resting your brain can include reducing visualization such as not looking at smartphones or watching TV while recovering. This is important for parents to enforce while student-athletes are at home recovering.”  

In addition to two new Sports Medicine doctors, Adena now is on the cutting edge in terms of concussion technology. With the implementation of ClearEdge, Adena becomes the first health systems in the nation to adopt this new innovative head injury technology that will allow physicians to manage concussions in a far more efficient manner. ClearEdge provides clinicians a suite of tests and assessments to establish baselines and track brain health and wellness over time. The toolkit is comprised of separate tests for cognitive efficiency, balance assessment and symptoms tracking.

 Adena now also offers Saturday Morning Injury Clinics at the Adena Bone and Joint Center for all fall sport athletes playing in Adena’s 10-county service area (Adams, Fayette, Highland, Hocking, Jackson, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton).

 Whether you are an athlete or not, Adena Sports Medicine can be your first line of treatment when it comes to dealing with any orthopedic injuries of the bones, ligaments and tendons as well as concussions. Both doctors Ogunsola and Liu are currently accepting new patients.

To schedule an appointment, call 740-779-4598 or visit adena.org/FIND and to learn more about concussion treatment at Adena email concussion@adena.org or call 740-779-8943.