Before an athlete begins his or her season, even before the first practice, a baseline test should be conducted for two reasons:
- To establish the criteria that further testing can be based on, in order to properly diagnose a concussion and to establish when the athlete is recovered and can return to play
- To test for a current concussion or brain trauma
Dr. Sean Lager of Gotham City Orthopedics established the non-profit organization Cleared To Play.Org with the purpose to raise awareness of concussion prevention and treatment and to provide appropriate medical support for local high school and college athletes.
Many local schools are left without funding or a means to administer baseline tests to athletes who engage in school sports that have a high incidence of concussions. As no insurance currently covers baseline tests, cheerleaders, football players, soccer players, baseball players and many other athletes are left to pay for these tests themselves, which can be a hardship upon some families.
Cleared To Play.Org makes it possible for thousands of athletes in and around New Jersey and NYC to receive these vital baseline tests. By doing so, Dr. Lager has helped create a safer environment for these athletes, who may not even be aware of the symptoms of a concussion.
ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is a form of baseline testing used by many professional and college sports teams as a method for healthcare professionals to give accurate assessments regarding when one can return to play.
Our Gotham City Orthopedic Physicians are certified with the ImPACT system and routinely administer the test to athletes through the Clear To Play.Org non-profit organization.
ImPACT is a proprietary neurocognitive testing company, which measures 8 different types of brain function. Using this test in the pre-season establishes each player’s baseline brain function. After a concussion has been diagnosed, the player retakes this ImPACT test to determine how his/her brain function may have been affected, and is used as part of the criteria for assessing when the player has returned to pre-injury status and can return to play. Gotham City Orthopedics is a certified ImPACT testing center and provides these testing services at their New Jersey locations.
Many New Jersey high schools do not have ImPACT testing available for their athletes, yet they sponsor sports programs in which concussions often occur. These schools have neither the funding for ImPACT testing, nor the facilities to administer the tests. Currently, no major health insurance company in New Jersey will pay for the pre-season baseline test. Dr. Lager is committed to raising funds through Cleared To Play.Org so these athletes have the same access to this state-of-the-art technology as the professionals do.