“A Season with Notre Dame Football”, a series currently running on Showtime, focuses on how this legendary football team prepares for upcoming games, including how they manage the health of the athletes. During season 1, episode 11 a portion of the episode focused on how the trainers and medical staff administer balance assessment as part of their concussion protocol. Balance is one of the areas that can be impaired when someone suffers a concussion. Players are tested on the Biodex BioSway pre-season to establish a baseline. Tests are administered on both a firm surface and foam pad as well as with eyes open and eyes closed. The results are stored to be used for comparison post-injury.
During the clip C.J. Prosise, the team’s running back, is tested post-injury by Rob Hunt, Head Football Athletic Trainer, using the Biodex portable BioSway. His results are compared to his baseline stats to aid the staff with the crucial return to play decision.If there is any sign a player’s balance is impaired, rest and rehabilitation continue. The team physician, Matt Leiszler, and staff know that a concussion can have long term affects and they take no chances with their players. “In order to clear a player to return to the field they not only have to feel better, the player needs to pass all the tests to show that the brain is back to normal”, states Leiszler during the episode. In this case it was determined that C.J. had not fully recovered and could not return to the field that week.