Neurological Exam for Clearance
A neurological examination (neuro exam) evaluates a person’s nervous system. We can do this in our office or via video telecommunication. A number of tests are available to assess a person’s motor and sensory skills, mental status, balance, coordination, reflexes, and nerve function. Though a fight doctor can perform a simple test remotely, further testing may be required if our fight doctor finds evidence of damage.
Many state commissions require a neurological exam before a fight, but these exams should be performed if you have reason to believe that there may be an underlying problem. Complaints a fighter may have after a bout might include:
- Blurry vision;
- Change in behavior;
- Tingling or numbness in the arms and legs;
- A decrease in the movement of the arms and legs;
- Change in balance or coordination;
- Weakness; and
- Slurred speech.
Many of these issues are discovered during a routine physical, as damage to the nervous system can cause issues with normal daily functioning. Early detection of these neurological deficiencies can help to find the cause and lessen the chance of long-term complications. Below are some basic neurological tests that may be administered.
Balance and Motor Function
Balance can be assessed by how a person walks or stands. Another test would be to have the fighter close their eyes while standing and gently pushing the fighter on one side or another. Motor functions may be tested by pulling or pushing against the healthcare provider’s hands with their arms and legs.
The fighter’s level of awareness and interaction with their environment is tested with questions about the fighter’s understanding of place, time, and recent memories. We will also observe their speech to make sure it is clear and rational.
The physician may have a fighter walk along a line on the floor, tap their fingers or foot quickly, or touch their nose with their eyes closed.
Cranial Nerve Evaluation
This evaluation tests the main nerves of the brain.
- Optic Nerve (vision) – The physician may use a special light to test the patient’s eyes.
- Oculomotor, Abducens, and Trochlear Nerves (pupil size and eye movement) – The physician will have the patient follow a light with their eyes while the physician moves the light in various directions.
- Trigeminal Nerve (ability to feel inside the mouth, the face, and to move muscles involved with chewing) – The physician may touch the patient’s face at different points and watch as the patient bites down.
- Facial Nerve (face muscles and taste) – Patients may be asked to smile, show teeth, move cheeks, or identify tastes.
- Acoustic Nerve (hearing) – The physician will give a general hearing test.
- Accessory Nerve (movement of shoulders and neck) – The physician may have the patient shrug their shoulders or turn their head from side to side against mild resistance.
Hypoglossal Nerve (tongue movement) – The physician may have the patient stick out their tongue and speak.
MRI Scan Review with Report
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a type of radiology imaging performed at a radiology center. These can be head scans or scans of the extremities, and it is used to identify severe problems that could lead to death or serious illness. Have a fight doctor schedule an MRI for you today
When examining the brain, an MRI shows the entire brain anatomy and makes it easy to spot abnormalities like tumors, swelling, or bleeding. When examining the body, an MRI can reveal tumors or inflammation in the spinal cord after a traumatic event like a car accident or sports injury to the hip or knee. If necessary, an MRI can help a fight doctor identify specific brain injuries in patients.
Here’s what you can expect when a fight doctor schedules an MRI scan.
Preparing for the Scan
Unless otherwise advised, you can eat, drink, and take medications before the scan. However, in certain cases, you might be asked not to eat or drink anything up to four hours before the scan or be asked to drink a large amount of water.
The MRI involves inserting you into a machine that surrounds your upper body.
The MRI creates a strong magnetic field, so you will need to remove anything metal from your body. This will be everything as obvious as watches and jewelry, to not so obvious such as dentures, piercings, and wigs.
In some cases, your MRI may involve injecting contrast dye into your body to make certain blood vessels and tissues show up more clearly. This dye could cause side-effects such as:
- Skin rash, or
- Feeling sick.
But these side-effects don’t usually last very long.
During the MRI Scan
The MRI machine itself is a large cylinder that is open at both ends. You will be asked to lie on a motorized bed, and they may place a frame on the part of your body that they want to pay particular attention to. The bed will then insert you into the MRI cylinder, either head first or feet first.
There is a separate room close by from which the MRI scanner is operated. This protects the computer equipment and radiographer from the magnetic field, but they will be able to talk to you through an intercom and see you on a television monitor.
You must keep the part of your body that is being scanned completely still throughout the scan until the radiographer tells you that you can relax. Scans can take from a few seconds to four minutes, and you may be asked to hold your breath for short periods.
You will hear a loud tapping noise coming from the scanner at certain times. Most people are supplied with earplugs or headphones so that they are able to listen to music during the procedure.
The entire procedure should take between 15 and 90 minutes, depending on the amount of area that needs to be scanned. Our service is to order an MRI for you, review the results and give you a report.
CT Scan Review with Report
Computer Tomography (CT or CAT) scan is less detailed than an MRI, but they allow a view of the entire body. This scan uses a combination of X-Rays and a computer to create pictures that are effective in diagnosing bone injuries, cancer-related issues, or problems with the lungs.
The scan works by providing a series of images at different angles that create a final cross-section picture. Think of it as looking at a slice of bread in contrast to the whole image of the bread. The computer then stacks the slices until a detailed image is created of organs, bones, or blood vessels.
What It’s Like to Get a CT Scan
CT scans are performed in a hospital or radiology clinic. Depending on the type of scan, the doctor may have you fast a few hours before the scan. You will need to remove all metal objects from your person before the procedure.
The radiology technician who performs the CT scan will have you lie on a table inside a large, circular CT machine. The table you are lying on will slowly make its way through the scanner as X-rays rotate around your body. You will hear a buzzing or whirring noise as you move through, and you must keep still so that the images are not blurred.
Depending on how much of your body needs to be scanned, the procedure can take anywhere from a few seconds to minutes.
CT Scan with Contrast
If the fight doctor has ordered the CT scan for dense substances like bone, then a normal scan will be sufficient. However, if the scan is for soft tissues, you may be administered a concoction containing iodine or barium sulfate. This is so that the tissue shows up more clearly on the CT scan. These drugs may be administered to you through an IV, orally, or through an enema, depending on the area being scanned. You will need to drink lots of liquids after a CT scan with contrast to flush the iodine or barium from your system.
Possible Side Effects
Most of the time, any allergic reaction to the contrast materials is mild, such as an itchy rash. However, if you are prone to allergic reactions to medications, seafood, or iodine, you would tell your health care provider or fight doctor and have them monitor you after the CT Scan. Also, let your radiologist know if you have diabetes or are taking the drug Metformin so that they can inform you as to whether you should discontinue medication before the procedure.
A fight doctor can order a CT scan for you from a convenient hospital or radiology laboratory. Once we receive the results back from the scan, we will review those results and give you a report. If the scan is clear, we can clear you for this section of the fight requirements. However, if the CT scan reveals an issue, we can either suggest a course of treatment or refer you to a specialist in that field.
Book an appointment with The Fight Doctors today!