American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
For Immediate Release Mar 28, 2014

Brain Experts to Help Demystify Difficult Brain and Spine Injuries Next Week at 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM)
By AMSSM member Nicole Stern, MD

NEW ORLEANS, La. – Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) and spinal cord injuries are complex problems that can present with a variety of symptoms or sequelae. To help demystify some of the debate which exists surrounding the definition of when concussion becomes Post-Concussion Syndrome (PCS), three experts in brain and spinal cord injuries will discuss their evidence-based approaches next week at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM).


Diagnostic and Management Challenges When Concussion Becomes Post-Concussion Syndrome
Keynote Speaker: John Leddy, MD
Dr. L.eddy will provide a logical treatment approach to post-concussion disorders (PCDs) based upon features of the clinical history, physical examination and response to exertion. Dr. Leddy is an associate professor of Clinical Orthopedics, Internal Medicine, and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Additionally, he serves as the medical director of the University at Buffalo Concussion Clinic, where his primary research interests include the physiology of concussion and post-concussion syndrome (PCS).

When the Brain Bleeds: Return to Play After Intracerebral, Subarachnoid and Subdural Bleeds
Keynote Speaker: Ross Zafonte, DO
He will be presenting on head trauma beyond concussion and the challenges related to return to life and sports. Dr. Zafonte is the Earle P. and Ida S. Charlton Chairman of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School, as well as vice president of Medical Affairs for Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and chief of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Zafonte has published extensively on traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and other neurological disorders as well as presented on these topics at conferences nationally and internationally. He is a co-author of “Brain Injury Medicine: Principles and Practice”, and he has served as a principal investigator on numerous NIDRR TBI Model Systems and NIH Clinical Trials Center grants. Dr. Zafonte is currently the principal investigator on an eight-center NIH multisite clinical trial for the treatment of TBI − the largest clinical treatment trial in the history of North America. Dr. Zafonte has been awarded a Department of Defense TBI/ PTSD Center grant as well as having assisted in the development of a gait laboratory focused on novel prosthetic design for those with amputation as well as a neuroprosthetic program making science fiction come alive.

Breaking Backbones: Diagnosis and Management of Spinal Fractures in Athletes
Keynote Speaker: Robert Cantu, MD, MA
The focus of Dr. Cantu’s presentation will be to present challenges with return to play following cervical spine injury, specifically when and why it is safe to clear or not clear someone to return to contact sports. In addition, he will cover the specifics of clearing an athlete with transient quadriplegia or spinal stenosis. Dr. Cantu has an extensive list of professional experience and responsibilities that include clinical professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and co-director for the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy (CSTE) at Boston University School of Medicine, adjunct professor of Exercise and Sport Science and medical director of the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, co-director for the Neurologic Sports Injury Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, chief of neurosurgery service and chairman for the Department of Surgery. In addition, he has authored more than 382 scientific publications, including 31 books on neurology and sports medicine.

Full bios of all keynote speakers can be accessed here:

The session is scheduled for 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 6, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. Registration is required for admittance. Media interested in being credentialed for the 2014 AMSSM Annual Meeting, contact Jessica Torres-Sosa, AMSSM Communications Manager, at [email protected]. Media guidelines:

About the AMSSM Annual Meeting: More than 1,400 sports medicine physicians from the United States and abroad come together to address advances and challenges in sports medicine through lectures and research. Learn more at

About the AMSSM: AMSSM is a multi-disciplinary organization of 2,500 sports medicine physicians dedicated to education, research, advocacy and the care of athletes of all ages. The majority of AMSSM members are primary care physicians with fellowship training and added qualification in sports medicine who then combine their practice of sports medicine with their primary specialty. AMSSM includes members who specialize solely in non-surgical sports medicine and serve as team physicians at the youth level, NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, MLS and NHL, as well as with Olympic teams. By nature of their training and experience, sports medicine physicians are ideally suited to provide comprehensive medical care for athletes, sports teams or active individuals who are simply looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle.


NOTE: For more information, please contact the AMSSM, 4000 W. 114th St., Suite 100, Leawood, KS 66211, (913) 327-1415.

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4000 W. 114th Street, Suite 100
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Phone: 913.327.1415

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