Attorney Ben Schwartz interviews Dr. Steven Grossinger on the topics of concussion and traumatic brain injury.

Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,

Today I’m going to take an interview with a good friend of mine, Dr. Steven Grossinger. Dr. Grossinger is a board-certified neurologist, I think you’re actually dually board-certified also.

Dr. Grossinger: Double board-certified in Pain Management as well.

Ben: That’s right, the term is double board-certified.

Dr. Grossinger: Certifiable.

Ben: Certifiable too, aren’t we all. I want to thank you first off for taking time out of your schedule to do a video with me. Here’s my question, here’s the topic that I want to shoot this video about today. You know I see a lot of people in my office who have been injured in car accidentswork injuries, things like that. They go to their doctor; you know perhaps they go to their doctor because after their accident their shoulders are really killing them. So, they end up going to an orthopedic doctor for the shoulder.

They come to see me in my office, I’m not a doctor, I’ve got no medical training whatsoever and they tell me things like, when I’m sitting in front of my computer it’s very hard to look at the screen for any period of time. They tell me things like I’m not sleeping at night. They tell me things like, it’s hard to go outside if they don’t have their sunglasses. It’s hard to drive because everything seems so bright.

I want to know what’s your take on that, what should somebody like me, a personal injury lawyer, what should somebody like me do when we’ve got that client in the office and they’re talking about these sort of classic concussion symptoms of a traumatic brain injury?

Dr. Grossinger: I think if the individual is frustrated enough that it is impacting their life, they do bring it to your attention, it is best that they have an assessment to try to get some objective evidence of what is going on. With a concussion, there’s been an injury to the brain which is reflected in the abnormality of function. I think that if something is that frustrating, it has a clear onset after trauma. If I were to see someone in the office, I take a detailed history and then conducting an examination, there may be features on the examination that I can document and will lead to appropriate further workup. There may be eye movement changes, coordination changes, doing a screening evaluation of mental status with memory concentration, executive function.

So, I can do a screening consultation that may point to the benefit of brainwave testing or further imaging. They may have had a CAT Scan in the emergency room or not, and an MRI may be appropriate. There are computerized assessments. So, the bottom line is when someone has had symptoms that are frustrating that started after trauma, that does involve the head, it may be that the rotator cuff tear shows up writing the MRI report that does get the main attention of the treatment.

But you hate to overlook, on various levels from the patient’s well-being, wanting to document the extent. I mean someone has had a problem that’s no part of their own and we want to try to document the full extent. I think when there are symptoms that include a change in concentration, not change in function that are frustrating beyond the problem that may stand out, such as a broken bone or something. That is worth, I mean at least getting the primary care and to do some documentation.

I’m more than happy, you know, better safe than sorry. I mean there are many ways that I and my staff, can help be sure that things are being evaluated and we can also guide some treatment approaches, some simple, some more complex that can improve the outcome and quality of life and level of satisfaction.

Ben: So, what’s the, in terms of treatability, what if someone’s got a torn rotator cuff in their shoulder, they go to an orthopedic surgeon, the surgeon can do surgery to stitch that rotator cuff tendon back together. Then typically I see them in the office afterward and in the weeks and months after that surgery, they’ll regain full, if not nearly full function of the shoulder.

What about a concussion? I see a client in the office and they’re giving me sort of these classic concussion symptoms, is that something, if it is truly is diagnosed as a concussion, is that something that’s treatable as well?

Dr. Grossinger: Various aspects may significantly benefit from treatment. It may be as simple as nutritional changes, some lifestyle changes, to possibly prescribed medication. There are various therapies now from vestibular therapy for balance problems, ocular therapy for visual problems. It may be that I might steer someone to seeing a psychologist who can get someone peace of mind because they’ve has a change and they’ve been anxious or depressed. Post-traumatic stress obviously is an important thing and is obviously a real entity that should be documented and does have specific treatment approaches.

Ben: Very good, I just want to say thank you very much.

Dr. Grossinger: My pleasure.

Ben: I hope folks that are watching this video, I sense that a lot of the people that watch my videos on here tend to be attorneys like me handling personal injury cases, handling auto accident cases, work injury cases, slip and fall cases, etc. So I just want to say I have a lot of gratitude for you taking time to sit down with me, shoot a video that I think is informative, that I think will be helpful to other attorneys not necessarily medical professionals but attorneys who see folks in the office who have these types of complaints.

Folks, I’m attorney Ben Schwartz, if you have a question for me, please feel free to send me an email. My guest today was Dr. Steven Grossinger and if you want to get ahold of Dr. Grossinger, I think your website is Folks can learn more about you on that website or contact you directly if they have any questions. Thanks for watching.

Dr. Grossinger: Thank you.