Governor Nathan Deal signed a youth concussion bill on Tuesday called the “Return to Play Act”. This bill will place restrictions on when a young athlete can return to their sport after suffering a head injury. Emory Sports Medicine physician, Ken Mautner, MD was highly involved in helping to get the new legislation passed and was at the signing of the bill with Governor Deal. Dr. Mautner is an expert in the area of sports concussions and is Co-chairman of the Georgia Concussion Coalition, a group whose sole intent is to promote education and awareness of youth concussion across Georgia.
This bill will help coaches, parents and players make the right decisions for their athletes. The bill requires public and private schools to provide information to parents on concussions and establish certain policies for dealing with student head injuries. Under the law, any youth athlete who is suspected of having a concussions must be removed from play. The athlete must then receive medical clearance from a health care provider trained in concussion management before he or she can return to play.
The Return to Play Act was written in such a way to implement basic protections and give schools flexibility to build their own programs depending on how much funding they can commit. Georgia joins 43 states with similar laws. Government estimates show hospitals treat some 173,000 traumatic brain injuries among youth that are connected to sports and recreation activities each year.
About Ken Mautner, MD
Ken Mautner, MD is an assistant professor n the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. Dr. Mautner started practicing at Emory in 2004 after completing a fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. He is board certified in PM&R with a subspecialty certification in Sports Medicine. Dr. Mautner currently serves as head team physician for Agnes Scott College and St. Pius High School and a team physician for Emory University Athletics. He is also a consulting physician for Georgia Tech Athletics, Neuro Tour, and several local high schools. He has focused his clinical interest on sports concussions, where he is regarded as a local and regional expert in the field. In 2005, he became one of the first doctors in Georgia to use office based neuropsychological testing to help determine return to play recommendations for athletes. He also is an expert in diagnostic and interventional musculoskeletal ultrasound and teaches both regional and national courses on how to perform office based ultrasound. He regularly performs Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections for patients with chronic tendinopathy. Dr. Mautner also specializes in the care of athletes with spine problems as well as hip and groin injuries.
About Emory Sports Medicine Center
The Emory Sports Medicine Center is a leader in advanced treatments for patients with orthopedic and sports-related injuries. From surgical sports medicine expertise to innovative therapy and athletic injury rehabilitation, our sports medicine physicians and specialists provide the most comprehensive treatment for athletic injuries in Atlanta and the state of Georgia. Constantly conducting research and developing new techniques, Emory sports medicine specialists are experienced in diagnosing and treating the full spectrum of sports injuries.