What is Brain Network Activation™ (BNA) Testing?; Return to Golf after Spine Surgery

Episode 15.19 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/c.


Segment One: Brain Network Activation™ Testing

Mike Palm, Manager of Athletico Concussion Management Services discussing the use of BNA (Brain Network Activation) testing to measure brain function; the importance of proper concussion diagnosis and management, risk of not reporting and sustaining a recurring concussion; removing from and returning to play; avoiding permanent brain damage.

A Brain Network Activation™ (BNA) Test uses an advanced software program to process measured brain activity. This cutting edge technology allows us to gain full insight into brain function as the test reads, and measures all neural activity. This test is performed preseason to understand the individual’s typical brain function.

Watch the video below to see the BNA Test technology in action!

Advantages of Brain Network Activation™ Testing

  • Allows physicians to better understand a brain injury such as a concussion
  • Detects and measures actual brain activation
  • Reassurance for return to participation decisions
  • First-of-its kind, groundbreaking technology that measures brain function
  • Athletico is the only Brain Network Activation™ Testing Center in Illinois
  • Annual preseason test used to compare a change in brain activity following a brain injury
  • Cleared by the FDA, unlike many concussion testing protocols on the market.

The BNA Testing Process

The BNA Test process starts with scheduling your BNA Test. The next step is then receiving the test at one of Athletico’s BNA™ Testing Centers. Once the BNA Test is complete, your Brain Network Activation (BNA) report is stored in a secure, de-identified cloud-based database, that can be accessed by a physician if a brain injury were to occur.


Segment Two: Lumbar Fusion Surgery and return to playing Golf

Dr. Frank Phillips, Professor, Director, Section of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, Rush University Medical Centertalks about the success rate of spine surgery and patients returning to their golf game; definition, causes and indications for surgery.

Dr. Frank PhillipsA visionary in the field of minimally invasive spine surgery, Dr. Frank Phillips was one of the first in Chicago to begin using these procedures in the 1990s. He specializes in minimally invasive cervical and lumbar reconstructive surgery. He also has expertise in motion preserving procedures and was a principle investigator in FDA trials on cervical disc replacement.

Dr. Phillips is a leader in the field and is a founder, board member and past president of the Society of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. Dr. Phillips has participated in the development of and pioneered a number of minimally invasive spinal techniques that are now widely used. He regularly teaches and lectures to spine surgeons nationally and internationally on minimally invasive spinal surgery.

Minimally Invasive Spine Institute

Special Announcement

Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush 3rd Annual Sports Medicine Summit: Youth Injury Prevention & Treatment

Coaches, parents, athletic directors and principals of young athletes are highly encouraged to join Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush (MOR), team physicians for the Chicago Bulls, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Fire Soccer Club and DePaul Blue Demons at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago for a FREE half-day seminar about injury prevention and treatment tips for young athletes.

Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush event speakers:

Date: August 7, 2015, Friday
Time: 7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (7:00 a.m. Registration & Breakfast)
Location: U.S. Cellular Field
Conference and Learning Center
333 W. 35th Street – Enter at GATE 3
Chicago, IL 60616



TRIZONE is a triple threat for your game, combining three levels of compression with heat retention and exceptional support, all in one sleeve. And that means your activity stays at peak performance, at all times.

DonJoy Performance Trizone Knee Sleeve is a unique hybrid design combining the properties of compression and bracing in a single sleeve. The carbonized bamboo circular knit construction allows for targeted, zonal compression around the knee joint with anti-bacterial and thermal regulating properties. Three distinct compression zones which include: a stability zone with strategically placed injected silicone to provide support for the knee joint and the benefit of enhanced proprioception, a compression zone which improves circulation and provides mild support to the joint structure and surrounding muscle tissue, and a comfort zone that provides lighter compression for enhanced fit and better range of motion. The Trizone knee support is a low profile performance product designed to keep you moving through repetitive motion injuries including strains, inflammation and swelling, tendonitis and soreness.


  • Three zones of compression strategically placed around the knee to deliver peak performance
  • Silicone banding injected directly onto the sleeve offers bracing and support
  • All-natural Carbonized Bamboo is thermal regulating and anti-bacterial helping eliminate odors
  • Stash pocket holds cards and keys
  • Anti-migration technology helps to keep the sleeve secure to the thigh and eliminate slip
  • Reflectivity for enhanced visibility in low light conditions

Let’s Do The Twist: Maintaining Posture Throughout the Golf Swing

The summer is underway, and so are most people’s golf games. Like the weather so far this spring and summer, the condition of your swing may not be the best you have seen. From a golf fitness and biomechanical perspective, I talk to my patients and clients a lot about maintaining posture throughout the golf swing. This mostly refers to maintaining the spine angle from your set-up position through just after impact.  Maintaining posture helps with both consistency of ball striking, as well as power production.

One of the common problem areas that I see is loss of posture in the upper body, which Titleist Performance Institute terms, “Flat Shoulder Plane”. This swing fault is characterized by a more horizontal turn of the shoulders in the backswing, compared to the original spine angle in the set-up. This causes a change in the spine angle on the downswing, which can reduce the efficiency of the motion.


I want to highlight a few common physical causes that may lead to a flat shoulder plane. One factor is a “C-Posture”, or rounded upper back, at the set-up position. This flexed position causes the upper back to be at a disadvantage to rotate, already hindering your ability to have a full shoulder turn before you even start your swing. Check your posture from the side, using a mirror, to look at your spine angle at address.

Another physical cause for a flat shoulder plane is a lack of thoracic spine (mid-upper back) rotation. If your mid-upper back does not have the ability to fully rotate, then the tendency is to lift out of posture and compensate with unwanted movements from the low back or shoulders.

GolfBlog_2A third factor that may contribute to a flat shoulder plane is a flexibility restriction through a big muscle in the torso called the latissiumus dorsi (a.k.a “the lat”). Although this is a big power muscle for the golf swing, tightness in this muscle may lead to loss of posture any time the arms are elevated or rotating, such as in the backswing.

GolfBlog_3If you tend to come out of posture in your upper body, try and improve your set-up posture, your thoracic rotation, and your lat flexibility. You may see better ball striking and more distance.  You can also contact Athletico’s Golf Performance Center in Oak Brook at 630-572-9700 for an individual biomechanical evaluation for further assessment.

Today’s blog post is written by guest blogger Joe Estes, PT, DPT, CGFI.  Joe is a physical therapist and Certified Golf Fitness Instructor at Athletico’s Golf Performance Center.

Improve your Understanding with 3D Animation on Cartilage Transplants

cartilagerepairProduced by an experienced team of medical writers, 3D animators, and project managers with a detailed understanding of anatomy and surgery; they take complex surgical procedures and animate the steps to tell a visually stunning story in 3D that is both educational and entertaining. Each animation is embedded with an illustrated script which can be shared, viewed or printed separately.


3D Animation on Cartilage Transplants:

Visit  our Patient Education page for the full Library of 50 specific Orthopedic Surgical Procedures in 3D Animation.

The Role of Technology in Patient Education: Healthy TXT™

In today’s changing healthcare landscape, doctors and organizations are developing a wealth of resources for patient education.  Many of these new tools are driven by patients’ desire for more accessible, immediate information. Healthy TXT™ is one resource helping patients better communicate with their doctors.

Healthy TXT Screenshot

Healthy TXT™, founded by Dr. Vishal Mehta, who was a guest on Sports Medicine Weekly, provides a unique avenue for communication between physicians and patients. Doctors are able to send their patients information via text messaging, mobile voice app, email, video, or website. Dr. Mehta formed the company to improve doctor-patient communication and ensure that patients receive relevant, targeted information related to their medical procedure or condition.

According to Healthy TXT, patients can forget up to 80% of what was discussed with their doctor after they leave the office. Having a venue to store and share medical information, including audio of appointment conversations, keeps patients engaged when they are at the doctor’s office and informed when they are at home.

Contributed by AlloSource

The Role of Technology in Patient Education: Allograft Possibilities   

Despite the fact that there are over one million tissue transplants performed every year, many specifically in the sports medicine field, tissue donation remains less understood than organ donation. To help provide an online resource on tissue donation and transplantation, AlloSource started its own educational website, allograftpossibilities.org.

Allograft Possibilities Screenshot

Allograft Possibilities provides donation news and information, as well as tissue recipient stories for those interested in learning more about how donated tissue can be used to save and enhance lives.


The Science of Tissue Transplantation

Amidst the constantly changing world of medicine, innovative research from some of the world’s leading surgeons is finding new ways to use donated human tissue to treat a host of medical conditions. This tissue, referred to as allograft tissue, is donated by registered donors and their families, in the same way organs are donated, and it is used in many life-saving and enhancing medical procedures already, with numerous new opportunities on the horizon.

Donated human tissue is used in many surgical applications, saving peoples’ lives and limbs daily. Allograft tissue is used to replace damaged structures in the body, from the ligaments and tendons of major league sports players, bones and joints of military men and women, to the musculoskeletal structures, teeth, skin, and spinal components of average citizens.

The possibilities for the use of human tissue in modern medicine are exciting. Surgeons are researchers are learning more about the growth biology of the human body, about regenerating bone and tissue and using donor stem cells to re-grow physical structures. More information is coming to light to achieve long-term success with groundbreaking procedures such as full limb transplantation.