Florida Chiropractic Blog

Ethos Health Group Blog

Your One-stop Solution For Pain

How The Giant Hand Of An NBA Superstar Is Important To Understanding TBI Diagnostics

Posted by Florida Spine and Injury | Mar 11, 2024 2:48:23 PM

We've all heard the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words....but I think a picture with comparison that provides context can be worth a million words! The image above is the hand of NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo (my son's favorite player) compared to blogger Payal Doshi and as you can see the contrast is pretty startling!

Even for a professional basketball player Giannis has massive hands as they are nearly 10 inches long and 12 inches wide! It's no wonder his nickname is the Greek Freak as he has physical attributes far outside the norm.

We see a similar phenomenon in the images from diagnostic testing for the brain. When you see an image from a TBI test standing on it's own without any context it can be difficult to know what you're really seeing and if it's normal, slightly abnormal, or grossly abnormal. It's like in the image below of Giannis Antetokounmpo's hands without the comparison those of an average person. Yes, they look big, but you don't really see how big they are in the absence of a normal sized hand to compare to.


Take for example, this image from a diagnostic test we utilize at Ethos on our TBI patients called oculomotor tracking. It shows what the eyes are following, and we know that after a brain injury these subtle eye movements are often dysfunctional.


So is the image above normal or abnormal? It looks like quite a mess of jumbled lines, but we can't use that standard to decide. Take for example, the image below from a more common test called an electroencephalogram, or EEG. It also looks like a mess of random squiggling lines...

unnamed (1)

But it just so happens that this is a completely normal EEG, so clearly there's a bit more to making abnormal test results obvious for an untrained eye (like a patient, attorney, or insurance adjuster) than just showing the image on it's own.

Let's use the Giannis hand comparison but apply it instead to TBI test results. Below is the same image of oculomotor tracking, but with the normal image included for comparison. As you can see, now it's obvious to anymore viewing these images just how grossly abnormal the top tracing is when compared to a normal study just below it.


Why is any of this relevant to TBI diagnostic testing? We have found that the most impactful way for these test results to be communicated effectively to patients, attorney, insurance companies, or anyone else who may be involved is to not just show the abnormal images, but to put them next to the normal ones.

For this reason we include as an appendix with all of our oculomotor testing and videonystagmography (VNG) tests normal images to make this comparison much easier and more impactful. If you aren't sure exactly what you're looking at on a set of TBI test results for your client or patient and would like to review them with me, please reach out via email at drwalker@flspineandinjury.com.

If you or someone you know would benefit from TBI diagnostics or therapy at any of our locations across Florida, please reach out via email at drwalker@flspineandinjury.com or you can call directly at 904-616-1284.

Topics: TBI

Leave a Comment