Return to Play After Sports Concussion

  • Steven R. Dayton
  • Hayden P. Baker
  • Ujash Sheth
  • Michael A. Terry
  • Vehniah K. TjongEmail author


Sports-related concussion (SRC) is a traumatic brain injury induced by a biomechanical force. Concussions often result in rapid onset of short-term impairment of neurological function, though symptoms may evolve over minutes to hours. It is rarely associated with structural changes, and providers should use caution when ordering and interpreting advanced imaging. Importantly, SRC may take place with or without loss of consciousness, and most athletes remain conscious through the inciting event. Education surrounding SRC should be implemented in preseason training by licensed health-care professionals. There is limited evidence as to which clinical measurement tool is best; providers should develop a protocol for their team with baseline and on-field assessments appropriate to their athlete population. SRC management should focus on a supervised progression of activity and absence of symptom recurrence. Exact return to sport timelines should be individually based, depending on symptoms and progression through a structured rehab program.


Concussion Sport Brain injury Return to play Assessment Prevention 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven R. Dayton
    • 1
  • Hayden P. Baker
    • 2
  • Ujash Sheth
    • 3
  • Michael A. Terry
    • 4
  • Vehniah K. Tjong
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Northwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medical EducationThe University of IllinoisChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryNorthwestern Memorial HospitalChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryNorthwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern Memorial HospitalChicagoUSA
  5. 5.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryNorthwestern University, Northwestern Memorial HospitalChicagoUSA

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