On-field signs and symptoms associated with recovery duration after concussion in high school and college athletes

Over the last ten years, sport-related concussions have received greater attention due to their frequency and severity over a wide range of athletics. Clinicians have developed return-to-play protocols to better manage concussions in young athletes; however, a standardized process projecting the length of recovery time after concussion has remained a difficult piece of the puzzle to grasp. The recovery times associated with such an injury once diagnosed can last anywhere from 1 week to several months. Risk factors that could result in protracted recovery times include a history of 1 or multiple concussions and a greater number, severity, and duration of symptoms after the injury. Examining the possible association between on-field or sideline signs and symptoms and recovery times would give clinicians the confident ability to properly treat and manage an athlete’s recovery process in a more systematic manner. Furthermore, identifying factors after a head injury that may be predictive of protracted recovery times would be useful for athletes, parents, and coaches alike.

Which on-field and sideline signs and symptoms influence length of recovery after concussion in high school and college athletes?