Concussion Management in the Collegiate Athlete

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Concussions have always been common in sports, but the awareness and associated diagnosis of the condition have been trending upward, gaining significant attention through medical literature, news media, and entertainment. Concussion management in the collegiate athlete is of specific concern, as over 460,000 young adults compete in collegiate athletics annually. The NCAA and other groups have strived to provide consensus guidelines, but many student-athletes still are not being managed as recommended. The return to play process should begin only after a student-athlete is symptom free and has returned to his or her baseline functioning. Return to play should follow a progressive, stepwise approach, using uniform steps that have been established through association recommendations. Returning to academics, or return to learn, often proves to be more challenging, as this process requires a multidisciplinary approach involving academic and administrative representatives in addition to the medical team. As further scientific evidence comes out, is it imperative that professionals providing concussion care remain up-to-date on this ever-evolving topic.

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