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Defining asymptomatic status following sports concussion: fact or fallacy?
  1. Sridhar Alla1,
  2. S John Sullivan1,
  3. Paul McCrory2
  1. 1Centre for Physiotherapy Research, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  2. 2Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Sridhar Alla, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand 9054; allsr357{at}


The current management of sports concussion involves a return to the baseline 'asymptomatic' status prior to returning to play and training. Unfortunately, although the term 'asymptomatic' is widely used it has not been operationally defined. This review identifies the need to formally define the term 'asymptomatic' as used in sports concussion, discusses some of the challenges associated with its definition and offers some possible solutions for further debate. The operational definition of the term 'asymptomatic' may provide the stimulus for further informed discussion at a future meeting of the international Concussion in Sport group, and by other peak sports medicine bodies involved in management guideline development.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.