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American Medical Society for Sports Medicine position statement on concussion in sport
  1. Kimberly G Harmon1,
  2. James R Clugston2,
  3. Katherine Dec3,
  4. Brian Hainline4,
  5. Stanley Herring5,
  6. Shawn F Kane6,
  7. Anthony P Kontos7,
  8. John J Leddy8,
  9. Michael McCrea9,
  10. Sourav K Poddar10,
  11. Margot Putukian11,12,
  12. Julie C Wilson13,
  13. William O Roberts14
  1. 1 Departments of Family Medicine and Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  2. 2 Departments of Community Health and Family Medicine and Neurology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
  3. 3 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Orthopaedic Surgery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA
  4. 4 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
  5. 5 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  6. 6 Department of Family Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  7. 7 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  8. 8 UBMD Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA
  9. 9 Departments of Neurosurgery and Neurology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
  10. 10 Department of Family Medicine and Orthopedics, University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado, USA
  11. 11 Internal Medicine/Sports Medicine, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Princeton University, University Health Services, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
  12. 12 Princeton University, University Health Services, Princeton, New Jersey, USA
  13. 13 Department of Orthopedics, University of Colorado, Aurora, Colorado, USA
  14. 14 Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kimberly G Harmon, Departments of Family Medicine and Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle WA 98195, USA; kharmon{at}


Sport-related concussion (SRC) is a common injury in recreational and organised sport. Over the past 30 years, there has been significant progress in our scientific understanding of SRC, which in turn has driven the development of clinical guidelines for diagnosis, assessment and management of SRC. In addition to a growing need for knowledgeable healthcare professionals to provide evidence-based care for athletes with SRC, media attention and legislation have created awareness and, in some cases, fear about many issues and unknowns surrounding SRC. The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) formed a writing group to review the existing literature on SRC, update its previous position statement, and to address current evidence and knowledge gaps regarding SRC. The absence of definitive outcomes-based data is challenging and requires relying on the best available evidence integrated with clinical experience and patient values. This statement reviews the definition, pathophysiology and epidemiology of SRC, the diagnosis and management of both acute and persistent concussion symptoms, the short-term and long-term risks of SRC and repetitive head impact exposure, SRC prevention strategies, and potential future directions for SRC research. The AMSSM is committed to best clinical practices, evidence-based research and educational initiatives that positively impact the health and safety of athletes.

  • concussion
  • athlete
  • sport
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  • This article has been co-published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Contributors All authors listed contributed to the statement with attendance at an inperson meeting, multiple conference calls and emails, and multiple revisions.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests KGH has research grants from Vulcan Industries and the Pac-12, outside of submitted work JRC reports grants from Banyan Biomarkers, grants from Florida High Tech Corridor Matching Funds Program, and grants from NCAA-DoD CARE Consortium, outside the submitted work. SH has stock options in Vicis, outside of submitted work. APK has research contracts with GE-NFL Head Health Initiative, Abbott Labs and ElMindA, and receives royalties from the book ’Concussion', outside of submitted work. JJL has research grant from the AMSSM, outside of submitted work.

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

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