Sports Concussions

The Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children Center for Excellence in Sports Medicine specializes in treating sports-related concussions in young athletes. We also provide neurocognitive baseline and post-injury testing using the online testing tools ImPACT® and ImPACT® Pediatric

Knowing how to recognize a concussion is important for parents of all young athletes. In our recent study, we found that more than 1/3 of our patients with concussions continued to play or returned to play on the same day and they had worse symptoms when they arrived. Other studies have shown they also take longer to recover. If you suspect that a young athlete may have signs or symptoms of a concussion it is important to remove him or her from sports immediately. Do not allow him or her to return to sports until a medical professional evaluates and provides clearance. In most cases, a graduated return to play protocol is recommended because of the increased risk of suffering a second injury before symptoms have resolved.

Pediatricians, emergency rooms and team doctors know when to sit young athletes out of sports. For some, it’s hard to know where to turn when symptoms don’t resolve, or when a decision to return to sports becomes difficult. TSRHC Pediatric Sports Medicine specialists, Shane M. Miller, M.D., and Jane S. Chung, M.D., have the expertise and experience to help, from the time of injury to the time of returning to sport, even in the most difficult situations.

You can find our team speaking to groups about sports concussions in the North Texas area and at state and national medical meetings. Dr. Miller and Dr. Chung provide consultation to local school districts and youth sports organizations to develop and update emergency action plans and concussion oversight team protocols.

We are studying concussions and traumatic brain injuries at Scottish Rite Hospital as well as with our partners in the North Texas Sports Concussion Network (CON-TEX). Learn more about these and other studies for young and growing athletes on our pediatric sports medicine research page.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a brain injury that disrupts normal brain function. It is usually caused by a sudden blow to the head or body that causes the brain to shake, damaging cells and creating chemical changes in the brain. An athlete does not have to be knocked out or have memory loss to have suffered a concussion. In fact, most athletes who suffer a sports-related concussion do not lose consciousness.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs Observed by Others
The athlete may:

  • Appear dazed or stunned.
  • Be confused.
  • Forget plays.
  • Be unsure of game, score, or opponent.
  • Exhibit unsteadiness.
  • Move clumsily.
  • Answer questions slowly.
  • Lose consciousness.
  • Have memory loss.
  • Be more sleepy or tired than usual.
  • Seem sad, nervous, or anxious.
  • Be irritable, easily frustrated, or upset.
  • Have problems with academic performance.

Symptoms Reported by the Athlete
The athlete may complain of:

  • Headaches.
  • Concentration or memory problems.
  • Nausea.
  • Balance problems or dizziness.
  • Double or blurred vision.
  • Feelings of being “in a fog” or slowed down.
  • Sensitivity to light or noise.
  • Confusion.
  • Just  “not feeling right” or “feeling down.”


How to Respond to a Potential Concussion

Any athlete who shows signs or symptoms of a concussion should be removed from play immediately. The athlete should not be allowed to return to any activity until evaluated by a health care professional with experience and training in diagnosis and management of concussions.

For additional information about Sports Concussions, view our PDF of this information.