SAC Regenerative Orthopedics

Alberto J. Panero, D.O.

Regenerative Orthopedics Specialist & Sports Medicine Specialist located in Sacramento, CA

Dr. Alberto J. Panero is a highly trained specialist in the area of sports concussion. If you experienced a concussion, visit SAC Regenerative Orthopaedics in Sacramento, California, for a thorough history and physical examination. Dr. Panero will use his own experiences along with evidence-based medicine to optimize the diagnosis and therapeutic recommendations. ​


What is a concussion?

The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine defines concussion as a traumatically induced transient disturbance of brain function. A concussion is a subset of mild traumatic brain injury and at the less-severe end of the brain injury spectrum. Which to everyone else means, you hit your head, very hard.

In the United States, approximately 3.8 million concussions occur yearly during competitive sports and recreational sporting activities.

Who is at risk of concussion?

While anyone may experience a blow that causes a concussion, certain sports put you at greater risk. These include football, hockey, rugby, soccer, and basketball. Women who play these sports are more prone to concussion than men.

Having a prior concussion increases the risk of future concussions.

What are the symptoms of a concussion?

Symptoms of a concussion include, but are not limited to:

  • Headache
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to lights or sounds
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Mood irritability
  • Difficulty with memory and concentration
  • Difficulty sleeping

How should you treat a concussion?

When an athlete sustains a concussion they must be immediately removed from competition and undergo a "brain rest" protocol until the athlete is completely asymptomatic for a period of 24 hours.

What is the rate of recovery?

Most sports concussions resolve within 7-10 days when treated appropriately. If an athlete’s concussion isn’t diagnosed and they continue to participate in a sporting activity, they risk more serious complications.

Playing a sport with a concussion risks the second injury and can prolong healing time. It can actually worsen the severity of the concussion and result in a rare but possible catastrophic injury, such as severe brain injury, coma, or death.

When is an athlete cleared to return to the sport?

Once asymptomatic, the athlete must go through a "Return to Play" protocol that lasts 5 days. If the athlete passes one of the following steps without a return in symptoms they may pass to the next step.

Day 1: Light aerobic activity to increase heart rate for 5 to 10 minutes

Day 2: Moderate aerobic activity that still limits head movement

Day 3: Non-contact activity and sports specific drills that are closer to typical workout routine

Day 4: Full contact practice

Day 5: Return to competition

Do I have post-concussive syndrome?

Symptoms that persist beyond a 6-week period indicate "post-concussive syndrome.” This syndrome typically requires advanced therapies and possible interventions with medications or injections. Nutritional support with supplements may improve symptoms of headache and insomnia, and promote brain healing.