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How to Approach in a Case of Sports Trauma

I Boric

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Sports injuries are becoming more and more common in both top athletes and recreationalists. The need for fast and reliable diagnosis is exceptional. A proper diagnosis leads to proper treatment and faster return of the injured patient to sports activities.

LEARNING POINTS: Keep in mind the most common sports injuries and diagnostic possibilities to reach the fastest and most accurate diagnosis.

MAIN BODY: Acute or chronic sports injuries involve different body parts and different tissues: bones, muscles and tendons, ligaments, menisci and labrum, fat tissue, and the neurovascular bundle. Radiography remains the initial modality to detect or exclude the presence of a fracture or joint dislocation. In case of complex fractures or dislocation, computed tomography is the next method of choice. US provides sufficient information in soft-tissue injuries; it is the fastest way and without any harmful consequences for the patient. MRI gives comprehensive information about all injured tissues especially in multi-tissue injuries. SPECT-CT may be useful in cases of chronic trauma or overuse injuries. All of those methods have their own advantages and limitations. Knowledge about the possibilities and limitations of each of these methods is necessary in order to choose the optimal method for establishing a reliable diagnosis in the fastest way.

CONCLUSION: The radiographic approach should be tailored to the patient`s history, physical examination and the mechanism of injury.

US is a crucial diagnostic method for soft-tissue injury, but MRI will cover whole spectra of injuries and provide the fastest and most accurate diagnostic information. It is a first-line diagnostic modality, especially in top athletes.


Keywords

sports injury, radiological imaging, diagnostic algorithm, trauma




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14748/ssm.v49i0.3071

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I Boric

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