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  SPORT RELATED INJURIES 

Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica 2009 August;60(4):353-67

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Return to play after sports injuries

McCarty E. C. 1, Poddar S. 2, Oliviero J. 1, McGee K. 1, Baldea J. 2, Langner P. 3

1 Division of Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Colorado, Denver, CO, USA 2 Department of Family Medicine, University of Colorado, Denver, CO, USA 3 Research Coordinator, CU Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Colorado, Denver, CO, USA


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When is an athlete ready to return to sports after an injury is a question that presents itself commonly to the sports medicine provider. It is typically predicated upon numerous factors including the type and severity of the injury, the chosen treatment plan, the specific demands on the injured area and risks to returning to sport. This article looks at several common injuries in the athlete including elbow dislocation, acromioclavicular joint injuries, hamstring injuries, medial collateral ligament injuries, and syndesmosis sprains. Anatomy and pathology, management op-tions, and factors to consider as the athlete returns to play are discussed and “ideal criteria” are identified to provide guidelines for returning an athlete to the field. As athletes frequently return after gaining some but not all criteria, the sports medicine provider will need to decide when the athlete can return safely with little risk of re-injury or further injury. The literature is evaluated and discussed for each type of injury and provides evidence based approach to assist the sports medicine provider in returning the athlete to play.

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