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SPORT MEDICINE

Sports medicine is an interdisciplinary subspecialty of medicine which deals with the treatment and preventive care of athletes, both amateur and professional.

The sports medicine “team” includes orthopaedic surgeons,  specialty physicians, physiatrists,   physical therapists , athletic trainers, and, of course …athletes. Therefore sports medicine it is not a single specialty, but an area that involves health care professionals, researchers and educators from a wide variety of disciplines. Its function is not only curative and rehabilitative, but also preventative, which may actually be the most important one of all. In the last few decades we have seen an international explosion in sports traumatology and arthroscopy researches. Huge efforts have been made to improve the surgical and conservative treatment results both in professional and amateur athlete.

The introduction of minimally invasive arthroscopic and open techniques new concept of rehabilitation programs into sports has drastically changed the training program. In addition, 3D motion analysis has been frequently utilized to improve the performance and now simulation of the condition of each part of human body is available. One of the hot topics in sports medicine is the prevention of injury and application of such new technologies enabled the development of advanced rehabilitation and prevention programs.

Frequent problems in sports are muscle cramps, sprains or tears, ligament sprains and tears (i.e. knee and ankle) and cartilage lesions. Cartilage injuries may be isolated defects, but are frequently found in association with other internal derangements, such as meniscal tears, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) damage, patellar dislocation, or osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) in the knee joint.  Physical demands can result in acute injury from shear and/or compression forces, or repetitive submaximal micro-trauma in high-impact, rapid deceleration and pivoting/cutting/directional change sports. Furthermore, high intensity exercise and/or repetitive micro-trauma can lead to tendonitis and progressive chondropenia.

The remarkable progress in Sports Medicine science and Bio-Engineering gave enabled the development of genetic or cellular manipulation with the aim to utilize biological technologies to address sport injuries. The Future of Sports Medicine depends on the optimized combination of these technologies. The application of evolving bioengineering technology would contribute to the faster return to sports, improved athlete performance and eventually the prevention of degenerative joint disease.