Possibilities of diagnostic imaging in assessment of sports injuries in young athletes

The number of children and adolescents involved in organized sports has increased dramatically over recent decades. The benefits to health and social development of youth participation in sports are generally accepted. However, more participation has led to more sports-related injuries. The increase has been in both acute injuries and, even more, in overuse injuries. Many contributory factors (training errors, anatomic variants and abnormalities, environmental factors) are the same in children and adolescents as in adults. Certain causative factors are unique to young athletes: bone often grows faster then the surrounding muscle-tendon unit, relative weakness of cartilage at physes, apophyses and over epiphyseal surfaces. These factors render immature structures vulnerabile, especially during the period of rapid gorwth. Imaging plays an important role in the diagnosis and menagement of sports injuries of childhood and adolescence. Wideband of radiological diagnostic modalities are available now: conventional radiography, ultrasound, computet tomography and magnetic resonance. Each modality has its owen place in diagnostic algorithm, some of them are compatibile. Radiologist have to be part of medical team of specialists who has appropriate knowledge and appreciation for young athletes. Radiologist must be able to applay the full range of imaging modalities when evaluating the injured young athlete, but in close cooperation with clinicians.
Category: Review
Volume: Vol. 52, No 2, april - june 2008
Authors: I. Borić, R. Ivelj, M. Leko, Z. Bahtijarević, I. Bojanić, G. Roić
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