Sports injuries are specific injuries sustained during competitive athletics or other exercise, usually affecting the musculoskeletal system or the muscles, bones, ligaments and/or cartilage. Head injuries often occur while engaged in contact sports like football. Proper training, protective equipment and other precautions can often prevent sports injuries.
Still, even the most careful athletes can suffer an unexpected injury, especially those who play contact and team sports. With Fall sports season ramping up, Doctors Imaging wants to stress the importance regarding your radiologist’s role in diagnosis and treatment of your athlete’s sports injury.
To accurately diagnose your injury or condition, your physician may suggest an X-ray, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) ,Computed Tomography (CT) or ultrasound to provide images of the affected area.
· X-rays are often used for diagnosing fractures.
· MRIs are useful in diagnosing injuries to the ligaments, tendons and other tissues.
· CT scans are used less frequently in sports medicine but can be helpful for more complex orthopedic issues.
· Ultrasound provides great detail in evaluating the soft tissues around joints, tendons and muscles and is often used for image-guided procedures such as anesthetic injections.
· MRI with special techniques like 3T SWI is used to look in detail for subtle contact head injuries that occur during football, soccer etc.
In April 2016, researchers presented a study on the long-term risks of playing football. It found that more than 40% of retired National Football League players examined showed signs of traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is often a precursor to a degenerative brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The rate of TBI found in the retired football players is “significantly higher” than that of the general population, according to Dr. Francis Conidi, one of the study’s authors. “This is one of the largest studies to date in living retired NFL players and one of the first to demonstrate significant objective evidence for traumatic brain injury in these former players,” Conidi said.
In 2017, the journal Radiology published a study that found football players sustain concussions that may carry a long term impact on their brain health. This study, funded in part by the NFL and NFL Players Association, showed that a player’s position and career duration play a part in their concussion history. The resulting effects on the brain’s white matter structure may lead to the onset of traumatic neurodegenerative disease. These effects have been suggested in the past, but researchers are now better able to evaluate brain function using qDTI-MRI Imaging.
Doctors Imaging uses the latest technology to offer the highest level of imaging available at the most affordable price.Learn more about our imaging services, or schedule an imaging exam by calling 504-883-8111.