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What's new in sports medicine (primary care)
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What's new in sports medicine (primary care)
All topics are updated as new evidence becomes available and our peer review process is complete.
Literature review current through: Feb 2017. | This topic last updated: Feb 21, 2017.

The following represent additions to UpToDate from the past six months that were considered by the editors and authors to be of particular interest. The most recent What's New entries are at the top of each subsection.

ADOLESCENT AND PEDIATRIC SPORTS MEDICINE

Early physical activity following acute concussion in children and adolescents (January 2017)

Although physical rest is routinely recommended after concussion, there are few data to determine whether avoidance of physical activity hastens recovery. In a prospective, multicenter cohort study of over 2400 children who were diagnosed with an acute concussion during an emergency department visit, early physical activity (within seven days of injury) compared with physical rest was associated with a significantly reduced risk of persistent postconcussive symptoms (PPCS) at 28 days [1]. However, the difference in PPCS may be the result of confounding, and clinical trials are needed to confirm this result. We suggest that children and adolescents with concussions adhere to full physical rest until they have no symptoms of concussion (table 1) and normal balance or return to baseline on standardized testing. In the minority of patients with prolonged symptoms beyond seven days after injury, we introduce light, subsymptom threshold aerobic exercise (eg, light stationary bicycling), which can often be tolerated and may improve symptoms. (See "Concussion in children and adolescents: Management", section on 'Physical rest'.)

Multidisciplinary approach to children and adolescents with persistent concussion symptoms (September 2016)

For patients with prolonged post-concussion symptoms, a multidisciplinary approach that includes mental health care by a psychologist or psychiatrist is associated with better outcomes. In a randomized trial of 49 children and adolescents (11 to 17 years of age) with persistent symptoms for one month or longer after a sports-related concussion, collaborative treatment consisting of care management, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and, when needed, psychopharmacologic consultation was associated with significant reductions in postconcussive and depression symptoms at six months when compared to usual treatment [2]. (See "Concussion in children and adolescents: Management", section on 'Persistent symptoms'.)

MANAGEMENT AND REHABILITATION OF MUSCULOSKELETAL INJURIES

Supervised or home exercise therapy following ankle sprain (February 2017)

Early exercise therapy improves outcomes following acute ankle sprain, and some trials of supervised physical therapy have shown benefit. However, a randomized trial involving 503 patients with Grade I and II acute ankle sprains compared usual care (including written instructions about standard interventions and graduated weight bearing activities) with usual care plus supervised physical therapy and found no improved outcome, functional or subjective, at one, three, or six months with the addition of supervised physical therapy [3]. Nevertheless, supervised rehabilitation may be advantageous for patients for whom a faster return to work or sport is especially important. (See "Ankle sprain", section on 'Approach and exercises'.)

PREVENTION AND BIOMECHANICS OF MUSCULOSKELETAL INJURIES

Running shoe heel-to-toe drop and injury risk (February 2017)

The role of running shoes in preventing or causing injury remains controversial. In a trial of over 500 recreational runners randomly assigned to use identical running shoes that differed only in drop (the change in height from heel to forefoot) and followed for six months, the overall injury rate did not differ by group [4]. However, in a stratified analysis based on running frequency, the risk of injury was higher in regular runners using low rather than high drop shoes. This finding suggests that some recreational runners may benefit from the reduced impact associated with a larger drop, but further study is needed to confirm this finding. (See "Overview of running injuries of the lower extremity", section on 'Barefoot running, minimalist shoes, and shoe drop'.)

PROCEDURES

Anticoagulant thromboprophylaxis not warranted in nonmajor lower limb orthopedic surgery (January 2017)

Whether anticoagulation thromboprophylaxis is indicated for patients with lower leg immobilization from below knee casting or undergoing arthroscopy was evaluated in a randomized trial [5]. The rate of symptomatic venous thromboembolism (VTE) was low (<2 percent) and not affected by the administration of anticoagulant prophylaxis. Risk factors in addition to the surgery itself were present among the few patients who did develop thrombus. This trial supports the current recommendation that, for patients with lower leg immobilization due to below knee casting or arthroscopy who do not have additional risk factors for VTE, anticoagulant prophylaxis is not warranted. (See "Prevention of venous thromboembolic disease in surgical patients", section on 'Orthopedic surgery'.)

OTHER PRIMARY CARE SPORTS MEDICINE

Structured exercise program and mobility disability in older adults (January 2017)

The randomized multicenter LIFE study, comparing a structured exercise program with a health information program among sedentary adults aged 70 to 89 years without major mobility disability at baseline, had previously reported that exercise decreased the incidence of major mobility disorder (MMD) and risk for permanent MMD. In a new report, the structured exercise also increased the likelihood of transition from MMD, if it occurred, to no MMD [6]. Preserving mobility is essential for maintaining independence and quality of life among older adults. These findings indicate that exercise both prevents initial mobility disability and promotes restored mobility in those who become disabled. (See "Physical activity and exercise in older adults", section on 'Benefits of physical activity'.)

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All topics are updated as new information becomes available. Our peer review process typically takes one to six weeks depending on the issue.