The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) has published the first in a series of six anatomically-based articles on the emerging area of sports imaging in the February issue of its journal Radiology.
The series, which kicked off with a review of common sports injuries affecting the shoulder, will cover issues athletes also experience with elbow, wrist/hand, hip, knee and foot/ankle injuries. The articles will be presented sequentially once every two months, and will be followed by two additional reviews on muscle injury imaging and sports imaging of the growing skeleton.
Authors featured in the series will include sports imaging experts like Bruce Forster, MD, of the University of British Columbia Hospital in Vancouver, who credits dramatic advances in imaging capability as the driving force behind the subspecialty’s recent popularity.
“The development of US and MR imaging in particular over the past 20 years has resulted in vastly superior visualization of tendons, ligaments, and cartilage, such that medical imaging is playing an increasingly pivotal role in the diagnosis and treatment of sports-related injuries,” Forster said in an article announcing the series. “It is therefore important that radiologists not only become familiar with the role of imaging in the diagnosis and prognosis of sports injuries, but as with other imaging subspecialists, understand the anatomy, biomechanics, pathophysiology, and surgical treatment options for our patients.”
Comprehensive information about specific sports injuries, the most commonly performed examinations on injured athletes and any potential diagnostic complications will be outlined in each installment of the series.
“Each article in this series will review the epidemiology of injury for the anatomic location, the main imaging modalities utilized, with emphasis on MR imaging and US, and touch on the relevant anatomic variants that could mimic disease,” Forster said. “The most common sports-related injuries will be covered, and their imaging findings generously illustrated.”
The series is primarily designed to inform, educate and assist radiologists performing musculoskeletal imaging, and in particular sports imaging, as a substantial part of their practice. But those benefiting from increased knowledge of sports medicine and musculoskeletal imaging include not only doctors, but the athletes at risk as well.
“The increasing notoriety of sports imaging provides an excellent opportunity for radiologists to attract research funding and educate the public and government with respect to our specialty,” Forster concluded. “But most importantly, it will help all athletes to excel in their sport and lead healthier lives, regardless of their age or level of sporting expertise."