Published online Dec 18, 2015. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v6.i11.850
Peer-review started: June 1, 2015
First decision: July 10, 2015
Revised: September 4, 2015
Accepted: October 1, 2015
Article in press: October 8, 2015
Published online: December 18, 2015
Fractures in sport are a specialised cohort of fracture injuries, occurring in a high functioning population, in which the goals are rapid restoration of function and return to play with the minimal symptom profile possible. While the general principles of fracture management, namely accurate fracture reduction, appropriate immobilisation and timely rehabilitation, guide the treatment of these injuries, management of fractures in athletic populations can differ significantly from those in the general population, due to the need to facilitate a rapid return to high demand activities. However, despite fractures comprising up to 10% of all of sporting injuries, dedicated research into the management and outcome of sport-related fractures is limited. In order to assess the optimal methods of treating such injuries, and so allow optimisation of their outcome, the evidence for the management of each specific sport-related fracture type requires assessment and analysis. We present and review the current evidence directing management of fractures in athletes with an aim to promote valid innovative methods and optimise the outcome of such injuries. From this, key recommendations are provided for the management of the common fracture types seen in the athlete. Six case reports are also presented to illustrate the management planning and application of sport-focussed fracture management in the clinical setting.
Core tip: This is an editorial article, on the topic of optimising the management and outcome of sport-related fractures, providing an informed commentary on the current management of acute fractures in the athlete with an aim to try optimise their outcome. The article begins with a brief overview of the topic, which is followed by a discussion on the management strategies and associated outcomes of the common fracture patterns seen in sporting populations. The published evidence relevant to this is also discussed. The authors then present a series of case reports to illustrate the management of such injuries in the clinical setting.