For the uninitiated, body composition, cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular fitness and musculoskeletal flexibility are all measured in a physical fitness evaluation where hydrostatic weighing, skinfold measures and anthropometric measurements are the three most used methods for determining body composition. A periodic health examination that focuses on the cardiovascular assessment gives a chance for non-professional athletes to detect heart problems and risk factors, allowing them to reduce hazards during sports participation.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Amyn Rajani, Arthroscopic surgeon and sports injury specialist from Nexus Day Surgery Centre, revealed, “Athlete screening allows for the evaluation of musculoskeletal abnormalities, whether unreported or known, that may have an impact on the athlete’s ability to train and perform. By evaluating previous injuries and ensuring compliance with any rehabilitation programmes, the physician will be able to arrange any interventions with the athlete that are thought essential.”
Answering why is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) the preferred modality, he said, “The complexity of certain athletes’ injuries, as well as the necessity for a quick diagnosis, has raised the demand for accuracy and speed in medical imaging modalities. The specific modality employed is determined by the diseases and wounded tissues. Choosing the best suitable imaging test is critical for reducing patient risk, speeding diagnosis and treatment, and lowering healthcare costs. Since soft tissue injuries are so prevalent, many doctors utilise ultrasonography to prevent exposure to potentially hazardous radiation. Nonetheless, MRI has a very high yield in soft-tissue injuries, including the capacity to document the amount of muscle damage and identify intra-articular lesions such as meniscal and articular cartilage injuries.”
He added, “An MRI test is also very helpful in determining bone stress. Due to the modalities’ excellent soft tissue contrast, multiplanar capabilities, and non-invasive process, the quality of output given by MRI is typically regarded as the “gold standard.” While an MRI is not required to identify an injury, it is a useful tool for confirming a diagnosis or ruling out a competing one, especially when the history and physical examination are insufficient to establish a diagnosis. Additionally, MRI is frequently utilised prior to orthopaedic surgery since the information obtained from an MRI can give the surgeon a “map” of the wounded region, assisting the surgeon in guiding the surgery and improving the outcome. Some of the most frequent sports injuries that may necessitate an MRI scan include muscle, tendon, and joint problems, as well as stress fractures.”
Talking about scans and what injuries they are useful for, Dr Amyn Rajani highlighted, “Scans can give important information for both acute and chronic ailments. They include hamstring and calf muscle strains, knee and ankle ligament sprains, such as ACL/MCL, and acute fractures. Scans provide information on the grading of these injuries, which is significant in determining how each injury should be addressed, such as whether a rehab time is acceptable or whether referral to a specialist or surgery is required. In professional sports, imaging is a regularly utilised technique for sports injuries. It is also open to the public for sports and musculoskeletal ailments. When your Sports Physio or Doctor has completed an initial clinical examination, imaging is utilised to obtain further information about an injury. X-rays, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and CT (Computed Tomography) scans are common imaging methods.”
He emphasised, “The most essential feature of this health check is the detection of undiscovered medical disorders that may put an athlete’s participation in sports in danger. One obvious example is an underlying heart ailment that might put a player in danger of sudden death during exertion. Yet, there are other more disorders that necessitate routine screening examinations.”