Note from Editor-in-Chief William O. Roberts
March is here and spring launched early this year on the heels of a relatively mild winter in the Midwest. That means the ring of spring for many who have endured winter, the loss of snow and ice for those who ski and skate, and the transition to spring and summer sports; and of course, “March Madness.” At all age levels, March Madness and winter sport tournaments carry the hope for championships for some and hopefully the conclusion of a fun season for all. As the snow melts; the critters re-appear, the ticks come out in force, the wilderness opens up to more people, and the promise of warm weather lurks on the horizon. In this issue we cover some of the maladies of warmer weather and the paradox of cardiac risk and benefit in sport and exercise.
The March/April 2016 issue of Current Sports Medicine Reports is packed full of useful information and interesting reads covering a variety of topics in Chest and Abdominal Conditions and Environmental Conditions. Chest and Abdominal Conditions Section Editor Sean T. Bryan, MD, has assembled an interesting set of articles which examine the balance of more intensive preparticipation cardiovascular screening in athletes for the potential individual risk and benefit against the overall public health risk and benefit. The paradox of exercise is inactivity with the promise of obesity and chronic disease at one end of the spectrum and vigorous exercise with the threat of sudden cardiac death in a very small number of people on the other end. The current cardiovascular preparticipation physical examination is the current national standard, and the cardiac checklist embedded in the history and physical should steer providers in the right direction. How will the addition of ECG or other strategies stack up when it comes to outcomes like sudden cardiac death? Do we really know that athletes are at more risk from sports participation? Do we even know how well our current system performs? There are many unanswered questions and knowledge gaps in this evolving area of athlete care. You also will want to read the informative article in this section on the use of musculoskeletal ultrasound for the diagnosis and treatment of sports hernia.
Shawn F. Kane, MD, FACSM, serves as the section editor for the Environmental Conditions section and is also featured in this issue’s Clinician Profile. You will not want to miss the interesting and educational articles from this topical area, which include tick borne diseases, wilderness travel in non-pregnant females, acupuncture for sports injuries in remote environments, and spinal cord injuries associated with wave-riding sports. This section also contains two helpful case reports, one on drowning injuries and the other outlining two heat stroke incidents.
The Invited Commentary, by Nitin K. Sethi, MD, MBBS, FAAN, explores the topic of boxer safety and reducing system errors in the ring. Pearls and Pitfalls looks at heart attack triggers and is aptly titled, “Never take your heart by surprise.” Scanning Sports Medicine reviews the latest research published by ACSM, CAQ Review tackles thoracic outlet syndrome, and Clinical Pearls addresses sacral stress fractures.
William O. Roberts, MD, MS, FACSM