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Bone Health in Adaptive Sports Athletes

Blauwet, Cheri A., MD*,†; Borgstrom, Haylee E., MD, MS*; Tenforde, Adam S., MD*

Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy Review: June 2019 - Volume 27 - Issue 2 - p 60–66
doi: 10.1097/JSA.0000000000000235
Review Articles

Adaptive sports athletes represent a growing population within the athletic community worldwide. Given potential cardiometabolic and psychosocial benefits of adaptive sports participation, the impact on bone health and injury risk in adaptive athletes is of increasing clinical interest. Impaired bone health as a result of low energy availability has been well described in able-bodied athletic women and, more recently, men as part of the female athlete triad and Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S). However, the applicability of these models to adaptive athletes remains unclear given altered physiology and biomechanics compared with able-bodied counterparts. Thus, a literature review was completed to characterize the influence of adaptive sports participation and associated risk factors for impaired bone health in this unique population. To date, limited investigations demonstrate a consistent, positive effect of sports participation on bone health. Risk factors for impaired bone health include low energy availability and micronutrient deficiency.

*Kelley Adaptive Sports Research Institute

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Cheri A. Blauwet, MD, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Kelley Adaptive Sports Research Institute, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 300 1st Avenue, Charlestown, MA 02129

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