Sports medicine was revolutionized by the combined impacts of arthroscopy and advanced musculoskeletal imaging. Parallel with our ability to see exquisite detail within the joint via the arthroscope, in the last 2 decades we have witnessed dramatic advances in our ability to image periarticular soft tissues, bone, and cartilage. On the basis of the remarkable pace of evolution in radiology, it is certain that these technologies will continue to change dramatically during our clinical careers.
This issue of Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy review presents an update of the various imaging modalities that are used commonly in orthopedic and primary care sports medicine and arthroscopic practice. The first article provides a general overview of the utilization of the various imaging choices for sports medicine. Clinicians should consider the diagnostic accuracy and cost-efficiency of the various imaging choices, as these modalities have the capacity to consume a large share of the healthcare dollar.
Subsequent articles give state-of-the-art summaries of computerized tomography, scintigraphy, musculoskeletal ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging. The concluding papers focus on areas of “hot” interest and technologic development, with discussions of magnetic resonance imaging of the shoulder, hip, knee, and articular cartilage.
Our challenge in sports medicine is to establish a clear diagnosis from which to offer reliable treatment alternatives to patients and athletes. We are in an era when noninvasive imaging facilitates this kind of accurate, anatomically based diagnostic approach. Further, advanced imaging should allow us to critically evaluate our clinical outcomes as we strive to reproduce normal anatomy after sports-related injury.