Outcome in the treatment of chronic overuse sports injuries: a retrospective study.
Overuse injuries due to repetitive motion are common in recreational and elite athletes. Some overuse injuries resolve quickly after activity modification, but others can persist, which often prompts the patient to seek medical attention. This study retrospectively reviewed outcome and compliance in the treatment of chronic overuse sports injuries. One hundred and two patients were contacted by telephone an average of 27 months following their initial visit for chronic overuse injury. A questionnaire regarding the treatment and outcome was completed. Of this group, 38 (37%) claimed to be completely better, 28 (28%) were improved, but 36 (35%) were not better or worse. Anterior knee pain had a significantly worse outcome than any other injury (p < 0.05). Excluding anterior knee pain, 71% were improved or completely better. Neither activity modification nor combination treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and physical therapy through stretching and strengthening exercises was associated with a better result. Noncompliance rates were 9% for NSAID therapy and 13% for exercise treatment. These results indicate that chronic overuse injuries are not always self-limiting but can result in prolonged symptoms.
Almekinders, LC; Almekinders, SV
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