BMC Medicine at The World Sports Trauma Congress and 7th EFOST Congress

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The general health benefits of regular exercise are well known and highly recommended, but increasing levels of sports can also mean an increase in the incidence of sports injuries. Therefore, there has been growing interest in sports trauma treatment and prevention, not just in the elite athlete, but also in the ‘weekend warrior’; a term used to describe those who participate in relatively high intensity sports, but only recreationally and normally at the weekend.

This month, BMC Medicine attended The World Sports Trauma Congress and 7th EFOST Congress, which focused on sports trauma, and exercise medicine. This London-based international congress, jointly organized by Mike Carmont, an orthopedic surgeon and also the guest editor of our ongoing cross-journal article collection, Advances in Sports Nutrition, Exercise and Medicine, was held from 17th-20th October and attracted several hundred delegates and scores of leaders in the fields of soft tissue injury therapies and orthopedic surgery.

Topics were diverse, ranging from tissue engineering strategies and novel surgical techniques to improve outcome, to guest lectures from Olympic medalists. Of particular interest was a lecture from Geoff Parsons, a former Olympic high jumper, who provided his perspective as an elite athlete treated by sports trauma specialists when he competed in the Olympics in 1984 and 1988. The field of orthopedics was prominent at this conference. Roger Hackney, an orthopedic surgeon who has also competed in three Olympic games, provided expert insight both into upper limb orthopedic surgery as well as Olympic level sport.

Another session that generated a great deal of interest focused on platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy, which is used with the aim of promoting faster healing in both professional athletes and other individuals recovering from joint, tendon, ligament, and muscle injuries. As highlighted in this session, extensive variability in PRP preparations make it difficult to assess if this therapy is effective, so it continues to be a topic of controversy.

Joint replacement and resurfacing is becoming a more common phenomenon, and is occurring in younger patients who expect to be able to return to their previous active lifestyle post-operatively. Therefore, ‘return to play’ after joint replacement was a common theme at this conference, and experts such as Myles Coolican provided evidence-based recommendations on this issue.

Nicola Maffulli, who was elected next year’s president of the EFOST Congress, discussed tendinopathy management and Achilles’ rupture by highlighting the biological aspects that should be considered when managing these injuries. Additionally, he also provoked an interesting debate on the topic of novel strategies for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair. Here, he emphasized that it is important to gain evidence for, and publish, high level evidence that the novel surgical strategies presented at this session are actually effective in ACL repair.

Sports and exercise medicine encompasses a variety of disciplines, so it is expected that advances in this field will have a substantial impact on other areas of medicine. Our article collection, Advances in Sports Nutrition, Exercise and Medicine, is still open to submissions offering novel insights into the clinical utility of sports medicine Journals included in this cross-journal collection are BMC Medicine, Harm Reduction Journal, JISSN, Extreme Physiology & Medicine and SMARTT. Queries regarding any potential submissions can be sent to bmcmedicineeditorial@biomedcentral.com.