Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine specialists convene in London ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games

BMC Medicine attended the 7th national conference of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in London on the 14th-15th February. This was a meeting that was especially timely given the forthcoming Olympic Games in London this year. The 50 specialists attending included orthopedic surgeons, physiotherapists, radiologists, and psychologists. Moreover, interest in this area of medicine was such that there were a substantial number of attendees of various disciplines who attended purely due to a personal interest in sports and sports medicine.

This field of medicine encompasses a large variety of disciplines, which was reflected in the wide range of topics the speakers presented. A common theme throughout the presentations was the issue of rehabilitation, both based in physiology and in psychology.

Lieutenant Colonel Jon Houghton gave an excellent presentation on what we can learn from the military in terms of sports injury rehabilitation. In another aspect of rehabilitation, platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy, which aims to provide faster healing for muscle and tendon injuries but controversial in terms of outcome, was discussed in a thought-provoking presentation by Prof Nicola Maffulli.

Dr Richard Budgett, who is the Chief Medical Officer at the British Olympic Association and has his own Olympic gold medal in rowing, discussed performance enhancing drugs with a view of what to expect in the London 2012 Olympics. In a very different but no less interesting talk, Ms. Britt Tajet-Foxell, a psychologist working at the Royal Ballet Company in London, discussed how working through psychological barriers can lead to Olympic success.

This conference highlighted recent advances in sports and orthopaedic medicine. With the forthcoming London Olympics, and the focus of exercise as a disease modifying and health beneficial regime, progression in this field of medicine continues to be hotly anticipated.

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