Sports imaging is the branch of radiology, that is focused on the imaging needs of athletes of all age , shapes and sizes. This includes high profile sports such as Premier league footballers, International Rugby players, Olympic athletes, , ranked tennis players and cricketers. But also, elite gymnasts, fell runners, cross- country runners, cage fighters and boxers. As there is increasing awareness of being fit and more widespread improvement in fitness, this encompasses most of the population such as joggers, regular gym workout, biking and also the consequences of aging such as osteoarthritis.
Pursuit of exercise as part of healthy lifestyle or leisure activity can result in injury.
Sports Injuries are generally due to two main causes:
- overuse (repetitive action), such as tendinosis, arthritis and stress fractures
- traumatic event , such as shoulder dislocation, fracture, or anterior cruciate ligament tears.
Overuse injuries, generally resolve with conservative management, that is, with rest, pain relief, anti-inflammatory medications, followed by a period of rehabilitation and graduated return to activities. Many athletes may consult a sports physician, physiotherapist and/or fitness coach to assist with their recovery.
Traumatic injuries management depends on the degree of injury, for example, fracture, torn tendon or shoulder dislocation, require Orthopaedic Surgeon’s input and surgery. However, ankle sprain or medial collateral ligament sprain of the knee, are generally managed conservatively, with rest , support and physiotherapy .
Understandably, athletes want to minimize their time on the sidelines. In order to return to training and competition as soon as possible, an accurate and rapid diagnosis is essential. Following a clinical assessment, many athletes require some form of imaging to confirm the suspected diagnosis and assess its severity, for example, an X ray to exclude a fracture, MRI scan to diagnose a meniscal or cartilage tear, or ultrasound to assess a Achilles tendinosis.
Once a diagnosis has been made, imaging guided treatment, may be required, such as platelet rich plasma injection of a muscle tear, cortisone into an inflamed joint or dry needling or high volume injection into a damaged Achilles tendon. Such procedures are performed either with the use of ultrasound, fluoroscopy or CT guidance.
Dr Khan has the necessary expertise to deal with all facets of sports medicine imaging and image guided intervention. Dr Khan has done a Fellowship in Musculoskeletal Imaging and intervention at Leiden University Medical Centre, Netherlands. He was one of the first radiologists in the UK to undertake the specialist Musculoskeletal Diploma, training under the European Society of Skeletal Radiologists in 2009. He has had training in Sports Imaging by some of the top radiologists in the World during his Fellowship. This has been updated and honed, by working closely as a team with physiotherapists, Surgeons and Doctors of elite clubs of various sports and athletic pursuits.