5 developing trends in sports medicine and protecting athletes


Sports medicine continues to be a growing industry, and the safety of athletes is important. 

Here are five trends that are increasing player safety and sports injury treatment, according to a May 30 article from Definitive Healthcare:

More people playing sports, both professional and recreational

With nearly 12,000 professional athletes in the U.S. and one-fourth of the adult population playing a sport, there is not a lack of potential sports medicine patients. 

In addition, more medical residents are taking an interest in sports medicine, as it had the most growth among residents between 2016 and 2021, likely due to rising popularity of professional athletes and more awareness of health and fitness.

Improved concussion treatment and prevention

Awareness of concussion and head injuries has increased and more treatment is being provided at outpatient instead of inpatient settings. 

Being able to potentially diagnose CTE in living athletes has raised awareness and attention to head injury prevention in sports. 

Creation of specific surgeries for specific injuries

Better technology has allowed sports medicine surgeons to more accurately plan for sports-related surgeries, where 14 percent of sports injuries ultimately end up. 

Tommy John surgery is still performed on baseball players nearly 50 years after the first operation. Using human tissue for cartilage repairs is a new surgery idea being introduced to help athletes recover. 

Physical therapy post-surgery and injury

One-fifth of all sports injury diagnoses had claims related to physical therapy. Completing physical therapy, whether there was a surgery or not, is important for athletes to successfully return to play. 

Protecting auto racers with safety measures

Formula 1 and IndyCar Series drivers are better protected than in the past due to enhanced car structures, devices and designs. 

When crashes do happen, medical personnel are on hand to provide care and transport as quickly as possible. 

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