The study of sports medicine is perhaps the most interesting of the orthopaedic specialties. Within this field is the tremendous hope of mankind: namely, to change the course of natural history. With every passing day, we lose chondrocytes, osteocytes, and tenocytes to the ravages of wear and tear. Unlocking the mystery of cartilage, bone, and soft tissue regeneration is the next frontier of orthopaedic science, and one in which the sports medicine physician is thoroughly engaged. Through our evolving understanding of the biologic processes of the musculoskeletal system, the sports medicine physician is constantly adherent to the adage, ‘function follows form.’ It is the field of sports medicine that took the moon shot in orthopaedics, namely, to re-create damaged anatomy to its native state.
From the medical student perspective, the field of sports medicine is really where one should begin. While it is certainly intriguing to think of sports medicine as a specialty whose sole concern is getting athletes back to their craft, it is really much more. The sports medicine physician is the true diagnostician of the musculoskeletal world. If you had a musculoskeletal problem, but weren’t sure where to go first, I’d say you should start with a sports medicine specialist.
As you explore this volume covering the most common conditions that sports specialists treat, I hope you will see exactly what I mean. There is no part of the musculoskeletal system that isn’t known to the sports medicine surgeon. Whether it is the spine, foot and ankle, or shoulder, we’ve got it covered.
This volume is our best attempt to make the information digestible, practical, easy to understand, and current. It should be where every medical student begins his or her journey in orthopaedics. There is no question that there will be chapters here that will, sooner or later apply to you or someone you know. It is for this reason that sports medicine is so relevant, and key to any foundational knowledge in musculoskeletal disease.
Fotios Paul Tjoumakaris, MD
Associate Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery
Sidney Kimmel College of Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University
Rothman Orthopaedic Institute
Associate Director, Sports Medicine Fellowship, Thomas Jefferson University