OPEN Clinics in sports medicine | 26 Mar 2013
Pulmonary injuries from blunt thoracic trauma are seen regularly with high-energy mechanisms but described less frequently in association with sports. Pneumothorax, hemothorax, pneumomediastinum, and pulmonary contusion are uncommon with athletic participation and often follow a benign clinical course. Life-threatening complications may arise, and athletes with chest trauma deserve close attention. Appropriate diagnosis is suggested by history and physical examination; conventional chest radiography is preferred as the initial imaging study but has limitations. Use of CT for trauma has improved diagnostic sensitivity for occult injury, although this may not alter management or outcomes. Return to play is guided by resolution of symptoms and radiographic findings.
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