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1.  High volume image-guided Injections for patellar tendinopathy: a combined retrospective and prospective case series 
the aim was to quantify the effect of a novel high volume-image guided injection (HVIGI) technique for recalcitrant patellar tendinopathy (PT).
twenty patients (8 prospective; 12 retrospective) with ultrasonographically confirmed proximal PT were recruited. A HVIGI under ultra-sound guidance of 10 ml 0.5% Bupivacaine, 25 mg Hydrocortisone and 30 ml normal saline at the interface of the patellar tendon and Hoffa’s fat pad was administered. A standardised eccentric loading rehabilitation protocol was prescribed.
the VISA-P score improved from 45.0 to 64.0 (p<0.01) for all subjects, likely to be clinically significant. There was no statistically significant difference between the increase in the retrospective group of 19.9 (± 23.5) and the prospective of 16.4 (± 11.3) p = 0.7262.5% of prospective subjects agreed that they had significantly improved, with 37.5% returning to sport within 12 weeks.
HVIGI should be considered in the management of recalcitrant PT. Randomised controlled trials are warranted.
PMCID: PMC4187599  PMID: 25332938
injection; patellar tendon; tendinopathy; ultrasound; VISA-P
2.  The intercalated BSc in sports and exercise medicine at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry 
To report about the intercalated Bsc(Hons) in Sports and Exercise Medicine at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry (BLSMD), Queen Mary University of London.
Educational study.
The course is currently in its tenth year, providing medical students with the opportunity to develop knowledge in the field of Sports and Exercise Medicine (SEM) during one academic year of full time study.
There have been more than 150 graduates, and 22 students are enrolled for the 2012–13 academic year on what has been the most popular and largest intercalated degree at BLSMD in recent years. External applicants typically make up 30–40% of entrants.
Equal weighting on taught modules and a portfolio of research activity provides a strong foundation in Sports and Exercise Medicine, and equips successful students with evidence based translational skills, and the opportunity to perform publishable research.
This article outlines the increasing demand for Sports and Exercise Medicine education, and how the course prepares graduates for practising SEM as a sub-specialist interest or to compete for entry into the Specialist Trainee training route.
PMCID: PMC3838327  PMID: 24367778
education; curriculum; sports (and exercise) medicine
3.  Pre-cooling for endurance exercise performance in the heat: a systematic review 
BMC Medicine  2012;10:166.
Endurance exercise capacity diminishes under hot environmental conditions. Time to exhaustion can be increased by lowering body temperature prior to exercise (pre-cooling). This systematic literature review synthesizes the current findings of the effects of pre-cooling on endurance exercise performance, providing guidance for clinical practice and further research.
The MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Web of Science and SPORTDiscus databases were searched in May 2012 for studies evaluating the effectiveness of pre-cooling to enhance endurance exercise performance in hot environmental conditions (≥ 28°C). Studies involving participants with increased susceptibility to heat strain, cooling during or between bouts of exercise, and protocols where aerobic endurance was not the principle performance outcome were excluded. Potential publications were assessed by two independent reviewers for inclusion and quality. Means and standard deviations of exercise performance variables were extracted or sought from original authors to enable effect size calculations.
In all, 13 studies were identified. The majority of studies contained low participant numbers and/or absence of sample size calculations. Six studies used cold water immersion, four crushed ice ingestion and three cooling garments. The remaining study utilized mixed methods. Large heterogeneity in methodological design and exercise protocols was identified. Effect size calculations indicated moderate evidence that cold water immersion effectively improved endurance performance, and limited evidence that ice slurry ingestion improved performance. Cooling garments were ineffective. Most studies failed to document or report adverse events. Low participant numbers in each study limited the statistical power of certain reported trends and lack of blinding could potentially have introduced either participant or researcher bias in some studies.
Current evidence indicates cold water immersion may be the most effective method of pre-cooling to improve endurance performance in hot conditions, although practicality must be considered. Ice slurry ingestion appears to be the most promising practical alternative. Interestingly, cooling garments appear of limited efficacy, despite their frequent use. Mechanisms behind effective pre-cooling remain uncertain, and optimal protocols have yet to be established. Future research should focus on standardizing exercise performance protocols, recruiting larger participant numbers to enable direct comparisons of effectiveness and practicality for each method, and ensuring potential adverse events are evaluated.
PMCID: PMC3568721  PMID: 23249542
Pacing; thermoregulation; internal cooling; cooling garment; cold water immersion; ice slurry ingestion
4.  The morphology and symptom history of the Achilles tendons of figure skaters: an observational study 
This cross-sectional study assessed the prevalence of Achilles tendinopathy symptoms and ultrasound (US) abnormalities in male and female ice skaters, and compared this to age-matched controls. The 20 skaters of mean (sd) age 17.3 (7.9) were recruited from British figure skating clubs. The 17 non-skaters of mean age 18.0 (3.7) were recruited from a secondary school and university. Each group had 12 females. All participants completed a questionnaire, and Achilles tendons were ultrasound-scanned for thickening, hypoechoic areas, paratenon blurring and neovascularization. Skaters experienced significantly more lifetime symptoms (p=0.012) than the control group but there were no differences in present symptoms. Mid-tendon longitudinal thickness and the coefficient of variation (CoV) for longitudinal tendon thickness were significantly greater in the skaters (p=0.001 and p=0.017 respectively). No other ultrasound abnormalities were detected in either group. Figure skaters may be at a greater risk of Achilles tendon problems than the general population and have adaptive changes in their tendons.
PMCID: PMC3666509  PMID: 23738283
Achilles; skating; sonography; tendinopathy; ultrasonography
5.  The effectiveness of neuromuscular warm-up strategies, that require no additional equipment, for preventing lower limb injuries during sports participation: a systematic review 
BMC Medicine  2012;10:75.
Lower limb injuries in sport are increasingly prevalent and responsible for large economic as well as personal burdens. In this review we seek to determine which easily implemented functional neuromuscular warm-up strategies are effective in preventing lower limb injuries during sports participation and in which sporting groups they are effective.
Seven electronic databases were searched from inception to January 2012 for studies investigating neuromuscular warm-up strategies and injury prevention. The quality of each included study was evaluated using a modified version of the van Tulder scale. Data were extracted from each study and used to calculate the risk of injury following application of each evaluated strategy.
Nine studies were identified including six randomized controlled trials (RCT) and three controlled clinical trials (CCT). Heterogeneity in study design and warm-up strategies prevented pooling of results. Two studies investigated male and female participants, while the remaining seven investigated women only. Risk Ratio (RR) statistics indicated 'The 11+' prevention strategy significantly reduces overall (RR 0.67, confidence interval (CI) 0.54 to 0.84) and overuse (RR 0.45, CI 0.28 to 0.71) lower limb injuries as well as knee (RR 0.48, CI 0.32 to 0.72) injuries among young amateur female footballers. The 'Knee Injury Prevention Program' (KIPP) significantly reduced the risk of noncontact lower limb (RR 0.5, CI 0.33 to 0.76) and overuse (RR 0.44, CI 0.22 to 0.86) injuries in young amateur female football and basketball players. The 'Prevent Injury and Enhance Performance' (PEP) strategy reduces the incidence of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries (RR 0.18, CI 0.08 to 0.42). The 'HarmoKnee' programme reduces the risk of knee injuries (RR 0.22, CI 0.06 to 0.76) in teenage female footballers. The 'Anterior Knee Pain Prevention Training Programme' (AKP PTP) significantly reduces the incidence of anterior knee pain (RR 0.27, CI 0.14 to 0.54) in military recruits.
Effective implementation of practical neuromuscular warm-up strategies can reduce lower extremity injury incidence in young, amateur, female athletes and male and female military recruits. This is typically a warm-up strategy that includes stretching, strengthening, balance exercises, sports-specific agility drills and landing techniques applied consistently for longer than three consecutive months. In order to optimize these strategies, the mechanisms for their effectiveness require further evaluation.
PMCID: PMC3408383  PMID: 22812375
neuromuscular training; lower limb; injuries; prevention
6.  Thicker Achilles tendons are a risk factor to develop Achilles tendinopathy in elite professional soccer players 
The primary aim of this prospective cohort study was to compare the incidence of Achilles tendinopathy symptoms in elite soccer players with and without baseline asymptomatic ultrasound abnormalities. This study also investigated the relationship between baseline tendon thickness and development of symptoms. Using ultrasonography, 18 players were examined in 2009 for the existence of hypoechoicity, paratenon blurring, focal thickening and/or neovascularisation, and anteroposterior tendon thickness was measured. Symptom development during the follow-up period was assessed by interview one year later. Baseline mid-tendon thickness was greater (p=0.041) in tendons that experienced symptoms [median (IQR): 0.53 (0.51–0.55) cm] in the following year than tendons remaining asymptomatic [0.48 (0.45–0.52) cm]. No association between the existence of baseline ultrasound signs and development of symptoms in the following year was observed (Chi-Square: 1.180, p=0.277). A thicker baseline mid-tendon thickness was identified as a risk indicator for the development of Achilles tendinopathy in elite soccer players.
PMCID: PMC3666468  PMID: 23738247
tendinopathy; sonography; ultrasound; football; Achilles

Results 1-6 (6)