Return to play assessments

Athletes are more likely to sustain illnesses and injuries while participating in different sports activities. Sports medicine physicians analyze these ailments and injuries. Read this article to learn what you should expect during return-to-play assessments. Log on to for a consultation.

These assessments are used to make an athlete return to the playing field after recovering from the injury and fully ready to participate in sport without putting the individual at risk of injury or illness.

To ensure that, the sports physician uses some assessments, including:

  • Establishing an RTP process
  • Evaluating injured or ill athletes
  • Updates on treatment and rehabilitation of injured or ill athletes
  • Returning an injured or ill athlete to play.
  1. Establishing an RTP process:

In this step, the doctor decides whether an athlete can safely return to practice or competition or not. For that, the doctor evaluates the athlete’s health status, participation risk, and extrinsic factors.

  • Evaluate the athlete’s health status: The doctor checks your medical history, symptoms, signs, and additional tests. The doctor also has psychological factors like readiness and coping mechanisms. Doctors also check body functions and the nature of injury including the mechanism of injury, natural history, and known risks of participation after injury.
  • Evaluate the athlete’s participation risk: Here doctors check the demands of the sport like competitive levels, the role of protective gear, and medical intervention for an athlete to play, for example, injections, inhalers, and intravenous fluids. They also evaluate whether this affects other athletes or not.
  • Extrinsic factors: Here doctors also check factors like the level of risk for individual athletes, pressure from parents, teams, or coaches, conflicts of interest and other ethical considerations, fear of litigation, and points in the athlete’s season or career. That’s why during this process doctors also communicate with other players, families, certified athletic trainers, coaches, administrators, and other healthcare providers.
  • Evaluating injured or ill Athletes:

This is a key step to ensure a diagnosis and direct treatment for the athlete save to return to practice or competition. Repeated evaluations throughout the continuum of injury play a major role in this category to optimize medical care and help in the RTP decision

Evaluation of an injured or ill athlete must include:

  • A condition-specific medical history, physical examination, and functional testing.
  • Medical and radiological tests and consultations, if needed.
  • Psychological assessment.
  • Documentation
  • Communication with the player, family, certified athletic trainer, coaches, and other care providers about disclosure regulations.
  • Coordination with injured or ill athletes.
  • Treatment and rehabilitation of injured or ill athletes:

This category includes comprehensive treatment and rehabilitation options for an injured or ill athlete to optimize the safe and timely return to practice or competition. It includes:

  • Address all short and long-term needs of the athlete.
  • This may include consultations and referrals
  • Rehabilitation should include sport-specific assessment, treatment, and training to restore the function of the injured part.
  • Restore musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, and psychological function as well as overall health.
  • For sport-specific conditioning include equipment modification, bracing, and orthoses, as necessary.
  • Address psychosocial issues and provide a realistic prognosis for a safe and timely return to practice or competition including continued communication with the player, family, certified athletic trainer, coaches, and other healthcare providers,
  • Documentation
  • Initial or ongoing treatment for the injured or ill athlete.
  • Returning an injured or ill athlete to play:

The final decision for safe and timely return of an injured or ill athlete to practice or competition with the desired result from the process of evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation.

The RTP decision is a complex process that involves the health status of the individual and participation and extrinsic factors and may require interpreting information from multiple sources. The responsibility falls on the shoulders of the team physician to consider these factors to make RTP decisions and communicate and document about implications and risks with the athlete and parents and guardians in case the athlete is a minor.

For confirmation, the team physician check:

  • Restoration of sport-specific function to the injured part.
  • Restoration of musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, and psychological function as well as overall health.
  • Restoration of sport-specific skills.
  • Safety with equipment modification, bracing, and orthoses.
  • Recovery status from acute or chronic illness and associated sequelae.
  • Psychosocial readiness.
  • The athlete poses no undue risk to themselves or other participants.
  • Compliance with federal, state, local, and governing body athletes with parents/guardians, certified and licensed athletic trainers, coaches, school officials, and others within disclosure regulations.

Need help with injury and illness in the sport, visit our sports medicine doctor for proper medical evaluation and treatment. Call us to book your appointment today. Doral Health and Wellness has several urgent care clinics around New York that can cater to your family’s medical needs. We also have the best medical providers, physicians and staff that are highly trained in their respective specialties. To know more about the locations of our urgent care clinics, you can visit us at Doral Health and Wellness. If you are looking for urgent care near you, you can visit Doral Health and Wellness Urgent Care. We provide urgent care for common illnesses and injuries. Additionally, we also provide comprehensive care for any related injuries and health problems. We also offer other services, such as vaccinations, immunizations, and blood testing. For more info, visit us or call 1-347-384-5690.

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