Imaging of muscle injuries in sports medicine
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Muscle injuries represent a major challenge for professional athletes, accounting for up to one-third of all sports-related injuries, and they are responsible for a large part of time lost to competition. The main goal of the sports medicine physician is to return the athlete to competition—balanced against the need to prevent the injury from worsening or recurring. Prognosis based on the available clinical and imaging information is crucial. Imaging is crucial to confirm and assess the extent of sports-related muscle injuries and may help to guide management, which directly affects the prognosis. Several imaging techniques are widely available with ultrasonography (US) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging currently the most frequently applied in sports medicine. In this review, we begin with the functional anatomy of the skeletal muscle and the mechanisms of injury. We will discuss the main imaging modalities for the assessment of sports-related muscle injuries, including advanced imaging techniques, with the focus on the clinical relevance of imaging features of muscle injuries.

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