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The term Sports Medicine can be extremely broad, and includes not only the medical consequences of playing sports, but also the effects of physical, psychological, and environmental conditions on the ability to safely engage in athletic endeavors. Issues as diverse as exercising during pregnancy or advanced age, fractures and sprains, bracing, head injury, hypothermia, performance enhancing drugs, protective equipment, nutrition and hydration, tendonitis, and many others can all be considered to be part of Sports Medicine. As a result of the breath of the field, there are many kinds of healthcare providers actually participating in Sports Medicine, with no one type of provider able to legitimately claim sole jurisdiction.
However, the common usage of the term Sports Medicine is for the diagnosis, treatment, and even prevention of injuries arising from athletic participation. Orthopedic Surgeons, because of their training in managing fractures and dislocations, are the physicians most commonly presented with such conditions. Those who further specialize in the subfield of Orthopedic Sports Medicine often serve as team physicians, and so develop some expertise in areas outside of traditional orthopedics, such as concussions, hyperthermia, rehabilitation, etc. Since the late 2000’s, Orthopedic Surgeons specializing in Sports medicine have been able to obtain Board Certification in the subfield of Orthopedic Sports Medicine upon demonstration of knowledge about these non-orthopedic conditions in addition to demonstrating competency in Orthopedics.