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Melissa Theige and Shannon David

Clinical Scenario: Surgical treatment of acetabular labral tears has been explored in multiple studies, while there is a lack of research on the effectiveness of conservative methods. Focused Clinical Question: To what extent can nonsurgical treatment produce symptomatic or functional improvements in athletes with an acetabular labral tear? Summary of Search, Best Evidence Appraised, and Key Findings: The literature was searched for studies of patients with confirmed acetabular labral tears who participated in any level of sport. Four studies were located, all of which were included. Clinical Bottom Line: The research discussed in this review agreed that conservative management of acetabular labral tears produced measurable improvements in pain and function among the athletes studied, including their ability to participate in sport activities. Based on these findings, it appears that conservative management is effective at rehabilitating athletes with acetabular labral tears. However, this method should not be applied to every athlete based on the low strength of current research. Treatment plans should be decided upon on a case-by-case basis. Strength of Recommendation: The studies located were of low quality. The highest Oxford Center for Evidence-Based Medicine Level of Evidence achieved was 4. Higher level studies must be conducted before the conclusions of this research can be applied clinically with assertion. Strength of recommendation is level 3.

Open access

Bradley J. Conant, Nicole A. German, and Shannon L. David

Clinical Scenario: Rates of ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injuries continue to rise in overhead athletes of all ages. Surgical interventions require minimally 6 months and up to 2 years of rehabilitation. Younger athletes and those with partial tears have seen positive results with conservative treatment approaches. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) continues to be studied with various orthopedic injuries, and its use has the potential to improve return-to-sport rates and reduce recovery time. Focused Clinical Question: Do PRP injections improve conservative treatment outcomes in overhead athletes with partial tears of the UCL compared with conservative treatment alone regarding return to participation? Summary of Search, Best Evidence Appraised, and Key Findings: A literature search was performed to locate all studies investigating outcomes when PRP is included in a conservative treatment program for overhead athletes with partial UCL tears. Three case series qualified and were reviewed. Clinical Bottom Line: Current evidence suggests that including PRP in a conservative treatment program can improve outcomes in overhead athletes with partial UCL tears. Athletes whose treatment included PRP show higher return-to-competition rates and shorter recovery times compared with athletes who used rehabilitation alone. Athletes with grade-1 and proximal-based grade-2 injuries returned to competition at rates comparable with athletes undergoing surgical intervention. For optimal conservative management outcomes, PRP injections should be recommended for treatment of partial UCL tears. Strength of Recommendation: The studies qualifying for inclusion are level 4 evidence based on the 2011 Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine levels of evidence. The studies are well designed and show consistent results, but higher level studies need to demonstrate similar results to improve the body of evidence. The strength of recommendation is C.