An injury surveillance of patients utilising the Durban University of Technology (DUT) Chiropractic Treatment Facilities at the 2013 World Transplant Games
McBean, Michael John
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Background: The 19th Iteration of the World Transplant Games was hosted in Durban, South Africa in 2013. This biennial, international, multisport event showcases the talents of transplant athletes, whilst demonstrating the benefits of organ transplantation. To date, limited research is available on transplant athletes. This study aimed to determine the injury profile of transplant athletes who presented to the Durban University of Technology Chiropractic Treatment Facilities during the 2013 World Transplant Games. Methods: This retrospective, descriptive cohort study analysed the data collected at the Chiropractic Treatment Facilities at the 2013 World Transplant Games. For inclusion, each WTG Form required completion, reflecting all the elements of that participant’s chiropractic consultation. The data recorded on the World Transplant Games Form generated the data analysed in this study. The data described the frequency (frequency tables), nature and management of injuries treated at the Chiropractic Treatment Facilities during the 2013 World Transplant Games. In order to determine relationships cross tabulations were used. Results: There were 964 athletes registered for the 2013 World Transplant Games, of which 153 presented to the Chiropractic Treatment Facilities (an utilisation rate of 15.9%). A total of 259 consultations by the athletes (n = 223; 86.1%) and non-athletes (n = 36; 13.9%) were recorded. The majority of the treated athletes were White (n = 91; 59.5%), males (n = 109; 71.2%), in which kidney transplant recipients accounted for 37.3% (n = 58) of the total number. Track athletics had the highest injury rate (34.5% of all reported injuries). Athletes sustained injuries to 14 different anatomical regions, with the thigh (26.9%) and shin/calf (20.5%) being the most frequently injured. The majority of injuries (n = 164; 66.4%) were “overuse” injuries, with myofasciitis, muscle strains and thoracic facet syndrome being the most frequently obtained diagnoses (25.5%, 16.6% and 6.5% respectively). The most frequently employed treatment modalities were those of massage (32.1%), ischemic compression (16.3%) and manipulation (13.4%). It was noted that the most injuries sustained (88.3%) were not severe enough to result in an inability to continue current or future participation. Conclusions and Recommendations: Transplant recipient athletes injuries concur with the literature on non-transplant athletes, indicating that solid organ transplantation does not predispose the athlete to different or more serious injuries which would require different management protocols by health care personnel treating these athletes. Further investigation into individual sports is encouraged, to develop accurate, effective injury management and preventative strategies to more appropriately diagnose and treat injuries incurred by transplant athletes and then to prevent them from recurring. An informed healthcare approach towards event organising and athlete treatment will improve preventative strategies and athlete management.