Context: Sports medicine providers frequently return athletes to play after sports-related injuries and conditions. Many of these conditions have guidelines or medical evidence to guide the decision-making process. Occasionally, however, sports medicine providers are challenged with complex medical conditions for which there is little evidence-based guidance and physicians are instructed to individualize treatment; included in this group of conditions are exertional heat stroke (EHS), exertional rhabdomyolysis (ER), and exertional collapse associated with sickle cell trait (ECAST). Evidence Acquisition: The MEDLINE (2000-2015) database was searched using the following search terms: exertional heat stroke, exertional rhabdomyolysis, and exertional collapse associated with sickle cell trait. References from consensus statements, review articles, and book chapters were also utilized. Study Design: Clinical review. Level of Evidence: Level 4. Results: These entities are unique in that they may cause organ system damage capable of leading to short- or long-term detriments to physical activity and may not lend to complete recovery, potentially putting the athlete at risk with premature return to play. Conclusion: With a better understanding of the pathophysiology of EHS, ER, and ECAST and the factors associated with recovery, better decisions regarding return to play may be made.
- heat illness
- return to play
- sickle cell trait
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation