The major purpose of the preparticipation physical examination of athletes is to screen for conditions that could predispose the athlete to injury or death. However, the examinations offered to many of the athletes in this country fail to adequately accomplish this. This study analyzed the preparticipation health exams of prospective sports participants from all public schools in Richmond County, Georgia, for two consecutive years. We sought to identify the components of a preparticipation exam which most accurately identified athletes who were at risk of sustaining injury. The most frequently reported problems on the health history were previous injuries, previous hospitalizations, and joint problems. These were consistent over the two years. The problems recorded most frequently on the physical exam involved the lower extremities, mouth, teeth, heart, eyes, and genitalia. However, the prevalance of abnormalities found during the first year of the study was significantly lower than that identified in the second year. Analysis of the findings resulted in a more standardized approach to the examination and in an improved examination form.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation