Telemedicine for Sports-Related Injuries

Anson Tam, Ethan Plotsker, Minji Kim, Seth R. Thaller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background:Telemedicine use has expanded rapidly since the COVID-19 pandemic in order to adhere to social distancing protocols and has been met with much enthusiasm. However, less is known about the use of telemedicine in sports and exercise medicine (teleSEM) and its utility to treat emergent craniofacial injuries. Given how common facial trauma is among athletes and its possible complications, incorporation of telemedicine in sports-related injuries may prove to be quintessential for athletes and coaches.Methods:A comprehensive literature search of the MEDLINE, PubMed, Google Scholar, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials was conducted for studies published through December 2020 with multiple search terms related to telemedicine in sports and trauma care.Results:Overall, teleSEM is appreciated by both patients and physicians alike. Studies show that the satisfaction rate among patients and physicians are high. Sports-related telemedicine visits can help improve resource utilization and total costs. Facial trauma studies also reveal that the level of concurrency of treatment options between telemedicine visits and in-person consultations is almost perfect. Further, there are many additional ways that teleSEM can be implemented in treating injured athletes, including possible collaboration between athletic coaches and physicians as well as mobile device applications. Telemedicine may be particularly useful in treating acute injuries in low-resourced areas with limited equipment and training.Conclusion:Telemedicine has been widely employed for sports-related injuries and in traumatic care. Patients and providers alike have noted its utility over other methods of communication with physicians. Our findings suggest that telemedicine has a significant potential in treating sports-related injuries and improving the efficiency of diagnoses and treatments. It may enhance outcomes for participants in athletic events. This may become a key aspect of determining whether a player can return to immediate competition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1640-1643
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021


  • Craniofacial injury
  • sports
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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