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1980 Publications

Pre-participation Sports Assessment - An Objective Evaluationby Barry Goldberg, MD, Anthony Saraniti, RPT, Philip Witman, BA, Michael Gavin, RPT, and James A. Nicholas, MDFrom the Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York - last modified 2013-02-10 00:00
Pediatrics 66:736-745, 1980.


The yield from a pre-participation sports examination consisting of a review of the medical history, routine physical examination, musculoskeletal examination, laboratory screening and an assessment of fitness by evaluation of body composition, flexibility, and muscular strength testing was studied.

There were 701 students evaluated. Two students (0.3%) were excluded from participation because of medical problems and seven (1%) because of orthopedic problems. Sixty students (8.6%) were referred for additional medical evaluation. Thirty-five students (5.0%) required further orthopedic evaluation.

All of the students who required additional evaluations were eventually granted permission to participate. The review of the medical history was positive in seven of the restricted students and 40 of the referred students. The routine physical examination was normal in the two restricted students and abnormal in 14 of the referred students.

The musculoskeletal examination was abnormal in all of the students restricted or referred for orthopedic problems. The assessment of physical fitness revealed that 32% of the students had excessive body fat, 10% to 15% of both boys and girls had excessive muscle tightness in either the upper or lower body and approximately 5% of the students had weakness in hip abductors or flexors.

Significant unilateral strength deficits were also found. When performed for the purpose of restricting participation or referring students for additional evaluation, the medical history and musculoskeletal examination are the components of the pre-participation sports examination with the highest yield.

Additionally, the aspects of the examination which related to fitness revealed a significant number of abnormalities.