Medical conditions requiring treatment with anticoagulation (AC) or antiplatelet therapy have a huge burden on the average patient, but such conditions can have catastrophic effects on the careers of young, rising athletes, in particular those involved in contact sports at a professional level. Contact sports are defined as sports in which body-to-body contact is expected as part of the game such as football, basketball, soccer and hockey. The rates of injuries in these sports are high increasing the likelihood of bleeding event on AC. The main etiologies requiring AC and antiplatelets in athletes are venous thromboembolism and coronary artery disease, respectively. To date, there are no clear medical guidelines on the management of such conditions in athletes. Herein we review the traditional approach to treating such conditions afflicting athletes as well as more recently modified approaches to answer the ultimate question: should anticoagulation or antiplatelet therapy in contact sports be career limiting?
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Contributors All authors have contributed to the manuscript and agree with the final version of the manuscript. AK, RA and FW are credited with substantial contribution to the design of the work, literature review of all the sections discussed, the revision of critically important intellectual content, final approval of the published version and agreement of accountability for all aspects of the work. SR is credited with significant design of the figures and graphs, literature review of all sections, revision of important intellectual content for the discussion and agreement of accountability for all parts of the work. BR and DR are credited with literature review, initial content write-up and agreement of accountability for all aspects of the work.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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