The National Basketball Association (NBA) and GE Healthcare, as part of its Sports Medicine and Orthopedics Collaboration, have announced the winners of the first round of research proposals looking into musculoskeletal injuries affecting NBA players and athletes.

A Strategic Advisory Board led by Dr John DiFiori, the NBA’s director of sports medicine, and an NBA/GE Healthcare steering committee is directing the collaboration, according to a media release.

The first round of proposals focused on the natural history, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of tendinopathy.

“Tendinopathy – and specifically that involving the patellar tendon – is a common issue among basketball players at all levels,” states DiFiori, who also served as co-chair for this call for proposals, in the release.

In this round, six proposals were selected from a pool of nearly 70 entries.

They include: “Patellar Tendon Pathology, Its Development and Relationship with Pain in Elite Athletes,” submitted by Dr Jill Cook from La Trobe University; “Towards the Real-Time Monitoring of Tendon Strain and Cumulative Damage to Minimize the Risk of Patellar Tendinopathy,” submitted by Dr W. Brent Edwards from University of Calgary; and “Prevention of Patellar and Achilles Tendinopathies in Youth Basketball,” submitted by Dr Carolyn Emery from University of Calgary.

Additional winning proposals include: “Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy for Patellar Tendinopathy: A Randomized Controlled Trial Correlating Clinical, Biomechanical and Novel Imaging Biomarkers,” submitted by Dr Kenneth Lee from University of Wisconsin-Madison; “Prospective Longitudinal Assessment of Patellar Tendinopathy in Elite Basketball Players Using Quantitative Imaging with Correlation to Symptoms and Functional Analysis,” submitted by Dr O. Kenichi Nwawka from Hospital for Special Surgery; and “Progressive Tendon-loading Exercise Therapy for Patellar Tendinopathy in Jumping Athletes: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial Evaluated with Advanced 3D Ultrashort Echo Time MRI,” submitted by Dr Edwin H.G. Oei from Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam.

“NBA players are among the best in the world, and the NBA is committed to their health and well-being, which is why we’re excited to team up with GE Healthcare and leading researchers for the benefit of the players and our game,” says David Weiss, NBA vice president and assistant general counsel, in the release.

“The projects we’re announcing today include important areas of focus for the NBA including injury prevention and youth health, as well as advanced technologies and methods such as new approaches to imaging, wearable technology and biomechanics,” he adds.

The next call for proposals will focus on acute myotendinous injuries.

Future calls for proposals may include bone stress injuries, articular cartilage injury, and other important musculoskeletal issues involving NBA players, per the release.

[Source(s): National Basketball Association, GE Healthcare, Business Wire]