Sports Medicine Team: Orthopedic Surgeons

January 6, 2013

I consider sports medicine to be very much a team activity and to provide superior sports medicine, there must be a team of professionals in place to make it happen. In this series, I will address those professionals that I consider crucial for a high school sports medicine team. I will post both the “ideal roles” as well as more realistic roles. Over the next few weeks, I will address each profession in detail.

This week’s team member is the orthopedic surgeon. I have begun to rely more and more on the orthopedic group rather than primary care physicians simply because I can get my kids in to see the orthopedic surgeon or his assistant. We also use a variety of other orthopedic specialists who are outside our community.

Within our community, I use the orthopedic surgeon’s physician assistant almost like a sports medicine doctor. He is often the first person to see one of my athletes when I refer them out to a specialist and if it’s non-surgical, he may be the only person above me that sees them. As he is also a fellow athletic trainer, I put a great deal of stock in what he tells me. And a big key is that he gets sports medicine unlike some other medical professionals. He is going to give myself, the PTs, and the athlete a lot of lee-way IF there is room to play.

I view the orthopedic surgeon as my go-to individual with musculoskeletal injuries. It’s not that I don’t use the primary care doctors (I do a lot!), but it’s a way to cut out the middle-man. If there is any question of possible surgical implications, then the athletes gets sent to the orthopedic groups. I look for them to use the imaging tools and make that determination. And if surgery is warranted, let’s not waste any time! Let’s get it done and get the rehabilitation game started!

The doctors I work with provide great insight and oversight! I love working with them hand-in-hand because it really makes my job easier. And it’s truly what is best for the athlete. Isn’t that our jobs to begin with?

Every Athlete Deserves an Athletic Trainer


One Response to “Sports Medicine Team: Orthopedic Surgeons”

  1. TNT Man Says:

    Searching for the proper Physiatrist for my wife. The Primary is just too limited. It would be nice to have a real team rather than being Ping-Ponged.

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