Back to school means fall sports are kicking off. But that also means an increase in sports related injuries. Memorial Medical Group is offering a free sports injury clinic for those players who get hurt and want to get back on the field.

This time of year, orthopedic surgeons see a rise in knee and shoulder injuries, usually related to sports.

“Most of those are overuse injuries, but occasionally they’ll tear a ligament in their shoulder or dislocate their shoulder,” said Dr. Wayne Johnson, Orthopedic surgeon. “Or the younger patient playing sports may actually tear a ligament in their knee like their anterior crucial ligament or meniscus tear.”

Dr. Johnson says there are things that a player can do to minimize the risk for injury.

“We try to keep patients active and have them stretch and warm up before any activity that they undertake,” said Dr. Johnson. “And then also have a quick cool down period afterwards to minimize injuries.”

Naturally, athletes want to play, and an injury is something no one wants to endure during their season especially. Dr. Johnson says through the combined efforts of the physical and occupational therapists at the Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center, the family physicians, and the athletic trainers, they usually get the players back on the field during their season.

“But it’s important for the coach and the trainers to make sure that for example a joint has no swelling, no pain or instability, before they go back to play,” said Dr. Johnson. “We don’t want them to play hurt. Because we don’t want them to have further injury.”

He says they see all kinds of injuries, ranging from bruises to broken bones.

“Not only do we treat most of the injuries here, but if we see something more complex we know who the go to people are to get them to the specialist that can take care of their injuries,” said Dr. Johnson. “So, we’re going to take care of the young athletes and the mature athletes from start to finish. And we’re going to make sure that we see it through.”

Dr. Johnson says no appointments are needed, and any and all area athletes from 1st grade to college, are welcome.

The free sports injury clinic is at 8:30 every Saturday morning, starting September 8, 2018. You must check in by 9 and it will run until November 11, 2018. It’s located on the 2nd floor of the Outpatient center at Comanche County Memorial Hospital. The clinic and any x-rays done are free. All area athletes 1st grade through college are welcome. Anyone under the age of 18, must be accompanied by a parent.