By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: September 2015
Sequoyah High School soccer player Megan Oldashi is examined by Dr. Steven Hardage (seated), as Physician Assistant Isaac Bethea watches. Claremore’s Eastern Oklahoma Orthopedic Center is once again offering Saturday morning sports injury clinics to see patients who have been injured in Friday night play.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), participation in organized sports is on the rise. Nearly 30 million children and adolescents participate in youth sports in the United States. The increase in sports participation has led to some startling statistics concerning injuries among America’s young athletes. High school athletes account for an estimated two million injuries, 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations each year.
Since 2004, Dr. Steven R. Hardage has been providing a Saturday morning sports injury clinic to help injured athletes who have been hurt playing sports – especially on Friday night –start the process of diagnosis and treatment so they can get back on the field quickly.
“Many of these injured athletes wake up on Saturday morning with bumps and bruises or even more serious injuries,” says Dr. Hardage, who is a fellowship trained sports medicine specialist. “By addressing their injuries the day after they occur, we can get them on the path to healing so they can get back to doing what they love – playing sports.”
This early intervention also means most athletes can be back in school on Monday without missing classes to seek medical attention.
The walk-in clinic is offered from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Eastern Oklahoma Orthopedic Center located at 1110 W. Will Rogers Blvd. in Claremore, where Dr. Hardage and Physician Assistant Isaac Bethea will see patients on a first come, first serve basis.
“We will see everyone who shows up,” Dr. Hardage adds. “No appointment is necessary.” The Saturday morning sports injury clinic runs through the end of football season. However, football players are not the only athletes who show up for treatment. Any student athlete who is injured can seek treatment at the clinic.
“We feel this is a tremendous service to the community,” adds Dr. Hardage, “because it speeds up the healing process and gets them back in school and on the field.”
If an athlete requires an MRI, Advance Imaging, located next door to Dr. Hardage’s practice, will also be available on Saturday mornings.
Typically, Dr. Hardage sees athletes show up with knee or ankle injuries or a concussion. According to the CDC, high school football accounts for 47 percent of all reported sports-related concussions; athletes who play soccer are also at high risk for a concussion. Healthline reports that the number of people ages 19 and younger treated for concussions and other sports-related injuries increased from 150,000 in 2001 to 250,000 in 2009.
“If an athlete comes into the clinic with a concussion, we are able to evaluate him or her immediately using the IMPACT Testing for Concussion Management,” he adds.
Dr. Hardage suggests that athletes get tested before a concussion happens “so we have something with which to compare. By having a Baseline IMPACT Test before an injury occurs, we can determine fairly accurately when it is safe for the athlete to return to play.”
After 30 years in public school education, Carol Round retired and moved from Grand Lake to Claremore, Oklahoma in 2005, where she writes a weekly faith-based column which runs in 14 Oklahoma newspapers as well as several national and international publications. Three volumes of her columns have been compiled into collections: A Matter of Faith, Faith Matters and by FAITH alone. She has also written Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God and a companion workbook, The 40-Day Challenge. This past year she has written three children’s books, a series called Nana’s 3 Jars, to teach children about the value of giving, saving and spending money. All of Carol’s books are available through Amazon. In addition to writing her weekly column, authoring books and speaking to women’s groups, she writes for Value News. She also blogs regularly at www.carolaround.com. When she is not writing or speaking, she loves spending time with her three grandchildren, working in her flowerbeds, shooting photos, volunteering at her church or going on mission trips overseas, and hiking. She is also an avid reader and loves working crosswords and trying to solve Sudoku puzzles.
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