Since the dawn of civilization, humans have been playing sports, and while advances through time have made fitness and safety a priority, competitive sport still comes with certain risks of injury — no matter the age of the athlete.
In fact, there were 8.6 million sports- and recreation-related injuries in the United States among people of all ages from 2011 through 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
NorthBay Healthcare’s orthopedic specialists want to help reduce injuries and help local athletes recuperate more rapidly, thus the NorthBay Healthcare Sports Medicine program was born.
With a cadre of orthopedic surgeons who are fellowship-trained in sports medicine, the program provides advanced, efficient care “with the goal of returning athletes to play as quickly and safely as possible,” said orthopedic specialist Neil Pathare, M.D.
A fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon is a doctor who has completed an additional year of specialized training in a specific field of orthopedic surgery in an accredited program, explained orthopedic specialist Robert Peterson, M.D. “It means we have access to advanced techniques and specialized sports care.”
Having a locally based sports medicine program for local high school and middle school athletes is an important community service, said Dr. Peterson.
“For the athlete, the care demands are greater than typical orthopedic cases,” he said. “Recovery from a shoulder surgery, for example, can be difficult and typically involves a long rehabilitation and healing time but for the athlete, often, the focus isn’t just a simple recovery but recovery to advanced level of performance. There are decisions that have to be made regarding safe return to play and optimizing outcomes.”
Having a dedicated sports medicine program allows NorthBay’s specialists to provide other services to the community, as well, including free sports physicals, fall weekend sports injury clinics, and talks for the community to learn more about injury treatment and prevention.
In July, student athletes from across the region were given free physicals at the VacaValley Wellness Center. This fall, NorthBay specialists will hold free sports injury clinics at Urgent Care, 1679 E. Monte Vista Ave., Suite 104, in Vacaville, on Saturdays. Through the clinics, student athletes are able to get a free first evaluation of any injuries or problems to determine if more follow-up care is needed.
In addition, NorthBay’s orthopedic specialists will once again be on the sidelines for area high school football games. Dr. Peterson will return to the sidelines at Vacaville High School, while Dr. Pathare will be on hand at Rodriguez High School in Fairfield with availability to Armijo and Fairfield high schools, and Kevin Miller, D.P.M., will serve on the sidelines of St. Patrick- St. Vincent Catholic High School.
“The focus of our Sports Medicine Program is not only on treating sports-related injuries, but also on injury prevention, rehabilitation, performance training and nutrition to help athletes perform at their highest level,” said Dr. Pathare.
For information, call (707) 646-5599 in Fairfield or (707) 624-7900 in Vacacville.