Benefits of a Certified Athletic Trainer On & Off the Field

University of Maryland’s Department of Orthopaedics provides state-of-the-art sports medicine care to athletes and active individuals of all ages on and off the field. Our sports medicine physicians and orthopaedic residents work directly with many of the athletic trainers in Baltimore County, Howard County, and Baltimore City to ensure the same level of care offered to the University of Maryland Terp athletes.

Michael Smuda, MSAT, ATC, LAT is a certified atheltic trainer/physician extender with the University of Maryland Orthopaedics.  As fall sports are getting in full swing, he explains how an athletic trainer can keep athletes of all ages at their best.

 

 

Q: What is an Athletic Trainer (ATC) and what can they do?

A: An Athletic Trainer, or ATC, is a multi-skilled healthcare professional that provides medical services and treatment under the direction or collaboration of a physician within their state statutes. Treatments includes injury prevention, emergent care, clinical evaluation of injuries, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.

Q: Where do Athletic Trainers work?

A: Athletic Trainers are currently working within several different settings.  They can be found working in educational institutions like high schools and colleges where they provide support for all of the student athletes at their respective institutions.  ATCs can also work along physicians in the clinical setting, acting as physician extenders to improve the efficiency and flow of clinic, as well as acting as patient liaisons managing post-operative care. They are also working with the military and with other first responders to help keep them safe on and off duty. Additionally, Athletic Trainers work with all professional sports teams and are also working within the performing arts.

University of Maryland Athletic Trainers, along with our physicians, currently serve as the official medical provider of the Terps, and support Howard County Public Schools’ sports teams, in addition to providing care in the clinical setting.

Q: Why are Athletic Trainers important?

A: Athletic Trainers are the ones who quickly respond to injuries on the field or in the workplace, and have the knowledge base to appropriately treat critical injuries.  ATCs develop rehab and injury prevention programs for athletes and weekend warriors to ensure proper movement mechanics and proper form during sport and activity. They are able to diagnosis concussions and know the steps to follow to get that person back to activity.

The American Academy of Pediatrics demonstrated that having an Athletic Trainer available for student athletes helped lower injury rates, provide more precise and accurate evaluations and proper return to play outlines for concussions and other injuries.

Q: Are Athletic Trainers and personal trainers the same thing?

A: No, Athletic Trainers and personal trainers are not the same role. An Athletic Trainer needs to graduate from an accredited Athletic Training program and take a board exam in order to treat patients. While there is some overlap with the sports performance aspect of each job, Athletic Trainers have a wider scope to their practice, and personal trainers are focused on improving physical fitness and wellness in the lay population.

For more information about University of Maryland Orthopaedics or to schedule an appointment, call 410-448-6400 or click here.

Camp for Kids with Limb Differences

This past weekend marked the first-ever Camp Open Arms!

Children with limb differences such as brachial plexus birth palsy and congenital/traumatic deformities joined us for two fun-filled days in Monkton in Northern Baltimore County.

Camp Open Arms Field Day

Putting on this camp was the idea of our pediatric orthopaedist, Dr. Josh Abzug. He is used to seeing patients with limb differences in the clinic, but he wanted to see these children become carefree campers jumping onto tree swings, going for hikes and even chucking water balloons at him!

Camp Open Arms SwingCampers ranging in age from 4 to 9 arrived on Friday morning not really knowing what to expect. The two dozen volunteers were not quite sure what to expect either. Everyone changed into bright yellow Camp Open Arms t-shirts, which quickly helped put everyone at ease since we looked like a cohesive group. We certainly became one, especially among the campers.

The children did not talk much about their limb differences, but they seemed to understand that they had that connection as they helped one another overcome obstacles.  Volunteers watched as they worked on crafts, played a variety of instruments and simply had fun.

Dr. Abzug wanted the tag line of the camp to be “Strength, Courage and Determination.”  Campers demonstrated those values!  We witnessed big smiles and infectious laughter that made all of us believe that Camp Open Arms has a bright future.

Cute CampersThe weekend culminated with a large BBQ with the families joining the campers and the many volunteers. One girl asked if she could come back the next day, which we took as a sign that our inaugural year of Camp Open Arms was a success!

 

 

 

 

Arthritis and Joint Problems Sideline NFL Pros and Weekend Warriors Alike

Robert Sterling, MD

Robert Sterling, MD

By Robert D. Sterling, MD
Associate Professor of Orthopaedics

Ouch! As you can imagine when you see a player get sacked, years on the football field can take their toll! A 2008 University of Michigan study of retired NFL players found that, compared to the general public, these former football greats have a very high rate of diagnosed arthritis. Their joints are, plain and simple, just worn out. So of the older retirees in this study, almost 25 percent have had at least one joint replacement. The vast majority have had knees replaced. Hips replacements are less common.

So as some great athletes take to the field this Super Bowl XLVI weekend, some of us former “great” athletes may be wondering if that creaky knee or aching hip needs a possible replacement. When is the right time to see a doctor about it? Listen to your body, and it will tell you: If you are experiencing pain, swelling or stiffness in one of your joints, now is a good time to get checked out.

During your evaluation, we will get a full history of your complaints and examine your joints to figure out why you are having pain. This history and physical exam is often followed by an x-ray to look at your bones. The first steps we try for treatment of arthritis usually involve exercise, weight reduction, knee braces, and medications to help your pain.

Whether you want to get back on a field or just back to playing with grandkids, diagnosis and appropriate treatment of any joint pain should be the next step in your training program.

For more information or to make an appointment, contact the University of Maryland Department of Orthopaedics at 877-771-4567.

Patient Reunion with Nurses Highlights Orthopaedic Nursing Day

By Katie Campbell
Web Content Developer

On Friday, October 29, 2010, 15 patients returned to the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Maryland Medical Center to celebrate Orthopaedic Nursing Day. Patients were invited to share lunch and experiences with each other and the nursing staff. Pauline Esoga, a senior clinical orthopaedics nurse, organized the reunion lunch.

“Orthopaedic Nursing Day allows us to recognize those nurses who are specialists in orthopaedics,” Esoga said. “When a nurse is certified in a particular area, he or she is able provide patients with the best practice and care.”

At the reunion lunch, patients discussed their personal journeys, including the pain they experienced before surgery, waking up groggy and blurry-eyed just in time to be assisted with their first post-surgery steps and the improved mobility they are experiencing today. The lunch was a celebration for orthopaedic nurses and the work they do to consistently achieve outstanding results for their patients.

“The patients are happy and that’s all we wanted,” Esoga said. “To see that not only did we help them through their surgery, but that even in the community they are able to fit in and get back to normal function. That’s what orthopaedic nursing is all about.”

Orthopaedic Nursing Day is a recognized holiday that is celebrated internationally on October 30.

Stories From Haiti: “I Will Never Forget What We Were a Part of”

By Steven Louis, M.D.
Director of Orthopaedic Trauma
Good Samaritan Hospital
Hinsdale Orthopaedics

Editor’s Note: Dr. Louis and several colleagues were invited to be a part of the sixth University of Maryland Medical team to help earthquake survivors in Haiti. Below are excerpts of an e-mail Dr. Louis sent to the UM team after returning to Illinois.

It is difficult to put all of what has happened and all of what has and is still going through my head, down in plain words on paper.

When people ask me how was the trip, my first response was hell. It is a great way to let them all know right off the bat of the conditions down there, from the structural, economic, climate, transportation, security, social and political situations. They all perk up after I say this. Then I go into what great work was getting done and how rewarding it was to be part of it. I tell them that I have never worked so hard in my life, and that there is LOTS more work left!

I want you to know that my team and I will never forget what we were a part of down there. As I said to you when we were down there together, we appreciate the invitation to help out, and we are all ready to spend another taxing (but rewarding) week down there.

You guys, in partnership with Catholic Relief Services, have put together a real class act that has far-reaching potential to make a huge difference. It is our honor to have been a part of the team, and we hope to be a part of a future team.