11 Aug Team Strash: San Antonio’s Foot & Ankle Specialists
For the last two AAU basketball seasons, I’ve treated several of my son’s teammates for various foot and ankle injuries. Even one of the coaches. This happened more by default over the last two seasons as some of these young athletes suffered various foot/ankle injuries, like fractures and ankle sprains. For other injuries I was able to make a referral to another medical specialist. This active participation with the team has become very rewarding.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) defines the Team Physician as having “…the leadership role in the organization, management and provision of care of athletes in individual, team and mass participation sporting events.” I recognize this responsibility, and the most challenging aspect of this equation is balancing the athlete’s safety and best medical outcome while not inappropriately restricting the athlete from play. At times, especially during championship season, this can be a gut-wrenching decision process. As a board certified foot and ankle specialist for nearly thirty years, time and experience with athletes has contributed to my expertise in treating these individuals and aided in my decision making.
Traveling with the team is a lot of fun. It’s a joy to see these athletes improve their game, and also interact with them as a group off the floor at hotels and restaurants. Their parents are all wonderful as well. It’s always a great time talking about how the boys performed over dinner with fellow parents. Hearing the encouragement and constructive criticism from parents always creates a lively atmosphere. Of course, it’s mutually gratifying when I’m requested to offer advice about an injury, and have the knowledge and expertise to advise a team member to play through the next game or tournament.
By treating these young athletes I feel I am contributing to the success of the team. I’m obviously not handling a basketball (good thing!) but giving the players the care and medical attention they need gives me the opportunity to be a part of the team. There’s a lot of personal satisfaction with this contribution. Go Texas Tigers!
Whether you are a professional athlete or weekend warrior, an injury to your feet and ankles can be quite unsettling. Give my office a call, today – we’ll be sure to help you put your best foot forward, again!