Tennis elbow. Stress fracture. Tendinitis. Torn ligaments. Shinsplints. Broken bones. Pulled muscles. Dislocated joints.
For the athlete, the litany can be endless. Although there are many rewards of a physically active lifestyle, the downside is that sometimes the body hurts - or gets hurt."Athletic individuals - whether they are high school or college competitors, club tennis champs or recreational joggers - have specific expectations when they are injured," said Dr. Allen P. Newman, director of the new University of Utah Sports Medicine Center and assistant professor of orthopedic surgery.
"Active people not only want to heal or recover quickly, they want to return to the same level of physiologic excellence they had achieved prior to the injury."
Newman says sports medicine is the delivery of quality medical care to athletes, with the emphasis on returning to activity as rapidly and safely as possible.
The University Hospital-affiliated center is housed in the University Wasatch Clinics building at 555 Foothill Blvd., as is the U. Family Health and Geriatrics Center also is housed in that building. Soon to be housed in the former American Red Cross Building is plastic surgery, internal medicine and the Student Health Service.
Newman and his colleague, Dr. Robert T. Burks, assistant director of the center and assistant professor of orthopedic surgery, manage many injuries without surgery. Techniques, such as arthroscopy, allow conditions that may require surgery to be treated in a less invasive way, producing much quicker recovery times.
"Recent research shows that rest and inactivity can produce negative physiologic changes in the well-conditioned athlete," Burks said. "We emphasize early motion and therapeutic exercises, which can increase the rate and quality of healing."
The University Sports Medicine Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays with extended hours in the rehabilitation unit (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturdays). Assistance is available through University Hospital's Emergency Department at all other times.