When professional athletes take the field for either practice or games they take a chance of injuring themselves. It could be as minor as a jammed finger or a slight sprain of an ankle, or more serious such as a broken arm or torn ligament. Obviously, the fact of risk vs. reward comes into play. But what happens when a pro athlete sustains an injury? Does the organization look out for the players best interest both short and long term?
Dr. James Andrews, who has a center in Birmingham, Alabama, has treated some of the biggest names in the sports world, including Drew Brees, Roger Clemens and Troy Aikman. Dr. Andrews recently spoke with the Victor and Matt Show on the 110SportsPodcast.com and gave his thoughts on this issue, “The quality of sports medicine care at all levels in the United States from high school to college and college to the professional ranks has improved tremendously over my sports medicine career. We now have sport medicine doctors that are taking care of athletes that have an added qualification both in primary care and orthopedic surgeries. The care they get is second to none in the world. The athletic trainers are much more qualified. The physical therapists have their own sport medicine sections. They are qualified just like the primary sports medicine doctors.”
In a sense, these athletes have the top of the line doctors treating them and deciding when they are ready to compete again. Let’s not forget, the competitiveness of pro athletes sometimes gets the better of them. There are injuries out there that could sideline an athlete for weeks if not months. With the liability of everyone having a lawyer nowadays, doctors and athletic trainers may tend to be more cautious before sending a player back on the field. Remember, if the player gets injured and returns too quickly, their chances of getting hurt again increases and could have a lifetime of consequences.
However, sometimes the players may not tell the whole truth. If a player was to sustain a concussion, would the player be truthful when talking to doctors and trainers about the symptoms? The answer really depends on the player because some feel they are invincible and nothing bad could happen to them. Overall, both players and trainers want to work together in terms of rehab so the player can get back to playing the sports they love. With each passing year, new developments and treatments are found helping athletes stay off the operating table and stay on the field.
– For the full interview with Dr. James Andrews listen to Episode 130 on 110SportsPodcast.com.
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110SportsPodcast.com features a weekly sports podcast and daily blogging. Episodes include interviews, entertainment, comedy, insight and analysis.