After an Injury, Don’t Play the Waiting Game

Aaron Gray, MD

Sports injuries are painful. The wait to be diagnosed and treated doesn’t have to be.

MU Health Care’s Missouri Orthopaedic Institute offers a walk-in Sports Medicine Injury Clinic that speeds up the process. The clinic is open year-round from 7 to 8 a.m. each weekday, with no appointment necessary.

It’s for people of all ages who have suffered a sports or exercise injury within the previous week. In the same visit, each patient will receive an initial evaluation from a certified athletic trainer and then meet with a sports medicine doctor, who will diagnose the problem and recommend treatment.

“The whole idea is to have an option for the community to get the care they need without having to wait for an appointment,” athletic trainer Casey Hairston said. “People can get evaluated efficiently and get treatment to start the healing process. It’s especially helpful for athletes who want to know what’s going on with the injury and don’t have time to see if it gets better on its own.”

The clinic can provide X-rays and provides crutches, casts and braces for immediate treatment. If necessary, the doctor will schedule an MRI and make referrals to a physical therapist or surgeon.

“We see concussions, sprains and strains and also injuries like swollen knees where people can’t put weight on them,” said sports medicine doctor Aaron Gray, MD. “For severe injuries, they should go to the ER, but if they can make it through the night without too much pain, we’ll be ready to see them the next morning.”

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