Lehigh’s Sports Medicine Center is a facility on campus for faculty, staff and students. They center is equipped with a team of nine assistant directors and an array of certified physicians from the Lehigh Valley Hospital Network.
“In the truest sense, you really can’t prevent injuries. Injuries are just going to happen,” Tim Doane, director of sports medicine said.
Junior men’s baseball relief pitcher Will Grisack said he has been dealing with tendinitis and bursitis in his shoulder since he was a senior in high school. He has gone to the Sports Medicine Center throughout his time at Lehigh to address his injuries.
Grisack said he couldn’t imagine his time as a student-athlete without the staff’s help.
“It’s the only injury prevention tool for any athlete. Performance-wise, it helps my shoulder and elbow feel strong and ready to throw every day,” Grisack said.
Grisack said making treatment part of his routine as a pitcher has been beneficial for reducing his shoulder pain and improving his ability to perform on the mound.
Sophomore men’s lacrosse player Freddie Amato has been treated by trainer Danielle Scanlon since the beginning of his freshman year after he pulled his hamstring.
“It was tough to sit out for a couple of weeks, considering it was my first year on the team,” Amato said. “When the time came for me to return to the field, Danielle (Scanlon) helped me ease myself back in until I felt a hundred percent, with personalized treatment that worked for my body.”
Doane said the success of a treatment depends on accuracy when evaluating the injury’s origin.
“We’re not going to treat the injury, but the cause of the injury,” Doane said.
Despite a basic framework for the most common injuries, Doane said there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to the course of treatment.
He said if you go to the Sports Medicine Center, your plan will always be customized to your body, your injury and sometimes the individual sport or position that you play.
The center’s team of doctors and administrators said gender equity is something they pay close attention to.
“Generally, what we try to do with our team is ensure that there is a balance in terms of their work with both genders,” Doane said. “One trainer could have women’s soccer in the fall and men’s baseball in the spring, for example.”
Doane said that having this balance is not something that is done mindfully in many institutions.
The facility is located at Taylor Gym and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Requests for personnel outside of these hours are by appointment only.
Every sports team is assigned a primary athletic trainer within the Center.
The center also offers limited services for specific club sport programs, including men’s rowing, ice hockey, rugby and cheerleading.
Hospital consultants also have specialties within the center. Spine, foot and ankle, hand and wrist, cardiology, dermatology, plastic surgery, infectious disease, orthopedic surgery and dietetics are departments represented by qualified doctors who work with student-athletes to build personalized treatment plans.
Orthopedic plans are focused on resolving the injury at hand and preventing further damage in the future. This is accomplished most effectively by achieving the most specific diagnosis of the injury and focusing on both long-term and short-term goals for the student-athlete. By having a specific diagnosis, a more customizable treatment plan can be developed.
“The essence of a treatment plan really centers around the quality of the injury evaluation,” Doane said.