Health care professionals got together at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children to talk about injuries facing Hawaii athletes, and how to make sure these athletes get back to play in the safest way possible.
Jennifer King, D.O., who specializes in orthopedic sports medicine with Kapiolani Orthopedic Associates, was one of the co-chairs of the program.
“The primary focus of what we wanted to do was make sure the athletic trainers are up-to-date on current treatments because then we can get the average treated initially faster and we can get them back to play. There is always that little balance that we play of getting them back to play safely because we honestly don’t want to put them back too early and risk another re-injury,” King explained.
According to King, some of the most common injuries were discussed, and doctors and trainers reviewed what kinds of things can be done to keep these types of injuries from becoming a bigger problem.
“The most common injuries are going to be foot and ankle injuries because with almost every activity are going to be using that body part. We try to make sure that the athletic trainers are aware that when they have younger children they are more likely to get a fracture in their ankle sprain just because of the way their ankle is growing. So that’s one key point we want to get across as they start to see younger and younger athletes that are injured,” King said.
Also with high school football season on the horizon, King says concussion protocol was a topic of conversation.
This is an area experts say Hawaii has been one of the leaders in for nearly a decade.
“It’s a luxury for us to have athletic trainers. We have a great concussion management program for the past nine years and, at least at the high school level, it’s very systematic the way they get evaluated and cleared to return to play,” King explained.