MARQUETTE - With a large number of high schools in the area and Northern Michigan University - not to mention the abundant wilderness with numerous recreational opportunities - the Marquette area is home to many athletes.
When those athletes - whether they be high school, college, professional or recreational - sustains injuries, they can turn to those at the Marquette Sports Medicine Institute.
"Our goal is to try to provide coordinated, comprehensive care for sports injuries and we're doing that through a partnership between Orthopaedic Surgical Associates of Marquette, Marquette General Hospital and other providers and businesses in the community that share this interest," said Dr. Bryan Dixon.
Dr. Bryan Dixon looks at an X-ray at Orthopaedic Surgery Associates of Marquette. Dixon is a member of the Marquette Sports Medicine Institute, a collaboration of physicians from Orthopaedic Surgery Associates and Marquette General Hospital. (Journal file photo by Christopher Diem)
Dixon said common sports injuries include muscle strains and sprains, fractures and concussions. The institute can connect athletes to a variety of health care officials, such as orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, cardiologists, sports psychologists, nutritionists and primary care doctors.
"It used to be, if you had a sports injury, you'd go to the emergency room for the initial visit and then maybe you'd have to find someone to follow up or someone for rehab so we're trying to kind of coordinate all those players," he said. "About 90 percent of sports injuries are non surgical. What we want to do is make sure people get timely access to specialized orthopaedic care and then appropriate referrals for rehab, for orthopaedic surgery, for imaging, that sort of thing and make sure they can be done quickly, efficiently and in an organized way."
The institute staffs sporting events in the community with certified athletic trainers. They go to a variety of events including high school football games, wrestling tournaments and hockey tournaments. They were also at the U.S. Olympic trials for short track speedskating, the Noquemanon Ski Marathon, the Ore to Shore and the Marquette Marathon. If an athlete goes down at an event like those, the trainers can give on-field assistance and referrals.
Recreational athletes who injure themselves can contact the institute by calling 800-200-TEAM or visiting its website www.mqtsportsmed.com. The website lists all providers and access numbers so if someone knows the kind of care they need they can seek out the appropriate health care official.
"This community has wonderful recreational athletes. There's a big population interested in recreational sports as well as some very competitive and accomplished athletes and people just want to stay active," Dixon said.
Dixon said 90 percent of the athletes that seek help from the institute are recreational or high school athletes with the other 10 percent being college or elite athletes.
He said the institute should be able to help athletes with any kind of injury.
"One of the beautiful things about Marquette is we have a wonderful array of health care professionals that can meet any need. The key is knowing how to access them and knowing who you need to see and that's the idea of the institute - is to help the public and patients know the resources that are available and help them access those resources," Dixon said.
Christopher Diem can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. His e-mail address is email@example.com.