JOPLIN, MO-- "We had that episode here two years ago with a player from out of town who collapsed on the football field and had a cardiac arrest with an arrhythmia and was resuscitated. It turned out okay." But Freeman Orthopedic Surgeon David Black says that's just the kind of issue sports physicals can help avoid. "Well many times we see kids that have been injured in a previous season or in other sports who didn't have any treatment and they continue to have some nagging pain, particularly knee and shoulder injuries that continue to bother them that gives them a chance to be rechecked and sometimes they need further treatment from that."
Heart health is also on the checklist. Said Dr. Black, "We're looking for heart murmur, things that have been undetected before, most kids see their pediatrician but some kids don't ever go see a doctor because it never bothers them."
Dr. Black added the initial contact with students through the physical helps build a relationship. And that can make it easier to treat that athletes if they're injured later in the season. "They're more open about talking as they get to know us a little bit better, they're able to open up to us and know that we're not just there to hold them out of a sport."