For more information, please call 304-691-1262
You don't need to be a big-time athlete to have a sports-related injury. And, say the physicians of the sports medicine division of Marshall University's rapidly growing Department of Orthopedic Surgery, you don't have to travel out of the area to get top-quality sports medicine care.
The members of the sports medicine team complement each other, and offer a full range of care.
Charles Giangarra, MD, is the chief of the orthopedics section of the department of sports medicine for Marshall University, and was the first orthopedic specialist to join the sports medicine department. Dr. Giangarra came to Marshall with extensive training and experience in sports medicine, including fellowship training under two of sports medicine's founding fathers and working with professional and Olympic-level athletes.
An orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Giangarra has expertise in arthroscopic management of injuries to the joints most often affected by sports injuries, namely the elbow, shoulder, knee and ankle.
"Arthroscopic surgery, which involves using a special scope and instruments to access and repair joints without a large incision, has advanced dramatically over the past 20 to 25 years," Dr. Giangarra said.
"I can remember as recently as the early 80s, when the arthroscope was a new tool, that a surgeon would place the scope in someone's knee to make a diagnosis of a cartilage tear, then pull the scope out and open up the knee to take out the cartilage," he said. "Now, arthroscopic instruments and surgery have revolutionized orthopedics and sports medicine."
Dr. Greg Hendricks, the group's primary care sports medicine specialist, completed a sports medicine fellowship at Marshall University. He sees patients with non-operative musculoskeletal problems. In addition, podiatric surgeon Zach Tankersley, DPM, provides expertise in injuries involving the foot and ankle. All work closely with physical therapists to provide personalized care.
Together, the team can manage just about any sports injury in a timely manner, with the first appointment usually occurring within one to two days of the initial phone call.
The Marshall sports medicine specialists care for a wide range of patients.
"It doesn't matter whether you're pediatric or geriatric, the care you'll get will be the same that the student athletes get at Marshall," Dr. Giangarra said. "We have a good team assembled. In addition to the physicians, we have a number physical therapists who are dedicated to treating that patient population.
"We have a good network and excellent communication, not only with the therapists that work here at Cabell Huntington and Marshall University in sports medicine, but with the physical therapists in the community that have a reputation for treating that patient population," he said.
The sports medicine staff of Marshall University's Department of Orthopedics provides a free sports medicine clinic from 8:30 to 10:30 each Saturday (with some exceptions for holidays).
While the visits don't provide treatment, patients from pediatric to geriatric can have their injuries assessed and be advised on what they should do about the injury.
The clinic is free, and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
"We don't treat people, but we give them advice," Dr. Giangarra said. "It's been very successful for the two-plus years that I've been here."
To confirm when the next sports medicine clinic will take place, please call Dr. Giangarra's office at 304-691-1262.