Free physicals offered for high school football players

SILive.com—August 4, 2012

For the second straight year, getting a proper physical examination won’t be a problem for the city’s public, Catholic and private school football players.

Hospital for Special Surgery Sports Rehabilitation and Performance Center will be offering free preseason medical physicals for any football player in the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL), Catholic High School Football League (CHSFL), Ivy and independent leagues.

The free physicals will be offered from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18 at the center located at 525 East 71st St. in Manhattan. Participation is free but pre-registration is required.

“It’s absolutely win-win for all our football kids. Here we have some of the best doctors in the world and one of the top orthopedic hospitals taking care of our kids and setting up comprehensive physical examinations,” said PSAL football commissioner Jerry Epstein. “It’s a win-win. The kids who have insurance or even don’t are getting the same hands who put their hands on multi-million dollar athletes.”

Epstein said he feels so strongly about the physicals, he is e-mailing all PSAL football coaches and athletic directors three times alerting them about the free service.

According to Hospital for Special Surgery, player evaluations and screenings include: medical history and screening, cardiovascular screening, orthopedic screening, flexibility training, lower abdominal strength testing, lower extremity power testing (broad jump), balance/concussion management testing, body fat percentage measurement, posture assessment and isokinetic testing (previous injuries as necessary).

“This is one of the best things I’ve seen since my association with the PSAL,” said Epstein, who has been commissioner for two years and been involved with PSAL football since the mid-1960s. “It was free, but there was no feeling that they would just go through the motions. It was comprehensive and very thorough. And if one kid can be diagnosed with something that maybe another doctor in the neighborhood or on their corner missed, then it’s a win-win and it doesn’t cost anything.”

“It’s preventative. We’re here to get kids playing, (and) to get kids playing safely. That’s the purpose of it,” said Staten Island orthopedic surgeon Dr. Mark Sherman, who is at the forefront of the day along with Dr. James Kindernecht, Dr. Scott Rodeo and physical therapist John Cavanaugh. “I think with catastrophic injuries no matter what screening we have, may not be detectable. But if there’s something we can pick up, then maybe we can save a life.”

For more information or to register contact Cavanaugh at hssmedicalcombine@hss.edu.

Read the full story at SILive.com.

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