New York, NY—May 20, 2016
The official hospital of the New York Football Giants is offering high school athletes a taste of the big leagues. Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) has teamed up with PSAL, the Public Schools Athletic League, to offer a special pre-season physical exam, including strength and performance testing, to football players in public schools throughout the five boroughs.
The free health screening will take place on Saturday, June 4, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the James M. Benson Sports Rehabilitation Center and Tisch Sports Performance Center at HSS, 525 East 71st Street, first floor, NYC. It is open to all varsity and junior varsity football players, but pre-registration is required.
Medical clearance is mandatory for all NYC public high school students wishing to play football. "A complete physical is the first step to prevent a problem on the field by ensuring that a young athlete is fit enough to play a rigorous sport and has no underlying health problems," explains James J. Kinderknecht, MD, a primary care sports medicine physician and medical director of the PSAL Clinic at HSS. "The health screening enables us to meet a need in the community, and after football season starts we remain committed to providing these students with easy, reliable access to medical care at our PSAL clinic."
Teen athletes whose families cannot afford to pay for the required physical could be forced to forgo high school football. The HSS medical screening is open to all players, regardless of ability to pay.
"We go beyond the traditional physical by assessing students' muscle strength and flexibility to help with injury prevention," said John Cavanaugh, PT, ATC, SCS, clinical supervisor, HSS Sports Rehabilitation and Performance Center. Cavanaugh expects about 200 students at the screening, now in its seventh year.
At the well-organized event, students go from station to station as primary care physicians, orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, physician assistants, athletic trainers, and registered nurses take their medical history; perform balance/concussion management testing; check students' heart, lungs, blood pressure and vision; test strength and flexibility; assess their posture; and test lower extremity power via the broad jump.
Physicians will also check the young athletes for previous injuries, giving them advice on how to stay safe on the field and avoid future problems. They may be prescribed exercises or advised on icing, taping and bracing to prevent further injury.
Pre-registration is required and closes on June 1. Anyone who would like more information or to register is invited to email: firstname.lastname@example.org.