As Fall approaches St. Cloud Orthopedics is getting ready to hit the sidelines with athletes, as Physicians and Certified Athletic Trainers volunteer their time for local sports teams.
On the collegiate level, St. Cloud State University Men’s Football’s first home game is Sept. 14 versus Winona State University. Either Matthew Hwang, M.D. or Michael Murphy, M.D. of St. Cloud Orthopedics will be on the sidelines as the team’s on-site Orthopedic Physician. Steven Mulawka, M.D. of St. Cloud Orthopedics will be assisting the private college neighbors to the North. St. John’s University Football team has their first home game that day as well against the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Dr. Hwang and Dr. Murphy follow the SCSU Huskies, and Dr. Mulawka follows the SJU Johnnies Football, throughout their seasons, volunteering their time at all of the home games.
“I volunteer my time to support the student athletes because it offers a service to the players, coaches, and training staff to be able to evaluate an injured athlete immediately at their athletic event,” Dr. Murphy said. “Having an athletic trainer and orthopedic surgeon available to assess and treat an on the field injury makes participation much safer after an injury.”
Dr. Hwang and Dr. Murphy also do the same for the SCSU Men’s Hockey team; their first home game at the new Herb Brooks National Hockey Center is Oct. 11 against Bemidji State University. Also this season; Chad Holien, M.D. will be volunteering his time to the Johnnies on the ice. SJU Men’s Hockey first home game of the season is Nov. 16 versus St. Olaf College. Currently SCSU Men’s Hockey has 15 home games scheduled and SJU Men’s Hockey has 11 – that’s a lot of time in the ice rink.
“Many injuries are most easily diagnosed right after the injury, so being on the sideline of a game can make it easier to make a diagnosis. It also gives me the opportunity to meet with the athletes and coaching staff on a consistent basis so we can learn from each other about the demands of their sport,” Dr. Murphy said.
But the St. Cloud Orthopedic Physicians are not the only ones who get to have all of the fun. Certified Athletic Trainers from the Orthopedic Sports Center at St. Cloud Orthopedics volunteer their time to be the trainers of local high school sports teams throughout the season as well. From Sauk Rapids-Rice Boys Soccer to Cathedral High School Volleyball to Sartell Football; St. Cloud Sports Center staff will be at the sidelines of around 175 local High School Home Field Sports Games.
St. Cloud Orthopedics understands the importance of having professional trainers and physicians on the sidelines of sporting events in order to prevent injuries and provide emergency care if needed. “I feel that a part of being a Sports Medicine specialist is connecting with and being around the athletes even when they are not injured, that helps me guide their treatment if they do encounter problems,” Dr. Murphy said. “I also enjoy the games themselves, it is exhilarating to watch the enthusiasm during a win, but also humbling to sit through a team loss.”