Tri-County Orthopedics' Dr. Samuel Dona & Sports Medicine Center Team Offer Safety Guidance for Fall Sports

As schools and sports set to resume after COVID-19 closures, Tri-County Orthopedics’ specialty-trained Sports Medicine Center doctors offer guidance for protecting the health and safety of local student-athletes. Athletes or parents and guardians seeking specialized bone, joint and muscle care are encouraged to call (973) 538-2334 to schedule a safe appointment at Tri-County Orthopedics in Cedar Knolls, Bedminster, Sparta, Denville or Bridgewater. Telemedicine appointments are also available in addition to Walk-In Clinic hours at their Cedar Knolls office at The Advanced Medical Center, 197 Ridgedale Ave., Suite 300.

“Student-athletes’ safety in the game and out in the world is our highest priority,” says Dr. Samuel Dona, fellowship-trained sports medicine provider at Tri-County Orthopedics. “To ensure they have the safest transition possible back to their school and sports activities, my colleagues and I have developed a comprehensive list of guidelines and principles to keep in mind as athletics resume.”

As the state resumes limited sports participation, many have already been able to start getting active again. Student-athletes, parents, guardians and coaches should exercise caution to not only reduce the risk of viral spread in groups but also to reduce the risk of injury by adhering to these protocols and strategies:

  • Know the best practices at your league or school and follow them: Maintain social and physical distancing as best as possible while also respecting the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Players, coaches and parents should also follow any venue, school, league, local, and state regulations set to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • Complete a sports preparticipation physical: While many school districts and sports leagues require a preparticipation medical exam before sports seasons resume, athletes should get an exam from a medical provider as soon as possible. This includes athletes who are training individually in order to make sure their conditioning and the intensity level of their workouts is safe for them.
  • Slow down: As COVID-19 guidelines have restricted the level of activity for many throughout the state, athletes should slowly increase their skill-building exercises and use caution in their training. It is important to pay attention to your cardiovascular and muscular limits and pains to help you avoid injury as well as immunosuppression and illness. Rebuilding your strength and endurance will take time, and even athletes who have been able to remain active will have a period of adjustment.
  • Watch out outdoors: With high temperatures in the summer sun, there is a high risk for heat-related illnesses. This is especially true for those who have been spending less time outdoors to follow local COVID-19 guidelines. You should slowly acclimate yourself to sun and the higher heat index. You should also stretch before activities, keep yourself hydrated and try to stay in primarily shaded areas.
  • Personal health and hygiene need to be prioritized: Get proper nutrition, keep your water and fluid intake up and do not over-train. You should also practice proper hygiene, so wash your hands, avoid touching your face, wear a face covering when appropriate and avoid close physical contact with people you do not live with.

“We understand athletes, their parents and their coaches feel ready to get back athletics and their normal activities, and we also know it comes with a number of risks, including the risk of injury,” says Dr. Dona. “We are here for local athletes, and we stand ready to provide the specialized care and comprehensive rehabilitative plans they need after injury to safely return to play.”

Tri-County Orthopedics offers safe appointments in all their offices. They also offer telemedicine visits in addition to walk-in clinic hours to provide consultation for bone, joint and muscle problems. Tri-County Orthopedics’ Walk-In Clinic offers immediate treatment for dislocations, strains, sprains, fractures and other orthopedic injuries. Their Walk-In Clinic is available Monday through Thursday, 4 to 7 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment with the Sports Medicine Center experts at Tri-County Orthopedics, please call (973) 538-2334.