Sports Docs Weekly Blitz

Dear Cyclone Fanatics –

Welcome back to another season of Sports Docs’ Weekly Blitz, a blog where we share sports medicine information with all of you Cyclone Fanatics. Of course, all of Cyclone Nation is super excited about the upcoming start to the Matt Campbell era, as the football team prepares to host UNI this Saturday. The team has been working hard all offseason, including doing overall strength and speed work, as well as skill and position work.

The football team started camp the beginning of August to get prepared for the 2016 season. As the players have been working very hard in their preparation, there are countless people in the background assisting the preparation. This includes the athletic training and medical staff, folks who are working hard behind-the-scenes, keeping the players healthy, and taking care of them should they (unfortunately) sustain injuries. In today’s blog, I would like to introduce you to this team.

It starts with Mark Coberley, Associate Athletics Director in charge of ISU Sports Medicine ( Chief among his many ISU roles is overseeing the ISU athletic training program. He has been at ISU for over 20 years and has built an excellent staff of 11 full-time ATCs, 3 Graduate Assistant ATCs and about 50 undergraduate student ATCs.

In 2011, Coberley’s excellence was recognized by his peers as he was awarded the National Athletic Trainer of the Year. He is on the NATA board and keeps up to date on all the “latest and greatest” in the sports medicine rehabilitation world (to stay up to date with him, follow on twitter @sportshealthguy). Shannon Peel is the program’s Associate Director and head football athletic trainer. He is helped out in football by assistant directors Nate Postma and Meaghan Hussey. These four individuals do the hard, behind-the-scenes work of keeping ISU football players on the field.

The athletic trainers roles are multifaceted. Their work includes:

  • Working the sidelines of practices and games and responding to injured players on the field.
  • Treating the players’ bumps, bruises and sprains, using a variety of modalities and techniques, trying to get them back as quickly and safely as possible .
  • Rehabilitating injured players who require surgical treatment, such as ACL or shoulder reconstruction.
  • Interacting with the coaching staff and strength/conditioning staff about practice schedule and workload of the athletes.
  • Traveling with the team and helping prepare the team for game day, including providing taping and protective equipment (pads and splints and braces, etc).

From the opening of two-a-days to the end of the season, the athletic trainers are basically in the training room every day–even during off weeks. They treat athletes during early-morning sessions and late-evening sessions. They are the unsung heroes and work their tails off to make sure players are healthy.

There are several other excellent ATCs taking care of the ISU athletes in other sports. These include Amanda Brown, Jessica Drenth, Kristin Lage, Mary Meier, Denise O’Mara, Vic Miller, and Tim Weesner (plus GAs Keaton Davis, Stephen Reed, and Carly Hamann.)

Our ISU athletic trainers’ hard work is recognized and appreciated by the coaches and players alike, but also by their peers. Recently, ISU earned the Big 12 Conference Athletic Training Staff of the Year Award. This is the second time in 10 years they have won this award.

The team physician is Dr. Mark Shulman, an Iowa State employee. He is the athlete’s’ primary care physician, with sports medicine fellowship training. He has invaluable experience in caring for athletes, and he has been at Iowa State over 20 years. He helps take care of the athletes from a medical standpoint, including concussions.

Three physicians take care of the athletes from an orthopedic surgical standpoint. Our “regular job” is at McFarland Clinic, but we also are the orthopedic surgery consultants for the ISU athletic department. We work on a daily basis with the training staff and Dr. Shulman. We help evaluate and treat their musculoskeletal injuries and provide surgical treatment as needed. Some surgery is done emergently (fractures, for example), some during the season (ACL Recon or knee scope), and some at the the end of the season.

The senior partner is Dr. Peter Buck, a Mayo Clinic trained orthopedic surgeon who has been with the team for 27 years. I joined Dr. Buck 25 seasons ago, after orthopedic training at the University of Wisconsin.

Both Dr. Buck and I are Board-Certified in Orthopedic Sports Medicine, and have had the rewarding privilege of taking care of countless Cyclone athletes over the years. Five seasons ago we were joined by Dr. Bryan Warme, who did his orthopedic training at the University of Iowa and a one year sports medicine fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC, one of the top sports medicine fellowships in the nation.

The three of us work quite closely together, “teaming up” to provide the best care possible for ISU athletes. We travel with the team and work the sidelines, at practices and games, working with the ATCs and Dr. Shulman in evaluating players as they come off the field. And then if (regrettably) their injury warrants it, we provide the necessary surgical treatment.

Our “victories” occur when the athlete safely and successfully returns to the playing field, able to participate once again in the sport they love. And then we can join you, the Cyclone Nation fans, in watching them contribute to another Cyclone win! (Like this Saturday night at Jack Trice Stadium!)

Until then, Go Cyclones! Dr. Thomas Greenwald

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