TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA)-A sprained ankle, bruised rib, or twisted knee isn't uncommon for orthopedics to see in athletes especially after a game, but what is a little uncommon is checking an injury out for free.
"The initial visit from the orthopedic and the x-ray, if deemed necessary, is free," says sports medicine coordinator Walt Wilkins.
It's called the Friday night sports injury clinic, and it allows high school athletes with minor injuries to get checked out by a doctor on Saturday mornings rather than waiting until Monday.
"We ask that student athletes get here between 8:15 and 8:30 here at Longtown Medical Park," says Wilkins. "The athletic trainers staff it, and we have local orthopedics physicians volunteering their time. It's a collaborative effort. They volunteer their time, and the hospital allows one of the x-ray tech come over and use one of the physicians offices. The physician can examine the athlete and if he determines they need an x-ray they can get that done. All of this is a free service through the hospital's community outreach program."
One of the orthopedics that volunteers says this program is beneficial for student athletes, their parents, and their coaches.
"Many of the athletes that are injured on Friday night have the benefit of not only getting a diagnosis early but starting rehab for that injury if appropriate or doing further diagnostic tests to decide whether if they can return to play or taken out of play until a more definitive diagnosis can be made," says Dr. Bill Rice.
The clinic will be held every Saturday morning until November 3rd.