Virtua Reconstructive Orthopedics Offers 4 Safety Tips for Area Student-Athletes

As practices and sports competitions resume for the fall and plans move forward for winter and spring after COVID-19 closures, the team of specialized sports medicine doctors at Virtua Reconstructive Orthopedics is offering guidance to help protect the health and safety of athletes. Athletes or parents and guardians seeking specialized bone, joint and muscle care are encouraged to call (800) 896-7326 to schedule a safe appointment one of the practice's locations in Bordentown, Cherry Hill, Medford, Moorestown, Pitman, Sewell, Vineland or Voorhees. Additionally, Virtua Health OrthoExpress orthopedic urgent care is open and accepting walk-ins in Medford at 131 Route 70, Suite 100, and in Pitman at 614 Lambs Road, Suite C.

"As team physicians for several area high schools, our whole sports medicine team is committed to the health and safety of student-athletes in the game and out in the world," says Dr. Brad Bernardini, board-certified, fellowship-trained sports medicine surgeon at Virtua Reconstructive Orthopedics. "To help navigate coming into this fall season, our sports medicine team and I have developed some simple rules for athletes to follow to reduce not only the risk of viral spread but also the risk of injury."

Student-athletes, parents, guardians and coaches should exercise caution to reduce the risk of viral spread in groups. To reduce this risk as well as the risk of injury, athletes and responsible parties should ensure these protocols and strategies are followed:

  • Stay safe: You should continue to physically distance yourself from others and respect the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as best as you can. You should follow any COVID-19–related regulations set forth by local health authorities, your school or athletic association.
  • Stay healthy: Keep up on proper nutrition, hydration and personal hygiene. Wash your hands, avoid touching your face and wear face masks or coverings when appropriate. Be sure to also stick to safety practices during workouts as well, and do not push too hard or overexert yourself. 
  • Stay prepared: Athletes should get a physical from a medical professional as soon as possible if they have not already for the 2020-21 year. This includes those who are training individually. A thorough exam will ensure the safety of their conditioning and intensity of their workouts.
  • Stay steady: Guidelines for COVID-19 safety have kept many indoors for extended periods, leading to muscular and cardiovascular deconditioning. Even for those who have tried to stay active, athletes will need to take training and conditioning slowly, increasing activity cautiously and respecting the limits of your body. Building back strength and endurance should be slow and steady; too much exertion too quickly can lead to injury as well as immunosuppression.

"At Virtua Reconstructive Orthopedics, we have dedicated ourselves to safely keeping athletes in the game and performing at their best," says Dr. Jeffrey Murray, board-certified orthopedic surgeon and fellowship-trained sports medicine specialist. "While the 2020-21 year presents a number of new challenges for student-athletes, we are here and stand ready to help our area athletes overcome sports-related injuries and conditions so they can keep doing what they love."

Virtua Reconstructive Orthopedics offers safe appointments in their offices throughout the region. Their providers also offer walk-in clinic hours for bone, joint and muscle problems. Virtua Reconstructive Orthopedics’ Virtua Health OrthoExpress offers immediate, specialized care for sprains, fractures, dislocations and other acute injuries. Virtua Health OrthoExpress is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 pm., and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Medford. In Pitman, Virtua Health OrthoExpress is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment with the sports medicine experts at Virtua Reconstructive Orthopedics, please call (800) 896-7326.