As sports move forward under COVID-19 restrictions and athletes gear up for the coming winter and spring seasons, the sports medicine specialists at Alabama Orthopedic Specialists offer guidance to help keep athletes safe and healthy. Parents and athletes seeking expert bone, joint and muscle care are encouraged to call (334) 274-9000 to schedule a safe appointment at one of the practice’s locations in Montgomery at 4294 Lomac St. and 4650 Woodmere Blvd., in Prattville at 461 E. Main St. or in Wetumpka at 277 Huntress St., Suite 202. 

"As the official sports medicine providers for 13 area schools, we know that parents, guardians, coaches and schools want to keep our student-athletes safe, and so do we," says Dr. Charles Hartzog, fellowship-trained sports medicine surgeon at Alabama Orthopedic Specialists. "To help navigate coming into this winter 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."

Following the principles and protocols listed below will help keep our athletic community safe and help student-athletes protect their health, development and performance.

  • 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: If you have not undergone medical clearance for the 2020-21 season, one of the best things you can do to prepare for the upcoming sports season is completing a physical with a medical provider. This will help ensure it is safe for you to participate in training and competition and allow you to address any problems before they become dangerous with higher activity levels.
  • Stay steady: Guidelines for COVID-19 safety have kept many indoors for extended periods, leading to muscular and cardiovascular deconditioning. Even winter and spring athletes who have tried to stay active will need to take training and conditioning slowly, increasing activity cautiously and respecting the limits of their bodies. Building back strength and endurance should be slow and steady; too much exertion too quickly can lead to injury as well as immunosuppression.

"At Alabama Orthopedic Specialists, we have dedicated ourselves to safely keeping athletes in the game and performing at their best," says Dr. G. Dexter Walcott, fellowship-trained sports medicine surgeon. "While this year has continued to present new challenges to our community, 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."

Alabama Orthopedic Specialists has remained committed to seeing patients safely for all their orthopedic needs. As part of that commitment, the practice offers safe in-office appointments in Montgomery, Prattville and Wetumpka as well as elective surgeries to provide consultation and advanced care for bone, joint and muscle problems.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment with the sports medicine experts at Alabama Orthopedic Specialists, please call (334) 274-9000.