Texas Children's Hospital to expand sports medicine services

New, state-of-the-art clinic uniquely equipped to care for young athletes

HOUSTON - May 10, 2013 - Texas Children's Hospital is excited to announce it will open a new, state-of-the-art sports medicine clinic this summer. The clinic is completely dedicated to young athletes and will be housed at Texas Children's Hospital West Campus.

For nearly 30 years, Texas Children's has been cultivating a comprehensive adolescent Sports Medicine Program to support the unique and evolving needs of young and adolescent athletes. The multidisciplinary program combines the pediatric expertise of nationally known and respected pediatric and adolescent sports medicine specialists with innovative treatments and advanced equipment to provide unparalleled sports medicine care for athletes of all ages and levels.

The team expanded to Texas Children's Hospital West Campus more than a year ago to provide that access and comprehensive care in the west Houston community. Now, the hospital is in the midst of a $10 million project to design, build and equip a 28,500 square-foot space dedicated to sports medicine. This unique facility encompasses a 3,000-square-foot gym, two radiology rooms, three casting rooms, 16 exam rooms and advanced technologies, including robotic dynamometry for isokinetic testing, motions recording and analysis to enhance rehabilitation. Scheduled to open in August 2013, the new sports medicine clinic will be completely focused on young athletes.

"The new space will house our multidisciplinary team of pediatricians, surgeons, physical therapists and dietitians who are all used to working with kids and certified in sports medicine," said Dr. Albert Hergenroeder, chief of adolescent medicine and sports medicine at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and chief of the Texas Children's Hospital sports medicine clinic. "We will have a sports medicine phone line to allow treatment to start from the moment the patient calls to speak with someone who understands sports medicine ailments. The team will include a registered nurse who will lead triage needs to quickly assess if an issue needs to be addressed immediately and, if so, by whom.

"It is going to be very family-centered, very patient-centered and I think families are really going to appreciate Texas Children's expertise focused on sports medicine in a dedicated, state-of-the-art clinic."

The sports medicine clinic at Texas Children's Hospital West Campus is an extension of the great programs that Texas Children's has offered for many years. When Hergenroeder joined Texas Children's in 1986, he brought with him a vision to build such a program. He began Texas Children's Sports Medicine Program that year, and in subsequent years the program grew to include a highly specialized, multidisciplinary staff certified in pediatric sports medicine.

Today, the multidisciplinary Sports Medicine Program team comprises primary care sports medicine physicians, pediatric orthopedic surgeons, pediatric and musculoskeletal radiologists, sports-focused physical therapists, and athletic trainers, all of whom have specialized training and emphasis on pediatric and adolescent sports conditions. As the team and its program have grown, so has the demand.

Addressing adolescent sports medicine issues in the pediatric environment of one of the nation's best children's hospitals gives the sports medicine team easy access to other pediatric subspecialists, allowing complete, multidisciplinary care.

"If a child has a heart problem, we can just walk down the hall and talk to the pediatric cardiologist," said Dr. Jorge Gomez, primary care sports medicine physician at Texas Children's Hospital West Campus. "If a patient has a complicated concussion, we can walk down the hall and talk to the neurologist. There are endocrinologists available to address hormonal issues. We have highly specialized experts who are nationally recognized in their respective clinical specialties."

Most importantly, the sports medicine team at Texas Children's is well versed in treating children and has a deep understanding of the pediatric factors involved in treating young athletes. Among the services offered, cutting-edge pediatric orthopedic surgery is among one of the many specialties that comprises the multidisciplinary sports medicine team.

"When children and adolescents need surgery, they need it in a children's hospital where everyone from anesthesia to orthopedics to the support staff are highly trained and experienced in caring for pediatric patients," said Dr. William A. Phillips, chief of Texas Children's Orthopedic Division. "When we operate on a sports medicine injury, we have to take into account that the skeletal system of a growing young person is radically different from that of an adult."

"With the surge in youth sports in recent decades, the sports medicine team is seeing a greater number of injuries due to overuse," said Dr. Megan May, sports medicine and pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Texas Children's Hospital West Campus. "Children and adolescents are often playing sports year round which increases the likelihood of sports-related injuries. Kids are outside more, play sports more often and tend to be more active overall. However, unlike adults, their bodies are still developing and need specialized care to prevent growth issues."

"We understand that a 6-year-old is different from a 10-year-old and that a 10-year-old is different from a 15-year-old, and they are quite different developmentally compared to adults," added Hergenroeder.

As pediatric specialists, the team also understands family-centered care and how to treat children within the context of a family unit. That experience equips them to understand child development issues - such as hormonal shifts, psychological impacts and changes in body composition - in a way other physicians may not. The Sports Medicine Program provides tailored care for all young and adolescent athletes, male or female.

"A typical patient might be a ballerina who comes to us because her weight is low, she is not having menstrual cycles and she has a stress fracture," Hergenroeder provided as an example. "She needs medical treatment and diagnosis, a sports nutritionist, and she may need someone who can help her with psychological issues and stress. Texas Children's Sports Medicine Program is perfectly designed and positioned to holistically care for these types of patients - and those with additional complexities - with deep expertise and experience."

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Center for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, a second community hospital planned to open in 2017. The organization also created the nation’s first HMO for children, has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.

Media Contact 
Jenn Jacome