Even Non-Athletes Can Benefit
May 11, 2020
Sports medicine doctors can play an important role in keeping professional athletes on the field, but even non-athletes can benefit from this type of medicine, says Armando Gonzalez, MD. Dr. Gonzalez trained in the Sports Medicine Fellowship Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. While there, he spent the 2019 academic year as the fellow physician for the Pittsburgh Panthers football team. He is also a Credentialed ImPACT Consultant, trained to manage mild to severe forms of concussions. Here, he discusses the game plan for this medical specialty.
Q: What is sports medicine?
The easy answer is that we focus on athletes, but my particular interest is in improving the functionality of the person. I describe myself as a non-operative orthopedic specialist, dedicated to not only preserving the functionality of tendons and joints, but also to finding the root cause of the patient’s pain or mobility deficit. In many cases, injuries do not require surgery, as the patients can often be treated through minimally invasive ultrasound procedures and a strong physical therapy rehab program.
Q: What is the age range and athletic level of the patients you treat?
I address a wide range of issues and have extensive experience treating patients of all ages, including pediatric, high school, collegiate, professional, weekend warriors, and the geriatric population. I also take into consideration any chronic diseases an athlete has, how we can create a customized emergency action plan, and diagnose new onset medical conditions. I have an open-door policy at my clinic. We strive to help everyone and put them in the right place to gain a full recovery.
Need help finding a doctor?
Call 877-992-1711 or search for a physician online. Dr. Gonzalez is offering Telehealth, which enables you to connect remotely by phone, tablet or computer. Ask for details when you schedule your appointment.
Q: When should I see a sports medicine doctor?
Patients see me for things like shoulder, knee and hip injuries, as well as hand, wrist, foot and ankle conditions. I also treat things like arthritis, fractures, pediatric growth plate injuries, and tendonitis. Another part of my clinic is treating concussions using a test called ImPACT to help determine the trajectory of how long it will take to recover, as well as which system the concussion is affecting, and how we can best treat those symptoms.
Q: What makes a sports medicine specialist different from a general physician?
Sports medicine involves an extra year of training. On top of receiving my fellowship training, I was trained by some of the best minds in sports medicine with extensive diagnostic and interventional ultrasound experience. We saw athletes from all sports at the University of Pittsburgh, and in addition to being one of the team physicians for the football team, I also served as team physician for a number of other Division I teams. I have also worked with organizations such as the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the Pittsburgh Marathon.