SPORTS MEDICINE became established in Cleveland in 1969 with the creation of a Sports Medicine Section in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the CLEVELAND CLINIC FOUNDATION, one of the first such units in the country. A group of orthopedic surgeons conceived the idea. Since the early 1960s, national interest in sports medicine had been on the rise because of a growing belief that athletic injuries required special attention, and also because more people of all ages participated in SPORTS. The clinic program, first directed by Dr. H. Royer Collins, emphasized early diagnosis and treatment, rehabilitation, and ultimately prevention, especially in school athletics. On 6-7 Apr. 1970, the first annual symposium on sports medicine was held, attended by doctors, trainers, coaches, and sports officials. Other school and community programs for the prevention and treatment of athletic injuries followed, and the clinic introduced sports-medicine training for arthroscopic surgeons. Such training included clinical research into the process of wound and cartilage healing and proper use of diets, fluids, drugs, protective gear, and exercises. By 1977 the Sports Medicine Section treated an average of 45 athletes per day, and later expanded to include medical problems that arose from milder activities such as biking or dancing. Similar (though less comprehensive) sports-medicine programs were instituted at the Shaker Hts. Medical Center, the LUTHERAN MEDICAL CENTER, SOUTHWEST GENERAL HOSPITAL, and Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital of UNIV. HOSPITALS during the 1970s-80s.

Today sports medicine in Cleveland plays a key role in the city's professional and amateur sports health and forms part of the local medical education curricula. Cleveland Clinic Sports Health (CCSH) cares for the city's professional sports teams, including the CLEVELAND BROWNS, CLEVELAND CAVALIERS, and CLEVELAND INDIANS, and ROCKERS; along with athletes from many local colleges including BALDWIN-WALLACE, JOHN CARROLL UNIVERSITY and CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY, as well as performers of the CLEVELAND BALLET. It provides a broad range of programs including prompt injury evaluation, progressive medical and surgical treatment for injuries to the bones, muscles, and joints, comprehensive rehabilitation programs, and a full spectrum of pre-participation and fitness evaluation. CCSH also works in areas such as sports nutrition, sports psychology, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and acute injury treatment. CCSH also offers annual symposiums for coaches and trainers, and awards fellowships for sports medicine research each year. In 2000, Dr. John A. Bergfeld was the Director of CCSH.

The Ohio Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Clinic at CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY, established in the 1970s and one of 13 Ohio Physical Therapy offices in northeast Ohio, was the only area educational institution which offered a sports medicine minor in 1995. Students on orthopaedic rotation from the CWRU School of Medicine also served at the CWRU sports medicine clinic.

See also MEDICINE.

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