Orthopaedic Institute offers free exams for local athletes

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COLUMBIA - No more long days in the waiting rooms or scurrying around to get a physical the day before school begins.  

Mid-Missouri middle and high school students can get free physical exams at the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute's Sports Physical Day on Thursday. 

"The goal of the event is for the university hospital system to be able to provide a service to the community and for our kids in it to make sure they're safe for their upcoming sports year," said business support specialist for Mizzou therapy services, Hannah Nichols. 

She said the event involves medical, orthopaedic, and vision screenings, as well as height and weight measures. 

"We don't want there to be any barriers for kids as far as being active, so we want them to be involved in as many sports and activities as they can," Nichols said. 

Dr. Seth Sherman, a Sports Medicine Orthopaedic Surgeon, said free events like these are critical for young athletes. 

"It's a good time for the parents and for the students to pause and to meet with a group of diverse experts in different disciplines in sports medicine. It is a way for them to make sure there are no red flags or risk factors that will keep them from healthy competition," he said. 

According to Sherman, there will be chiropractors, physical therapists, and athletic trainers at the event to give the students a wide variety of information and tips. 

The event is in partnership with MU Health Care's Human Performance Institute.

Garrett Buschjost, head trainer and supervisor of the performance institute, said it is a chance to show students alternative training options. 

"We are there as well to give them a break from the normal stuff that they are doing that day and just have a little bit of fun," he said. 

Buschjost said Thursday's event will feature three different tests of the athletes vertical jumps, agility and speed. 

According to Sherman, this event is all about education. 

"It kind of reaffirms our passion for sports and reaffirms why we as a multi-disciplinary team at Missouri Orthopaedic Institute are really doing this in the first place," he said. 

Sports Physical Day is from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute on Virginia Ave. in Columbia.

Organizers said 250 people have signed up and the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute can only take a few walk-ins. 

There will be a similar event at Mizzou Therapy Services in Boonville on Friday, July 20 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.