Open Mics with Doctor Stites 3-15-23

Media Resources

Jill Chadwick

News Director

Office: (913) 588-5013

Cell: (913) 223-3974


The University of Kansas Health System is treating a total of 53 COVID patients today, 54 yesterday. Other significant numbers:

  • 32 with the active virus today, 33 yesterday
  • 6 in ICU, 8 yesterday
  • 4 on a ventilator, 6 yesterday

Key points from today’s guests:

Morning Rounds – Roundup of Current News

Dr. Jacob Brubacher, assistant team physician, Kansas City Royals

  • We typically think about pre-habilitation – or “pre-hab” as the time between injury and when a surgery occurs.
  • Usually that's a period of time where we're looking to get inflammation out of the area to be operated on and restoring the range of motion to give patients the best chance of success after a surgery.
  • Pre-hab can also mean working out to prevent injuries in the first place.
  • For youth athletes, a lot of this comes down to sports specific type stretching and strengthening programs.
  • With baseball on our minds, there are a number of injuries that can be common in young athletes, particularly those that are interested in pitching, so a good stretching and core strengthening program can be critical to keeping them from having injuries.
  • It's critical to be diverse in your training approach, and that often involves taking a break from very repetitive type activities, especially with young kids as they're growing and developing. It's important for kids to have some balance and that often involves getting involved in other sports.

Focus Topic

Maggie Richardson, youth softball player

  • In 2020, she was participating in a volleyball tryout and landed awkwardly on her leg, tearing her ACL and meniscus.
  • Before and after surgery, physical therapy was difficult, but it was made better by the PT staff who treated her like family.
  • While rehabbing, she studied the impact of injuries on mental health for athletes as a class project.
  • Maggie is back to playing softball with her high school team and competitive travel team.
  • Maggie has been inspired by her experience to pursue a career in physical therapy.

Audra Richardson, Maggie’s mom

  • It was devastating as a parent to see your child, who loves to play sports, unable to do the things she loves and not being able to walk.
  • She was proud of how Maggie was motivated to do what she needed to do for rehab to be able to return to sports.
  • Maggie was injured at the beginning of August and wasn’t able to walk until the end of September, so that was just a relief and such a milestone.

Krisha Crane, certified athletic trainer, The University of Kansas Health System

  • Unfortunately, this type of injury Maggie suffered is common.
  • It's also a traumatic knee injury. It has to do with anterior translation of the lower leg with some internal rotation as well. Unfortunately, this can happen in common athletic instances like slowing down suddenly, changing direction, planting your foot, and pivoting.
  • Maggie was one of the most compliant students we’ve ever had for doing rehab at home.
  • The ACL Bridge Program is so important for all athletes who present with any biomechanical deficits that can put them at risk of injury or re-injury.
  • It's especially beneficial to our post-operative athletes who are transitioning from physical therapy and getting back into functional sport.

Kyle Martin, physical therapist, The University of Kansas Health System

  • Maggie started “pre-hab” before surgery, which included restoring range of motion, minimizing swelling in the knee, and working on quad-specific exercises to help stabilize the knee.
  • Post-surgery, the goals are similar to pre-hab – working to get the knee perfectly straight and continuing to strengthen the quad. If the quad is not strong, the knee can hyperextend and puts the new ACL graft at risk of re-rupturing.
  • With an ACL-graft and meniscus repair, it is typically 3-4 weeks before a patient is able to walk without crutches.
  • Maggie is the model patient – going through pre-hab, having surgery with the Performance Center, doing rehab going through our ACL Bridge Program, taking part in our performance classes, doing some athletic training services – she's captured it all.

COVID Updates

Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection prevention and control, The University of Kansas Health System

  • Getting the COVID bivalent booster, if you have not received it, does help reduce risk of hospitalization and severe disease.
  • We are looking for further recommendations probably to come out in a few months about moving forward in the fall with any future boosters.
  • The COVID virus still remains out there circulating and fairly high levels. However, influenza and RSV is at low activity across the United States.

Thursday, March 16 is the next Morning Medical Update. We are closing out the “Women in Sports” series with a focus on female athlete diet and how the right nutrition can give high performers an edge.

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