Sports Medicine & Athletic Training

CHH’s sports medicine clinic, through its Sports Medicine and Athletic Training Program provides comprehensive rehabilitation and sports medicine services to area athletes involving expert diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.

As a specialty area for CHH, the program ensures that all sports-related injuries are properly diagnosed and expertly treated. Incorporating complete rehabilitation and sports medicine services, athletes will find that they return to their favorite sports quickly and with the maximum performance possible.

Medical Director

Dr. Keith E. Penney, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon affiliated with Charlotte Hungerford Hospital serves as the program’s Medical Director. He is specialty-trained in sports medicine. Care is provided through Dr. Penney’s office via ATC or direct patient referral as needed.

Sports Medicine

The term sports injury, in the broadest sense, refers to the kinds of injuries that most commonly occur during sports or exercise. Some sports injuries that require help from a sports medicine clinic’s result from accidents; others are due to poor training practices, improper equipment, lack of conditioning, or insufficient warm-up and stretching.

Although virtually any part of the body can be injured during sports or exercise, the term is usually reserved for injuries that involve the musculoskeletal system, which includes the muscles, bones, and associated tissues like cartilage. Some of the most common sports injuries include knee injuries, pulled hamstring muscles, ankle sprains, tennis elbow, bursitis, and joint dislocations.

Acute Injuries

Regardless of the specific body part affected, sports injuries can generally be classified in one of two ways: acute or chronic.

Acute injuries, such as a sprained ankle, torn ACL, or fractured arm, occur suddenly during activity. Signs of an acute injury that need rehabilitation and sports medicine treatment include the following:

  • sudden, severe pain
  • swelling
  • inability to place weight on a lower limb
  • extreme tenderness in an upper limb
  • inability to move a joint through its full range of motion
  • extreme limb weakness
  • visible dislocation or break of a bone

Chronic Injuries

Chronic injuries, such as tendinitis and shoulder problems, usually result from overusing one area of the body while playing a sport or exercising over a long period. The following are signs of a chronic injury:

  • pain when performing an activity
  • a dull ache when at rest
  • swelling
  • Certified Athletic Trainers

Under the CHH Sports Medicine and Athletic Training Program’s sports medicine clinic, certified sports medicine specialist and athletic trainers (ATCs) are assigned to participating schools in Northwest Connecticut. These school-based, ATCs provide initial injury evaluation from a sports medicine specialist and rehabilitation and sports medicine treatment to athletes directly on the athletic field and in the training rooms. Injuries that are more severe or unresponsive to routine treatment are referred to the team physician for diagnosis. The sports medicine clinic’s program allows students in various sports to maximize their athletic performance while limiting the risks of sports injuries.

Injury Prevention – Athletic Training

Prevention of rehabilitation and sports medicine injuries is an important component of the program. ATCs work with students on proper training techniques to minimize injuries.

Sports medicine specialist Dr. Penney believes it is important not just to treat sports-related injuries at the sports medicine clinic, but to help student athletes learn to avoid them in the first place. Common student athletic rehabilitation and sports medicine injuries like torn meniscus, rotator cuff tears and shoulder labral tears as well as ACL knee injuries can be prevented with proper strength training and diligent ongoing awareness. Other injuries, like plantar fasciitis (heel pain), can sometimes be anticipated and treated with orthotics. Dr. Penney often treats repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel and tennis elbow, leading him to focus on educating students about proper body mechanics to avoid and/or lessen the detrimental effects of such injuries.

Integrated physical therapy services at our sports medicine clinic are provided by sports medicine specialists to ensure optimal results and speed recovery with the minimal amount of time away from sporting activities. There is a direct line of communication between Dr. Penney and the therapists to achieve the highest continuum of care between treatment and recovery.

Concussion Management

The sports medicine clinic program also offers athletes a complete concussion management program that utilizes pre and post-concussion neuropsychological computer testing with comprehensive follow-up and clearance criteria to ensure the safe return of the student-athlete back to competition.

Diagnostic Imaging

State of the art imaging services are available at our sports medicine clinic at both Charlotte Hungerford Hospital and Advanced Medical Imaging on Kennedy Drive in Torrington to provide the most accurate diagnosis available within the quickest time.

Emergent Care

Multiple urgent and emergent care facilities such as our sports medicine clinic, are conveniently located in Torrington and Winsted, are available for serious sports injuries needing immediate care as part of the larger Charlotte Hungerford Hospital medical network.

For more information on rehabilitation and sports medicine, call the Sports Medicine and Athletic Training Office at 860.496.6660

Sports Medicine & Athletic Training