News


October 22, 2021

Washington University Orthopedics is proud to serve the St. Louis Blues hockey team as their trusted team physicians. As national leaders in medicine, WashU orthopedic specialists bring together the science and expertise needed to keep athletes in peak physical form. 

History of Care 

For over twenty years, WashU Orthopedics has provided team care for the St. Louis Blues. Our physicians take pride in caring for the team while playing a critical role in the diagnosis, treatment and management of player injuries to ensure safe returns. When an injury does occur, we balance the desire to compete while protecting the athlete’s long-term health.

 

New Energy 

Blues fans look forward to the upcoming season with hope. Matthew Matava, MD, WashU sports medicine chief and medical director for the Blues shares,” The start of the new season in any sport brings with it a new energy and enthusiasm for what might be - obviously, the goal is to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.” WashU Orthopedics physicians do not take lightly their role in the health and success of the team. “It is an honor to play a small, but important part of the team’s pursuit for the Stanley Cup by helping the players through injuries during the season. It is gratifying to share some of the success knowing what we do off the ice helps the team,” added Matthew Smith, MD – sports medicine specialist and Blues team physician. 

 

Livelihoods at Stake 

Matava, a St. Louis native, shares in Smith’s honor to provide for the team, “I grew up in the St. Louis area, so being a Blues team physician is a distinct privilege for which I am very grateful. Despite the fact that these are some of the best athletes in the world, hockey is a rough game where injuries are expected. Irrespective of the entertainment hockey provides the fans, the players’ livelihoods are directly related to their ability to return to the ice; therefore, their health and well-being is paramount. That’s why I feel honored to play a role in their health care.”

 

Preventing Injuries 

Injury prevention can be difficult in any collision sport like hockey, however, there are ways hockey players at all levels can help their bodies’ endurance. Matava’s tips include early preparation, properly fitted equipment and paying attention to the body’s needs: “Like in any sport, preparation in the off-season can help injury prevention in-season. It is important that athletes initiate or resume their skating regimen and weight training as the season approaches in order to avoid overuse injuries. Young, less experienced, hockey players should also be sure to have appropriately-fitting equipment in order to maximize performance while preventing injury. If a player experiences soreness during the season in the absence of any significant traumatic cause, then time lost from play will likely be minimal as these symptoms are often due to overuse. The player should reduce activity, ice the painful area for 20 minutes and use an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, as needed.” Smith added that hockey players at any level can reduce injury by getting good sleep, eating healthy, hydrating and keeping their head up on the ice. 

 

While athletes work to keep themselves healthy and at peak performance, our physicians are ready to step in when needed. We look forward to the upcoming season and Washington University Orthopedics extends well wishes to the St. Louis Blues!


Be Treated Like a Pro

We are team physicians for the Blues, and you! Our sports medicine specialists treat athletes of all ages and levels. For questions about our sports medicine care or research, call (314) 514-3500 or make an appointment online. 

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