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June 9, 2011
By Anne McMillin
Rodeo competitors know it's not a question of if you'll get hurt, but rather a question of when and how badly. Cowboys and cowgirls simply accept injuries as part of their sport. When possible, they "cowboy up" and work through their aches and pains, but sometimes, it takes more specialized medical attention.
Fortunately for competitors at the 2011 Reno Rodeo, a team of medical professionals will be on-hand to see to their injuries if they get hurt during competition.
Trainers from Justin Sports Medicine provide the bulk of services for competitors while REMSA provides emergency transport for both competitors and fans. School of Medicine physicians along with medical volunteers from the Reno Rodeo Association will provide medical assistance and expertise to both competitors and spectators as needed at the June 16-25 event.
Carol Scott, M.D., director of the sports medicine fellowship program at the University of Nevada School of Medicine and Ali Shahin, M.D., sports medicine fellow with the medical school, are volunteering their time to provide medical care at this annual event.
When it comes to cowboys and rodeo participants, Scott says they are some of the toughest competitors, mentally and physically, she has ever treated.
"Injuries are very common. Rodeo is considered one of the most dangerous sports in the world with a much higher injury risk than football." said Scott. "However, the rodeo cowboy and cowgirl mentality is to get right back out there as soon as their injury is stabilized. These guys and gals will compete with significant injuries such as fractures, dislocations and other issues that would keep most of us on the couch. They are very tough and determined."
The Reno Rodeo medical team embodies a wide variety of medical expertise and backgrounds-from physical therapists and sports trainers to physicians and emergency medical technicians. The team also treats a wide variety of injuries ranging from competitors' sprained ankles and broken fingers to broken jaws and torn skin. Injuries in the grandstands and carnival range from heat exhaustion and cardiac arrest to broken bones.
The School of Medicine's sports medicine physicians have volunteered at the Reno Rodeo since 2007.