Our Services

Sports Medicine Clinic

Our physicians are experts in musculoskeletal and medical sports conditions and they understand what drives athletes. They will help you recover from injury as quickly and safely as possible and get back in the game!

Our services include (but are not limited to) assessment and treatment of:

  • Acute injuries (strains, sprains, joint pain, fractures)
  • Overuse injuries (tendonitis, stress fractures)
  • Back pain in young athletes
  • Shortness of breath and fatigue in athletes
  • Athletic skin disorders
  • Athletes with illness (mononucleosis, asthma, and diabetes)
  • Sports Concussion (treatment and management)

Athletic Training Services

Cayuga Medical Center has seven certified athletic trainers (ATC) on staff. They are skilled professionals who specialize in athletic health care and work closely with physicians and other allied health personnel as integral members of the sports medicine team.

Cayuga Medical Center’s certified athletic trainers work on site at area high schools, colleges, and with club teams, as well as in the sports medicine clinic at the Island Health Center.

Athletic Training at Area High Schools

Cayuga Medical Center provides athletic training services to ten area high schools: Cortland, Homer, Ithaca, Lansing, Moravia, Newfield, Spencer / Van Etten, Trumansburg, Watkins Glen and Whitney Point. The level of service ranges from full time practice and game coverage to bi-weekly injury clinics. The injury clinics are held in the school nurses office, our athletic trainers work collaboratively with the school nurse to ensure athletes receive the highest level of care and return to play safely. Athletes are given instructions for self care or referred to the appropriate health care professional.

Our athletic trainers are on site at each school to:

  • assess injuries
  • make recommendations for treatment and further care
  • assist with injury rehabilitation
  • modify activity to allow an injury to heal while continuing to practice
  • help with injury prevention
  • design sport-specific strength training programs.

Athletic Training Event Coverage

If you have an event such as a football game, wrestling tournament or 5k race we can provide an athletic trainer to care for your athletes. Our athletic trainers will arrive prior to the event equipped with a fully stocked medical kit to tape and prep your athletes. After the competition is over they will evaluate any injuries and make recommendations for self care or further medical follow up.

If your school does not offer Athletic Training, or you would like to learn more about our Athletic Training services, please contact Margaret Vence, Director of Sports Medicine and Athletic Performance at (607) 252-3580.

Sports Concussion Management

Concussions occur when a blow to the head or neck interrupts brain function. The effects of these concussions vary among individuals, and many mild concussions are undiagnosed and unreported. Most athletes recover completely and can return to play following an appropriate period of recovery. However, it is important to understand that suffering a second blow to the head while recovering from an initial concussion can have catastrophic consequences, including death. Knowing when it is safe to return to play in order to avoid serious brain injury is crucial.

Assessing concussions

At Cayuga Medical Center we believe that all concussions should be properly assessed. Our Sports Concussion Team includes sports medicine doctors, athletic trainers, and physical therapists who specialize in concussion management.

The cornerstone of our management includes ImPACT Neuropsychological Testing. ImPACT testing allows us to evaluate, measure, and document various brain functions such as memory, symptoms, processing speed, and reaction time. Based on this information our physicians are better able to return the athlete to play safely.

Contact sports

Athletes, especially those who participate in contact sports, should take a baseline ImPACT test prior to the start of their athletic season. The baseline test takes approximately 30 minutes and can be performed at one of our participating schools or in our Sports Medicine Clinic. After an athlete has suffered a concussion, we recommend a medical evaluation followed by a post-concussion ImPACT test.

We recommend that schools and athletes participate in ImPACT baseline testing to help in the event of a concussion. If a baseline test is not available, ImPACT has developed norms that can be used to evaluate the recovery process of a concussed athlete. While these norms can be used to monitor recovery, they do not replace the value of an athlete being compared to a baseline test.

Safe return to play

The goal of our program is to make sure athletes who have suffered from a concussion are returned to play safely and on an individual basis.

To schedule an appointment to see one of our sports physicians or to have a baseline concussion ImPACT test please call (607) 252-3580.

Endurance Sports Performance Center

Welcome to the Cayuga Medical Center Endurance Sports Performance Center. In designing our center, we envisioned a place where endurance athletes can go to have all of their performance needs met from testing, to nutrition, to biomechanics, to coaching, and even medical treatment and rehabilitation. Our team has a broad range of expertise within the fields of medicine and exercise. Like you, we too are athletes. We want to help you reach your goals!

VO2 Max Test

A VO2 Max Test is the gold standard for cardiovascular fitness assessment. The data obtained is helpful in designing training programs, establishing heart rate zones, measuring current fitness level, and preventing overtraining syndrome. In our lab, the protocol we most commonly use starts at a relatively easy level and increases intensity in two-minute stages until the subject is no longer able to continue. Total work time is usually 8 -12 minutes. During the test, your nose will be plugged so all gas exchange occurs by breathing through a mouthpiece connected to a metabolic analyzer. You will wear a heart rate monitor or be connected to an ECG machine while you run or walk on the treadmill. You do not need to have this test done in order for us to provide you with good information about your running. However, it can provide useful additional information.

Metabolic Profile Tests and Assessments

Sport Nutrition Assessment and Consultation
Initial Nutrition Consultation and Assessment:
This 1-hour nutrition consultation and assessment is provided by our Board Certified Sports Dietitian. The initial consult determines an athlete’s nutrition needs based on short- and long-term performance goals. Each consultation is unique to the individual athlete and includes specific recommendations to help the athlete reach and maintain peak performance.

Follow-up Nutritional Consultation: As modifying diet for maximal performance is an on-going process, follow-up appointments with the sports dietitian are important. During these ½- hour follow-up appointments, athletes work with the sports dietitian to achieve and fine-tune their diet to maximize sport performance.

Resting Energy Expenditure
Resting Energy Expenditure is used to determine the number of calories an individual needs to consume in order to lose, maintain or gain weight. Since REE accounts for approximately 70% of your caloric uptake, it is a great tool to help regulate one’s desired bodyweight and a critical measure when trying to achieve optimal athletic performance. This test is performed at rest and no exercise is involved. With the nose plugged, you will breathe through a mouthpiece connected to the metabolic analyzer.

Body Fat Analysis
Using calipers and taking readings from various sites on your body we will assess your current body fat content which can then be used to help provide a baseline for weight loss, weight gain and for athletic performance purposes.

Bike Fitting

One of the biggest performance upgrades you can make to your bike is a proper fit. Your bike and its contact points must be selected and positioned in a manner that promotes the 3 key measures of a perfect fit. More Comfort, More Power and More Aerodynamic Speed.

Run Gait Analysis

Biomechanical analysis of gait to optimize your running ability. Individualized attention to running style and ways to optimize running performance.

About Cayuga Medical Center

We are a not-for-profit, acute-care medical center bringing state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment services to the residents of Tompkins, Cortland, Seneca, and Tioga counties. And a century after our founding, we remain intrinsically tied to those we serve: our corporate membership includes representatives from over 100 community organizations. At Cayuga Medical Center, we believe that hospitals are shaped by the people they serve


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