TWIN FALLS — North Canyon Orthopedics in Twin Falls has begun offering free injury assessments for young student-athletes from elementary to high school. The service started only a few weeks ago and has had very few patients thus far, but as word spreads, North Canyon is hoping more children will take advantage of this opportunity.
“As a young athlete, I was given a lot by physical therapists and athletic trainers," said Danielle Olney, a physical therapist for North Canyon Orthopedics. "I’m just really grateful to be able to give that back to the community and pay it forward.”
This service is unique because kids can receive professional help from a resource they may not have regular access to.
“Young athletes, especially in that 8 to middle school age range are often overlooked in terms of working with athletic trainers and physical therapists because schools don’t have those resources at that age oftentimes,” said Olney.
The kids are not the only ones who benefit from this program. Parents who may be experiencing financial hardship will not have to worry about high costs.
“Helping those patients that may not have insurance or have a high deductible, to be able to offer this service to everyone without having that barrier of finances,” said Olney.
The way this program works is that first, kids will come in and get assessed. Then the physical therapist will make a decision and recommend the next best step to take for treatment.
“I will see them just do some basic tests," said Olney. "From there, I decide, do they need medical care? So, in other words, getting a referral or if it’s really something urgent, sending them to urgent care. ”
If a patient does not need to receive any immediate medical attention, they are then taught exercises they can do by themselves at home.
“In that case I will say, okay, let's set up now a second appointment that will also be free, just to give them a home exercise program, get them going on some basic stuff," said Olney. "If at that point I’m like okay, you're probably good to be your own then, that will be the end of our care.”
In the event a patient needs further professional treatment, the therapist will decide what to do. However, this is when they will be treated like a regular patient and billing will be done through insurance.
North Canyon Orthopedics is offering this service once a week on Wednesdays from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Appointments will have to be made in advance through the clinic.