Emory Soccer Medicine Doctor takes Chief Role at Mexico vs. Paraguay Game this Weekend

soccer eventEmory Healthcare sports medicine physician Oluseun Olufade, M.D., loves to talk about injury prevention and being prepared to take action should a medical emergency occur. He’s equally passionate when talking about soccer, a favorite sport he enjoyed as a child.

Combine the two topics, and Dr. Olufade becomes one of the region’s most authoritative and enthusiastic voices when it comes to soccer injuries and prevention. That’s just what the Georgia Dome needs for its upcoming May 28 soccer match between world power Mexico and Paraguay. A record, sellout crowd is likely. Mexico played at the Dome against Nigeria in 2014 and against Panama in the 2015 CONCACAF semifinals – both times in front of full houses.

Dr. Olufade is a physician in the Emory Sports Medicine Center. His role as venue medical director at the game is diverse, equal part communications, logistics facilitator and educational liaison between the referees and the two team physicians. That’s before the match begins. Once play starts on the pitch, he’ll be available to both teams to assist in any necessary medical care.

Dr. Olufade has served as team physician, both in the professional MLS ranks with Philadelphia Union, and as a member of the U.S. national team physician pool. He has covered the U.S. 17-year-old men’s national team in international matches in France and Turkey.

“As a venue medical director, the teams aren’t familiar with the city and state, the area hospitals and such,” he said. “That’s the logistical role I play. But also, I will be communicating with the referees about various injuries, particularly chest and heart injuries, because they tend to see and know head injuries and how to immediately get that player treated.”

It is important, Dr. Olufade said, to have medical directors be well versed in sports medicine and orthopedics, and also to be soccer enthusiasts.

“Soccer injuries are different than other sports,” he said. “Ankle, foot, knee and hamstrings injuries are the most common soccer injuries, but as a fan of the sport, you know what to be on the lookout for.”

The May 28 event is somewhat of a soft launch of Emory Healthcare’s Soccer Medicine Program. While not all specifics have been ironed out, Dr. Olufade said the primary goal is to have one-stop-shopping at Emory for soccer health care.

“The plan is to have a group of physicians, therapists and trainers, all who have a passion for soccer and are well trained in the specific injuries most common among soccer players,” he said. “We want to help prevent injuries through training and nutrition, and elevating sports performance, while offering comprehensive care whenever an injury does occur.”

With Atlanta’s booming soccer programs, both for youth and adults, the timing couldn’t be better, he said. The team at Emory is continuing to build its Soccer Medicine Program with plans to launch later this summer. For more information, visit EmoryHealthcare.org/ortho.

About Dr. Olufade

olufade-oluseunDr. Olufade is board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Sports Medicine and Interventional Pain Medicine. He completed fellowship training in both Interventional Pain Medicine and Sports Medicine. During his fellowship training, he was a team physician for Philadelphia Union, a major league soccer (MLS) team, Widener University Football team and Interboro High School Football team.

Dr. Olufade employs a comprehensive approach in the treatment of sports related injuries and spinal disorders by integrating physical therapy, orthotic prescription and minimally invasive procedures. He specializes also in concussion, tendinopathies and platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections. He performs procedures such as fluoroscopic-guided spine injections and ultrasound guided peripheral joint injections. Dr. Olufade individualizes his plan with a focus on functional restoration.

Dr. Olufade has held many leadership roles including Chief Resident, Vice-President of Resident Physician Council of AAPM&R, President of his medical school class and Editor of the PM&R Newsletter. He has authored multiple book chapters and presented at national conferences.

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