Sports Medicine
What to Expect

What to Expect at Your First Appointment with Sports Medicine

Participating in sports is healthy for children in many ways, but an injury can be frustrating and scary. Our compassionate and expert health professionals in the Division of Sports Medicine have received some of the highest patient and family experience scores at Cincinnati Children’s. We are here to give your child the highest quality care, from diagnosis to rehabilitation. All our efforts are rooted in the latest research and in sports injury prevention. 

Depending on your child’s injury or needs, there will likely be several options for treatment. As athletes ourselves, we’re here to answer any questions you have and to partner with you on your child’s journey to recovery. 

Here's what you need to know to prepare for your child’s first visit with us.

Making an Appointment with Sports Medicine

You do not need a referral to be seen. However, your child’s pediatrician or another doctor can refer you to our office. First-time and returning patients may make appointments by calling us directly or scheduling online. We offer both in-person and telehealth appointments.

After Making the Appointment

After you schedule your appointment, if our staff see any potential problems with the visit, they will reach out to you. Please make sure we have your most up-to-date contact information when you make the appointment. Otherwise, there is no other pre-registration needed and no forms to fill out before you arrive at our clinic.

Before Your Appointment

In some cases, such as with second opinions, emergency or urgent care visits, it will be helpful for us to review your child’s records before you come in. If you have been seen at a Cincinnati Children’s clinic or Emergency Room/Urgent Care, we will already have access to your records. If you have been seen at another facility, please provide these records if you can. If that’s not possible, let us know, and we will seek them out. 

On the Day of Your Visit to Sports Medicine

Before Your Appointment

On the day of your appointment, your child should wear shorts or a sleeveless shirt and/or sports bra. This will help our physicians examine the injury. We can also provide a hospital gown and shorts if needed.

Plan to arrive 20 minutes before your appointment time. This allows five minutes to park and walk to our clinic and 15 minutes to complete the registration process and intake forms. If you’re running late, please call us. Once you arrive, check in at the registration desk. 

At Your Appointment

Most appointments last 15-30 minutes. During the visit, your child will see one or more of our doctors, an athletic trainer, and a nurse. Our athletic trainer or nurse will ask specific questions about your child’s illness or injury. Then, one of our sports medicine doctors will conduct a physical exam and decide if further tests are necessary. All of our locations have x-ray available on site. Based on the information we gather, our doctor will talk with you about possible diagnoses, treatment options, and follow-up care.

Research is one of the ways we get better at diagnosing, treating, and preventing sports injuries. A research assistant may talk to you about a study your child can participate in. This is completely voluntary. 

Before you leave, you will receive a written summary of your visit. Consider sharing it with the coach or athletic trainer who will be helping your child.   

After Your Visit to Sports Medicine

After your visit, we will also send a summary of your visit to your child’s doctor. Within a few days to a few months, we will follow up with you. Timing depends on your child’s illness or injury. We will schedule follow-up appointments as soon as possible for children who are playing in-season sports, who are in training, or who have specific events coming up soon.

When to Call

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our office. We’re here to help you in any way we can.