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YMCA teams up with Mayo Clinic Health System to limit student athlete injuries

Mayo Clinic and the Onalaska YMCA team up to educate students on sports safety

ONALASKA, Wis. (WKBT) - With the return of school in a few weeks, comes the return of high school sports, and with the return of high school sports, comes injuries.

"We found out it was a stress fracture." 

Matt Burnette was practicing basketball last winter when his knee tried to tell him something. 

"I hurt it playing basketball at practice, and it got worse and worse as I went to practice more." 

After getting a cream prescribed by a doctor, he hoped it would help him to get back in action. 

"They gave me cream but it didn't help at all." 

"It kept getting worse because he continued playing on it because they said it was okay. So we decided to go to sports medicine because things were not getting better at all," said Matt's Mom, Lisa Gunnarson. 

The biggest challenge when told he had a stress fracture, was keeping the active teen off his feet. 

"They gave him crutches and said he has to stay off of it, so that's when he did, and he listened to them and was on crutches for three weeks," recalled Gunnarson. 

Although Matt is back to football form, sports medicine professionals say injuries like his could have been much worse. 

"If you ignore those things and if you continue to train and push through the pain, those small problems can become much larger problems," said Director of Sports Medicine Research for Mayo Clinic Health System, Andrew Jagim. 

Starting a young athlete training properly according to Jagim is the key to a healthy athletic career. 

"As someone who is an old athlete I wish I had learned that information before because I had more injuries and issues that I probably would have had if I had gotten the proper care and attention early on."  

Which is why Jagim will be at an event at the Houser branch of the YMCA teaching proper training techniques to young athletes Monday at the Houser Branch of the Onalaska YMCA at 6:00. 

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