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NWOS Doctors on the sidelines supporting and treating Gonzaga Athletes

The practice of modern sports medicine began with the reintroduction of the Olympic Games in 1896. Since then, the importance and urgency of sports medicine have increased with the growth of professional, amateur, and recreational sports.

The Inland Northwest is no stranger to professional athletics. The providers at Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists bring the best of sports medicine to the Spokane region and their connection with Gonzaga University Athletics puts NWOS sports injury treatment and prevention on a national stage.

NWOS is the official orthopedic provider for Gonzaga University Athletics. Dr. Russell VanderWilde, Dr. Khalid Shirzad, and Dr. Soren Olson work closely with these talented college athletes and their trainers. They strive to protect athletes from injury on the court and field while providing the best orthopedic treatment to get them back in the game when injuries do sometimes occur. NWOS doctors work alternate games and training room days, caring for athletes from all GU sports programs.

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This time of year, NWOS is excited to care for the orthopedic needs of Gonzaga basketball players. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, Zag fans are watching the regular season play out on their screens at home, but Dr. VanderWilde and the NWOS team are courtside, safely treating the injuries of these incredible athletes. Dr. VanderWilde’s experience with the team is unmatched. He was the first NWOS provider on the Zag’s medical team and his passion for sports is evident in everything he does, from his active lifestyle to treating orthopedic injuries.

As everyone is sure to remember with great disappointment, the 2020 NCAA® Tournament was canceled to protect players and fans from the rising pandemic. This season, college basketball teams are playing with minimal attendance or no fans at all. A limited number of spectators can attend the 2021 tournament in person, though most will be watching from the safety and comfort of their homes - nonetheless, Zag fans everywhere are excited to finally root for their team during this incredible competition again.

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With the regular season at its end, both the Gonzaga men’s basketball team and the women’s basketball team are heading into conference tournaments leading the West Coast conference, with the men’s team 24-0 and the women’s 21-3. These records reflect an abundance of hard work, talented athletes, expert coaching, and skilled orthopedic care received by Zag players.

Basketball players are not the only Zags that NWOS treats. College athletes participating in baseball, golf, volleyball, cross country, rowing, and cheer are all cared for by the expert and passionate team at NWOS. As the official orthopedic provider of Gonzaga Athletics, our providers engage their passion for sports while caring for the joints, bones, and muscles of these outstanding collegiate athletes.

The power, speed, and motion inherent in sports activities can push bodies to their limit. Even healthy, fit, youthful athletes can engage in activities past what their joints and muscles can safely handle. When that happens to the Zags, the NWOS team is there to help. The most common sports injuries NWOS physicians treat are ankle sprains, shoulder dislocations, shoulder AC joint sprains, knee ligament sprains, Jones fractures, hand and wrist fractures, and hip contusions.

Because many fall and winter collegiate sports were canceled or delayed by COVID-19, colleges are looking to safely open sports participation and competition this spring. No matter what the future continues to look like for teams everywhere, NWOS is proud to keep Gonzaga athletes in the game and competing at the highest levels.

We look forward to supporting the Zags in the upcoming 2021 NCAA® Tournament. Regardless of whether Zag fans are watching courtside or safely at home, fan brackets will be filled with high hopes of a historic showing by the Gonzaga Bulldogs this year. Go Zags!

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Tags: March Madness, Gonzaga Basketball, Gonzaga, NCAA Tournament, Dr VanderWilde, Dr Shirzad, Dr Soren Olson.