Tulane Health System has opened the area’s first women’s sports medicine program at Tulane Institute of Sport Medicine and named Dr. Mary Mulcahey its director. The focus of the new program will be on providing active women of all ages gender-specific treatment and care for sports-related injuries.

“Women are at risk for injuries and conditions that may be overlooked in a traditional sports medicine setting”, said Dr. Mulcahey, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist seeing patients in the new program. “Our specialists are familiar with these injuries and issues and know how to treat them.”

Understanding the injuries of women and girls is integral to preventing injuries and is at the heart of the women’s sports medicine program, Mulcahey said. “Women are at higher risk than men for certain injuries including ACL tears, anterior knee pain, ankle sprains and stress fractures. There are also medical issues such as the “female athlete triad”, a syndrome increasingly common in active teen girls in which eating disorders, menstrual disturbances and osteoporosis are present.”  Conditions treated in the new women’s sports program include ankle and foot injuries, concussion, elbow and wrist injuries, hip and thigh injuries, shoulder and back injuries and overuse injuries.

The new women’s sports medicine program draws from the expertise of multiple specialties and healthcare professionals across the system to offer women a treatment plan tailored to their needs. Specialists collaborating in the program include orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine and primary care physicians, sports psychologists, physician therapists, registered dieticians and athletic trainers, who offer one-on-one rehabilitation and care. “Our goal is to provide the type of high-level, multidisciplinary care women need and deserve so they can stay healthy and return to play. Whether they are professional athletes, weekend warriors or busy mothers, active women who have been injured need immediate and effective care to facilitate return to their desired activities,” said Mulcahey.

In addition, Tulane Health System’s women’s sports program provides treatment and management plans for female athletes who want to prevent getting hurt or improve their performance. Resources at the Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine include a human performance lab for biomechanical evaluation, gait analysis and peak performance recommendations. Patients also have access to injury prevention training, osteoporosis scanning, a sports injury clinic, and a concussion clinic. “Injury prevention is a key component of what we are emphasizing with this program,” Mulcahey said. Prevention strategies are necessary to get our patients back to form as soon as possible.”

Dr. Mulcahey received her medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and completed her residency and fellowship at Brown University. She joins Tulane Health System from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. She has authored numerous articles and participated in multiple research projects specific to the treatment and prevention of sports injury in female athletes of all ages.

To make an appointment for women’s sports medicine, call (504) 988-9800.