Genesis debuts new device to get players back on the field faster

BETTENDORF, Iowa-- After the Iowa Soccer Championship Series was moved from Des Moines to TBK Bank Sports Complex in Bettendorf, Genesis Health System got the chance to unveil a new device to better treat injured athletes.

"The most common question is, 'How soon can I get back to play?'" says Dr. José Armendáriz, a sports medicine specialist with Genesis. "So we want them back as quickly and as safely as possible."

Armendáriz now has a portable ultrasound in his treatment tool kit, which he says is best used to examine knees, ankles, elbows and shoulders.

"You don't need a big set-up for imaging," he says. "You don't need an MRI."

Ultrasound allows physician or athletic trainers to see what's going on under the skin.

"You can see some changes under the surface, whether that's scarring... fluids or hematomas," Armendáriz says.

And this device is useful in sports medicine, easily transported from the clinic to the sideline. Armendáriz says an ultrasound can be a critical step to treat someone's injury.

He says he once saw a high school basketball player after he had been practicing on a fractured patella for weeks.

"Immediately we noticed something different on his kneecap [on the ultrasound]," he says. "And it wasn't tendonitis. His tendon looked fine. It was a crack in the bone."

Armendáriz says ultrasounds can sometimes catch things an X-ray can't. He adds technology is becoming better, smaller and cheaper, making better healthcare more accessible. He says portable ultrasound can be a cost-effective option for rural clinics that could use one outside of the doctor's office.