Some questions have arisen about who exactly made anonymous comments to The GW Hatchet (Students question use of cortisone in college athletics, March 6, p. 1) regarding treatments for a knee injury.
I am a member of the men’s varsity crew, and I do have an injured right knee. Since January, this injury has prevented me from rowing as competitively and effectively as I can. Throughout this period I worked very closely with Jackie Jenkins, her staff and the student trainers in an attempt to treat my injury and hopefully make it back out on the water for this racing season. I also see Dr. Kenneth Fine, an orthopedic surgeon who serves as the team doctor for the GW athletic department, on a regular basis in order to adjust medication dosages and pursue various diagnostic and treatment options.
I have had one cortisone injection in my knee. In fact, I was the one who asked about cortisone; I wanted to try the procedure. Cortisone is a medicine like any other: used properly it can be of great benefit to patients who need it. However – like any drug – if misused, cortisone can do a great deal of damage. At no time did the training room staff or Dr. Fine pressure me to have an injection or act improperly toward my injury in any way.
I write this letter simply to set the record straight. I was not the person so extensively quoted anonymously – a dubious journalistic practice at best – as making disparaging remarks against a sports medicine staff that I admire and members of which I consider friends.
As for my knee, it is still injured and may prevent me from racing this season; my first cortisone injection was not as effective as we all had hoped. I continue to work with Dr. Fine and the trainers. If Dr. Fine and the trainers feel that another cortisone injection could be beneficial, I would weigh that option like any other. The injured athlete is the final arbiter of what medical treatments are attempted in each and every case.
No one can force an athlete to pursue a treatment he or she does not ultimately want.
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This article appeared in the March 16, 2000 issue of the Hatchet.