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Physical therapists deliver fast medicine at Round-Up

Rodeo Sports Medicine treats more than 300 during Pendleton Round-Up
Phil Wright

East Oregonian

Published on September 15, 2017 12:01AM

Last changed on September 15, 2017 9:55PM

Wyatt Bloom of Bend grimaces in pain after the horse he was riding, Wild Sheep, took a spill in the infield Thursday during bareback riding at the Pendleton Round-Up. Bloom dislocated his kneecap in the crash.

Staff photo by E.J. Harris

Wyatt Bloom of Bend grimaces in pain after the horse he was riding, Wild Sheep, took a spill in the infield Thursday during bareback riding at the Pendleton Round-Up. Bloom dislocated his kneecap in the crash.

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Bull rider Brady Portenier inspects the work of Dr. Tom Weeks in a mirror as Weeks tends to an injury Portenier got when a bull’s horn connected with his chin on Friday at the Pendleton Round-Up.

Staff photo by Kathy Aney

Bull rider Brady Portenier inspects the work of Dr. Tom Weeks in a mirror as Weeks tends to an injury Portenier got when a bull’s horn connected with his chin on Friday at the Pendleton Round-Up.

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Wyatt Bloom of Bend dislocated his kneecap during Thursday’s bareback competition at the Pendleton Round-Up.

Athletic trainer Devin Dice said the injury comes with intense pain but is not life- or career-threatening. So far at this year’s Round-Up, Dice said there have been no serious injuries.

Dice, of Melba, Idaho, works with Dee Cornell, an athletic trainer and physical therapist from Bonham, Texas, who runs the Rodeo Sports Medicine trailer behind the north grandstands on the Round-Up Grounds. They gave Bloom his initial treatment, and Cornell said they recommended he visit Bradley Adams, the orthopedic surgeon who serves as the Round-Up’s medical director.

Dice said he didn’t have an update on Bloom, but the word was the cowboy might try to wrap the knee and ride Saturday.

Jeffrey Ramagos of Louisiana suffered an injury Wednesday after a bull bucked him off and slammed him to the ground. The bull also injured one of the volunteer gate staff.

Dice said neither injury turned out to be serious. And the volunteer, Bill Boyd, was in the stands Friday, according to the rodeo announcer.

Cornell has brought her trailer and expertise to the rodeo for three years now. Contestants and others with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association come and go every few moments. She said her group will provide treatment to more than 300 people during the week. They treat another 30-50 during the Professional Bull Riders contests Monday and Tuesday.

Much of the work in the trailer is preventative. Bulldoggers take a seat so Cornell or Dice can pass layers of athletic tape around their ankles. Calf ropers and trippers come in for the same.

The medicine in the trailer is “really quick,” Dice said, and they also rely on a cadre of dedicated volunteers. Cowboys and cowgirls come in for ice, bandages and even sutures. Most of the injuries they treat at the Round-Up are muscle strains in backs, groins and necks. Dice said the Round-Up’s grass field contributes to those. The grass can prove tricky, he said, and vary from being wet and slick to bone dry.

He recalled a horse slipping last year after a morning rainfall, and its rider fractured an ankle, leaving the foot to flop in the wrong direction.

One of the ambulance crews — they station at either end of the arena — drove onto the field to take the cowboy straight to St. Anthony Hospital, Pendleton. Dice said that almost never happens, but carrying the cowboy on a stretcher would have caused him more agony.

“So far this year, we have not taken any contestant to the hospital by ambulance,” he said.



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