Hospital for Special Surgery to Offer Free Pre-Season Health Screening for High School Football Players

Students will have access to a comprehensive medical screening by physicians who treat the NY Football Giants

The official hospital of the New York Football Giants is offering high school athletes a taste of the big leagues. Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) has teamed up with PSAL, the Public Schools Athletic League, to offer a special pre-season physical exam, including strength and performance testing, to football players in public schools throughout the five boroughs.

The free health screening will take place on Saturday, June 4, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the James M. Benson Sports Rehabilitation Center and Tisch Sports Performance Center at HSS, 525 East 71st Street, first floor, NYC. It is open to all varsity and junior varsity football players, but pre-registration is required.

Medical clearance is mandatory for all NYC public high school students wishing to play football. “A complete physical is the first step to prevent a problem on the field by ensuring that a young athlete is fit enough to play a rigorous sport and has no underlying health problems,” explains James J. Kinderknecht, MD, a primary care sports medicine physician and medical director of the PSAL Clinic at HSS. “The health screening enables us to meet a need in the community, and after football season starts we remain committed to providing these students with easy, reliable access to medical care at our PSAL clinic.”

Teen athletes whose families cannot afford to pay for the required physical could be forced to forgo high school football. The HSS medical screening is open to all players, regardless of ability to pay.

“We go beyond the traditional physical by assessing students’ muscle strength and flexibility to help with injury prevention,” said John Cavanaugh, PT, ATC, SCS, clinical supervisor, HSS Sports Rehabilitation and Performance Center. Cavanaugh expects about 200 students at the screening, now in its seventh year.

At the well-organized event, students go from station to station as primary care physicians, orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, physician assistants, athletic trainers, and registered nurses take their medical history; perform balance/concussion management testing; check students’ heart, lungs, blood pressure and vision; test strength and flexibility; assess their posture; and test lower extremity power via the broad jump.

Physicians will also check the young athletes for previous injuries, giving them advice on how to stay safe on the field and avoid future problems. They may be prescribed exercises or advised on icing, taping and bracing to prevent further injury.

Pre-registration is required and closes on June 1. Anyone who would like more information or to register is invited to email:

About HSS | Hospital for Special Surgery
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the eighth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2017-2018). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country and was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. The global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State. In 2017 HSS provided care to 135,000 patients and performed more than 32,000 surgical procedures. People from all 50 U.S. states and 80 countries travelled to receive care at HSS. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Global Innovation Institute was formed in 2016 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The culture of innovation is accelerating at HSS as 130 new idea submissions were made to the Global Innovation Institute in 2017 (almost 3x the submissions in 2015). The HSS Education Institute is the world’s leading provider of education on the topic on musculoskeletal health, with its online learning platform offering more than 600 courses to more than 21,000 medical professional members worldwide. Through HSS Global Ventures, the institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally.