Sports are truly part of America’s way of life. We sign our kids up for teams, clubs and lessons almost as soon as they can walk. And playing sports is a vital means of staying active and healthy well into retirement. But along the way, bumps, bruises, strains and sprains are inevitable. If you or someone you love has a recent or ongoing sports injury, let the doctors at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates (OlyOrtho) help. One of their newest team members, Dr. Kaley Capitano, is a lifelong athlete herself and focuses on the non-operative treatment of many sports-related issues.
OlyOrtho Won’t Let Sports Injuries Slow You Down
It’s estimated that each year, 30 million kids participate in organized sports, and 3.5 million injuries occur. For most players, a sprain or strain is cured by R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression and elevation) since children bounce back quickly. But sometimes, they need more intensive intervention, and that’s where Capitano comes in. Her specialty at OlyOrtho is tackling sports injuries and providing musculoskeletal care for chronic tendon injuries, arthritis, fractures and ligament sprains or tears.
She also offers ultrasonography for diagnostic and therapeutic joint and soft tissue injections, Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections, as well as percutaneous tenotomy and tissue hydro dissection. “I have a passion for guiding return to sport for young athletes and weekend warriors alike and have extensive training in concussion management,” she says. “I am passionate about this field of medicine and elated that I get to spend every single day addressing musculoskeletal concerns and utilizing my procedural skills to help get people back to their lives and sports.”
It Takes an Athlete to Treat an Athlete
Capitano grew up in San Diego and played multiple sports herself. She was a competitive swimmer who went to the Junior Olympics as an adolescent and later played volleyball. Her education took her from California to Arizona, Utah and eventually, a fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
But she’s ready to put down roots. “After eight years of being assigned cities and states to live in while completing medical training, my husband and I were finally able to choose where we wanted to settle down,” says Capitano. “We wanted to live in a small city where we could connect with the community and befriend our neighbors, but also reside close enough to a large metropolitan area to enjoy big city culture and be close to an international airport for travel. As avid outdoors people originally from the West Coast, Olympia hit all these boxes. The fact that our goddaughters and best friends live in town was icing on the cake.”
She’s also excited to settle into OlyOrtho’s family as well. Capitano was drawn to their welcoming culture and high-quality staff. “To be able to walk down the hall and bounce ideas off any of 20+ expert surgeons regarding a management decision creates an environment of elite patient care and tremendous learning opportunities,” she says. “I immediately felt the caring, warm support OlyOrtho exhibits as an employer and the way they value and prioritize individual career goals and personal wellness.”
Capitano is a Conduit of Information for Informed Patient Decisions
Capitano believes that a long, healthy life comes from balanced eating and physical activity, but also indulging in donuts from time to time. “I hope to model both of these things for my patients,” she says. “Patients deserve the respect of making their own healthcare decisions, and my job is to serve as a conduit of information to assist and guide these decisions. Management plans should be tailored to the individual, considering lifestyle and priorities, in order for me to meet patients wherever the greatest harm reduction and sustained long-term health outcomes can be achieved.”
Outside of clinic work, she’ll provide her skills to athletes at Saint Martin’s University and Timberline High School. No stranger to team physician work, Capitano has assisted with many university sports as well as Twin Cities Marathon Medical Director and USA Youth Judo North American Championship Medical Director.
During the winter months, there’s no slowdown in activity. “In residency, I spent eight weeks as a Medical Ski Clinic Physician at both Alta and Snowbird ski resorts in Salt Lake City, Utah,” Capitano explains. “I am actively pursuing involvement with the medical care and coverage of Team USA Ski and Snowboard and Team USA Hockey athletes.”
When not working, look for her on the slopes, camping or backpacking with her husband and two dogs. Or find Capitano chilling in a hammock with spine-tingling sci-fi dystopian thrillers, up to her elbows in mud for ceramic wheel pottery or collecting a variety of thriving houseplants.
For a helping hand after a sports injury, give OlyOrtho a call at 360.570.3460 or request an appointment online. Don’t stay benched all summer long or do lasting harm by not healing properly. Their team is happy to get you back on your feet again ASAP.