By LESA L. JONES
WORKING THE SIDELINES: Dr. Wendy Emerson is at the ready to treat Bixby football players during the recent state championship game in Owasso, where the Spartans defeated Stillwater to again become Oklahoma state football champions.
Bixby Breeze photo
Football fans have seen Dr. Wendy Emerson on the sidelines treating players at Bixby Spartan and Coweta Tigers games and working with players on the Fortuna Tulsa Women’s Soccer Team.
Now, following the merger of Central States Orthopedics and Eastern Oklahoma Orthopedics, even those who play Fantasy Football can benefit from her sports medicine expertise through her work at Advanced Orthopedics of Oklahoma, 12800 S. Memorial Dr., in Bixby.
“I’ve learned over time, the term athlete is defined by the person,” Emerson said.
Like many of the players she treats, Emerson spent much of her formative years playing competitive sports, namely basketball and softball.
“Thankfully, I avoided any serious injuries, but to see my teammates have injuries piqued my interest and definitely got me into that frame of mind as to what exactly is happening in the body and how to treat those injuries,” Emerson said.
Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, the future physician, her parents and five siblings moved to Flower Mound, Texas in 1977. She later earned an academic scholarship from Oral Roberts University where she studied Pre-Med Health and Exercise Science.
After graduating from in 2000, she spent a year in Dallas working in a sports science lab performing fitness testing on amateur and professional athletes including players from the ’s Dallas Mavericks and the ’s Dallas Stars.
Following her acceptance into the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, she developed a passion for the field of orthopedic surgery. Later, she earned a residency position at the University of Washington in Seattle.
“For five years, braving (and yes, even enjoying) grey days and drizzle, I learned from and was mentored by top orthopaedic educators, each day expanding my knowledge and honing my skills in all things bone, joint, muscle, ligament, and tendon,” Emerson said.
It was in Seattle that the doctor learned the art of treating each patient as an individual and to value their unique concerns.
“With my background as an athlete and my love for sports, I decided that I would like to become a specialist in Sports Medicine,” she said.
At the end of her residency, Emerson entered a one-year subspecialty fellowship at Orthopedic Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There she was taught how to perfect the intricacies of minimally invasive, arthroscopic surgical techniques.
On weekends she had the opportunity to cover a variety of sporting events such as Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx basketball, Minnesota Twins baseball, the Combine, college and high school football, pond hockey tournaments and, running events.
Upon completion of her medical training, Emerson chose to move back to Tulsa to start her practice and to be closer to family and friends.
As an Orthopedic physician, Emerson has the knowledge and experience to treat those on the field or those working in an office.
And while Emerson’s specialty is sports medicine, if someone has a torn rotator cuff from an incident on the job or in the backyard, whatever he or she is doing, it is the arthroscopic surgery part of that training that is used to address the injury. So while it’s not necessarily a sports injury per se, it falls under that guise she says.
“I think it’s particularly rewarding to have someone who has not been able to participate in their sport, or their exercise, or their job,” Emerson said. “For me to be able to help them accomplish that goal is particularly rewarding.”
Whether they’re a young student-athlete or someone who’s just trying to get back to playing tennis on the weekends, it is Emerson’s goal to help them.
Emerson enjoys helping her patients get back on the field of life.