Staying in the Game
ALTON - Playing college basketball can take a toll on an athlete no matter how much conditioning and work one puts into the game. Maurice Wiltz, a recent Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) graduate and member of the Cougar basketball team, knows that only too well.
He’s played the game since he was a child in his hometown of Houston, Texas, throughout high school and college.
“I’ve had several injuries throughout my basketball career, including a concussion and ongoing knee problems,” says Wiltz, 22, who has also undergone surgery for a torn lateral meniscus.
Wiltz credits his continued playing for SIUE thanks to the care he received from Janiece Stewart, MD, head team physician for SIUE and Collinsville High School. A member of the Alton Orthopedic Group on the campus of Alton Memorial Hospital, she also sees patients in her BJC Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Specialists office in Edwardsville.
Dr. Stewart went to high school in Belleville, Ill., where she played sports herself and has a deep appreciation for what it takes to ensure athletes are healthy to play their chosen sports.
“Dr. Stewart has always been there for me and the other players, whether I needed to have my knee drained or just needed help with conditioning,” Wiltz says. “Since she was an athlete herself, she can relate to what we are going through and she really does care about her patients.”
Now that Wiltz has graduated with a degree in applied communications, he plans to return to Texas to start a career in sales.
“My basketball playing days are done,” he says. “I don’t want any more wear and tear on my body. I’m grateful to Dr. Stewart because she was always looking out for me and finding ways to help me overcome any pain or avoid further injuries.”
Caring for athletes like Wiltz is just one aspect of Dr. Stewart’s practice.
As a non-surgical orthopedics specialist, Dr. Stewart specializes in sports medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics. Her patients include high school and college athletes, as well as the “weekend warriors” who run, play tennis or golf in their spare time. They can also include young patients who suffer an injury on the playground, a person who suffers a fall around the house or someone suffering from arthritis.
“I see patients as young as 3 or 4 to the elderly,” says Dr. Stewart, who enjoys the long-term relationships she is able to build with her patients. “Most people, regardless of their age and their injury, just want to get back to living their life or playing their sport pain free, and I try to help them do that.”
Dr. Stewart provides care for a variety of musculoskeletal injuries, which occur in the muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones. She specializes in diagnostic ultrasound used to identify injuries such as a torn rotator cuff, water on the knee and other muscle- and bone-related injuries.
She also offers compartment pressure testing, which can be done to help patients such as runners who are experiencing leg pain. The testing helps her diagnose the level of pressure a person is experiencing and whether treatment to release the pressure can be done through resting, stopping activity or in some cases surgery.
“I enjoy having a mix of patients who are both athletes and non-athletes,” she says. “I am here to treat the injury, as well as to help prevent further injuries.”
Dr. Stewart is a member of BJC Medical Group and on staff at Alton Memorial Hospital. She sees patients at Alton Orthopedic Clinic, 4 Memorial Drive, Building B, Suite 130, Alton, Ill.; and at BJC Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Specialists, 8 Sunset Hills Professional Center, Ewardsville, Ill. Appointments can be made by calling (618) 463-7600.