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The Sports Enthusiast’s Official Resource for Fitness, Nutrition, Injury Prevention and Treatment – Helping to Optimize Your Performance!


Growing Popularity of Paddle Tennis; Pressed Juices

Episode 15.36 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/c.


Segment One: Platform Tennis Injuries

Dr. Julia Bruene

Platform tennis, or paddle tennis as it also called, has attracted an estimate 10,000 players in the Chicago area over the past several years. Played primarily by adults outside in cold weather months (October through March), it has been known to cause a variety of injuries, including Achilles and ACL tears, shoulder labral injuries, tennis elbow and even retinal tears. Dr. Julia Bruene of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush treats patients with some of these injuries and discusses them with Dr. Brian Cole. Kashul. Dr. Bruene and Dr. Cole are joined by the American Platform Tennis Association’s John Noble.

Dr. Julia Bruene is a sports medicine physician with special interests in concussion management, care of female athletes, care of combat athletes/mixed martial arts, and special needs athletes. In 2006, Dr. Bruene graduated magna cum laude earning her bachelor’s degree in health planning and administration, with a minor in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She went on to complete her medical degree at Rush University Medical College, Chicago, IL graduating in the top 20 percent of her class. Dr. Bruene served as chief resident in the Advocate Lutheran General Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program, Park Ridge, IL. She then completed a fellowship in primary care sports medicine at Rush University Medical Center.

Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush Named Official Orthopedic Provider for Chicago Platform Tennis

Brochure Available from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush: 15 Minutes to Avoid the Most Common Platform Tennis Injuries

Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush Injury Assessment Hot Line for Platform Tennis Injuries 855-603-4141

Segment Two: The Story about Pressed Juices and why its Important

Eric Cooper, Founder and Owner of Pressed Vibrance talks about the benefits and processing of pressed juices; proper utilization of food and how it applies to Athletic Performance; how a plant based diet can enhance performance, recovery, longevity and reduce inflammation; how pressed juices differ from the juicing concept.

A little over four years ago, Eric had what he calls a near death experience. “I had suffered from ulcerative colitis for 10 years. One day, I basically passed out and woke up in the emergency room at Northwestern Hospital for two weeks—arguably the worst two weeks of my life,” he says.

09-13 cooper_mainAfter having his colon removed and being treated with up to 40 different medications he was taking daily, Eric knew that it was time for a radical life change. “My wife Megan sat me down and said, ‘We’re not going through this again,’” Eric remembers. So with the same vigor he once approached fund management, and with a motivation to give back to others to honor those who had been so gracious to him along his journey to healthier living, Eric began discovering the world of nutrigenomics—the study of how food communicates with the body. “I’ve created a Rubik’s Cube of what every fruit and vegetable is good for,” says Eric, flipping through the decks of research he has done on the health benefits of each and every product he uses in his juices. “Ideally, a client will tell us what his pain points are—arthritis, high cholesterol, high blood pressure. From here, we’ll create a juice specifically targeted at the areas he wants to improve,” he says. As Eric’s state-of-the-art kitchen is being built in Lake Bluff, he continues to press most of the juices himself, with the help of his wife and four high school interns.


Eric believes in pressed juices because it hardly requires any digestion—they allow you to get an increase of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes into your system. As a result, you absorb a huge amount of densely packed, plant-based nutrients. No nutrients are lost in the pressing process. Eric tends to drink two to three juices each day, usually different kinds. “I often start my day with a carrot juice. It’s incredibly hydrating and gives me an energy boost much better than any cup of coffee could,” he says. “Then before lunch, as a snack, I’ll have one of our green drinks.” Each 16-oz. juice contains the nutritional equivalent of approximately two to five pounds of fruits and vegetables. The phytonutrients of the juice typically absorb into the bloodstream within 15 to 18 minutes of consuming. “We have quite an extensive catalog of juice recipes,” Eric says, having successfully mastered making healthy drinks that taste delicious.

Related Articles: Here’s to Your Health and Pressed Vibrance



saeger1On any given day, Meg would be out the door before the sun rose, ready to coach for USA Cycling or teach a yoga class. As an endurance athlete and mother to a busy toddler, her health is crucial to her lifestyle. Though she endured knee pain for several years, a fall off of her mountain bike was the catalyst to a visit with an orthopedic surgeon.

“After my knee scope, it was clear there was a bigger issue,” Meg said. “I basically had no cartilage left on my knee.”

While exploring her surgical options, Meg met with Dr. Vishal Mehta and learned about a new cartilage product, ProChondrix®. AlloSource’s ProChondrix is a cellular 3D fresh cartilage matrix that helps deliver the necessary components for cartilage restoration.  This next generation of cartilage therapy provides live cells and other biological components, which are necessary for repair and regeneration of damaged cartilage tissues.

Dr. Mehta felt ProChondrix would help give Meg back her quality of life.  Before embarking down a surgical path, Meg and Dr. Mehta had several in-depth conversations about the procedure and ProChondrix.

“Dr. Mehta asked me, ‘where do you want to be in a year? Do you want to still be in pain when you go out for a run or a ride? Or do you want to feel pain-free and feel like you have control of your knee?’” she explained.

Meg felt confident in ProChondrix and Dr. Mehta and underwent surgery in the summersaeger2 of 2015. After the procedure, Meg began an aggressive physical therapy regimen and is now back on her bike both coaching and riding for fun. She recently visited AlloSource and got to see firsthand how allografts are processed. She also reflected on what it means to receive donated human tissue.

“You’re receiving a donation from somebody’s loved one. To know that’s going into my knee, it was emotional. It’s very humbling and makes you appreciate the process.”

Hear Meg’s interview with Dr. Cole and Steve Kashul on Sports Medicine Weekly:

The Miracle of Tissue Transplantation; Are Meniscal Injuries the New ACL Injury?

Episode 15.35 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/c.

Segment One: The History and Future of Allograft Healing

about_leadership_bio-RossW_250x200AlloSource’s Senior Medical Director and renowned orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Ross Wilkins, speaks about how he has seen the use of allograft tissue evolve.  Some of that evolution through donor availability, some of that evolution through research and development, but all of it all driven by the passion to help patients heal.

The use of allografts, or donated human tissue, to heal the human body from trauma and disease goes back more than 100 years.  The first known case is from 1878 where Dr. Macewen, age 32, had a 3-year-old boy with a bone infection.  Dr. Macewen removed the boy’s infected humerus shaft, but with no bone regrowth, his limb was useless and his parents requested amputation.  Instead, Dr. Macewen performed a bone transplant, whereby two-thirds of the humerus shaft was restored.  Life-enhancing transplants using allografts still take place today, but have progressed through the availability of more sophisticated biologic solutions provided by such companies as AlloSource®.

As Dr. Wilkins mentions, the evolution of allograft use is best seen through tissue recipient stories, such as the 3-year-old boy mentioned above.  He also talks about Kacey.  Kacey is a survivor of the Columbine High School shooting and Dr. Wilkins and his team were able to save her arm by using allografts.  You can read more about her on

Recognized internationally as an expert on limb preservation, bone and soft tissue tumors and bone transplantation, Dr. Wilkins serves as an Orthopedic Surgeon for Colorado Limb Consultants, Medical Director for The Denver Clinic for Extremities at Risk, Chairman and Founder of The Limb Preservation Foundation.

If you are suffering from trauma or disease, talk to your surgeon about the potential of allografts.  It might be the solution you have been looking for.

Segment Two: Are Meniscal Injuries the New ACL Injury?

Steve and Dr. Cole with Dave Heidloff, ATC, PES from Athletico and Dominican University Athletic Trainer & Strength and Conditioning Coach.

Knee injuries are back in the news. With recent injuries to high profile players, water cooler chat is shifting from ACL injuries to meniscal injuries. If you want to be the resident sports medicine expert in the office, keep reading for a brief overview of meniscal tears and what they mean for athletes.

When people talk about meniscus injuries, they are typically referring to either the medial or lateral meniscus of the knee. These structures are a special type of cartilage in the knee that serve three very important functions.

3 Functions of the Meniscus

1. The first function is as a shock absorber.

The material that makes up the meniscus is called fibrocartilaginous tissue, which is a lot like a dense rubber. Since the meniscus is located between the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone), it is in the perfect place to keep the shock from athletic movements from causing damage.

2. The second function of the meniscus is to provide a smooth surface for the femur and tibia to move on.

The rubbery, fibrocartilaginous tissue is smooth and reduces friction between the bones that for the knee joint. This not only makes makes movement fluid, but prevents damage to the bones of the knee.

3. Finally, the meniscus helps provide stability to the knee.

The shape of the meniscus creates a sort of C-shaped cup on each side of the tibia, for the end of the femur to sit in, helping to keep everything where it should be.

Knee meniscal injuries typically happen in one of two ways – an injury event to the knee or degeneration. An injury during activity usually happens with bending and twisting of the knee, like an awkward squat. Degenerative meniscal injuries happen as we age. Over time, the meniscus loses its rubbery properties and can become easier to tear.

There are a few options to treat a torn meniscus.

knee x ray image 012511 resized 21. If the meniscus is torn in an area that has a good blood supply, a surgeon may opt to repair the tear. This will help to maintain the overall health of the knee, but comes with a longer recovery time as the meniscus can be slow to heal.

2. If the tear is in a location with poor blood supply, the chances of a repair being successful are slim. In this case, most surgeons will perform a meniscectomy, which simply means removing the torn portion and smoothing out the remaining meniscus. Although you are losing some of the natural anatomy of your knee, you will regain function and have a shorter recovery time than a repair.

3. If you are less active, some surgeons may opt to try injections, physical therapy, or a combination of both to help avoid surgery.  This plan can help alleviate the discomfort of a torn meniscus and let one get back to their typical routine.

If you have knee pain catching, locking, or giving way in your knee, it is always a good idea to get the opinion of a health care professional. They can help you figure out a course of action that best fits your lifestyle. Schedule an appointment to see an Athletico physical therapist today.