Tracking Patient Outcomes; Tips for the Aging Athlete; Active Father finds Healing after Tissue Transplant

Episode 17.21 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.

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Segment One (01:20): Dr. Nikhil Verma from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush discusses the importance of tracking patient outcomes: value based care; measuring quality ofnikhil verma care vs cost; which techniques work best based on patient outcomes; how the outcomes meet specific conditions and expectations.

Dr. Verma is a Professor and Director, Division of Sports Medicine, Fellowship Director, Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopedics, Rush University Medical Center, Team Physician, Chicago White Sox/Chicago Bulls.

Dr. Verma specializes in treatment of the shoulder, elbow and knee with an emphasis on advanced arthroscopic reconstructive techniques of the shoulder, shoulder replacement, knee ligament reconstruction and articular cartilage reconstruction and meniscal transplantation.

Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush is widely recognized as the regional leader in comprehensive orthopedic services. 

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Segment Two (11:23): Dr. Leython Williams from Athletico Physical Threrapy discusses the benefits of accepting and adjusting to the inevitability of aging. Aging gracefully is linked to healthy diet, regular exercise and good genes.

Athletes both professional and amateur often refuse to let age slow them down. However, even the most elite athletes are not immune to aging; rebuilding bone and gaining muscle; trading intensity for duration; cooling down for gradual decrease in intensity.

Dr. Williams is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and facility manager for Athletico Physical Therapy at their Lincolnshire facility. He is a former Division 1 athlete that infuses his experience as an elite athlete into his evidence-based practice in the outpatient orthopedic setting.

Dr. Williams is an expert in musculoskeletal function and rehabilitation as he seeks to restore functionality and decrease pain. His mission aligns with Athletico is providing progressive outpatient therapy through personalized care that emphasizes patient education and injury prevention.

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Segment Three (21:07): Cartilage transplant Phil Pizzano is an active husband, father and former Division I soccer player discusses his tissue transplant with Steve and Dr. Cole.


In 2012, he began to suffer from debilitating knee pain. After enduring years of pain and surgery, he met with a doctor who told him he was a candidate for an osteochondral allograft transplant. In the two and a half years since that surgery, he’s been able to keep up with his two children and even picked up CrossFit.

Learn More at Allograft Possibilities

Heart Health


You don’t have to spend a lot of money or take medication to maintain a healthy heart, just follow these guidelines:

  1. Quit smoking.  Smoking causes high blood pressure, decreases exercise tolerance, increases blood clotting, and double the odds of a heart attack.
  2. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Alcohol can increase the blood pressure and in higher doses can significantly weaken heart muscle.
  3. Exercise the heart as much as you would do for any other muscle to help strengthen it and keep it healthy. 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity exercise, such as brisk walking five days a week, or 20 minutes of vigorous activity, such as jogging three days a week.  Try to make your exercise enjoyable (bring a friend or listen to music) and be persistent.
  4. Eat plenty of fiber such as fruits, nuts, whole grains and vegetables. Avoid saturated fats such as those found in most meats, chicken skin and many dairy products.  Instead, eat good fats such as olive oil, nuts, avocados and olives.
  5. Maintain a normal blood pressure. High blood pressure increases the work load on the heart and eventually will cause it to become thicker, stiffer and weaker.  This can lead to heart attacks and heart failure.
  6. Maintain as normal a weight as possible. As with hypertension, excess weight also increases the workload of the heart leading to the same end result of heart damage. Recent research shows that people who carry most of their weight around their middle (apple shaped as opposed to pear shaped), are at an even greater risk of heart disease.
  7. Controlling diabetes is important because up to three quarters of people with diabetes will die of some form of heart disease.
  8. Keep calm. Stress triggers the release of certain hormones that have an adverse effect on the heart muscle.  Studies have shown that clam and happy people have fewer heart attacks than those who are angry and discontent.  “Don’t worry – be happy”.
  9. Avoid salt as much as possible especially if you have high blood pressure. The recommended daily limit of salt is 2,300 mg. (one teaspoon). Try to avoid processed food and read food labels to steer clear of the worst offenders.
  10. Maintain levels of vitamin D. Research shows that people with low levels of vitamin D were twice as likely to have a heart attack as those who have adequate levels. The new 2010 recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 600 IU for those 1-70 years of age, and pregnant or breastfeeding women, and 800 IU for those over 71 years of age.

The above guidelines are tried and true methods of significantly improving your odds of decreasing heart disease and thereby promoting a healthier, happier, and longer life.

Valley Doctor

Health Related Articles by Terry Hollenbeck, M.D.

Fact vs. Fiction: Strength Training for Seniors

By Tara Hackney for Athletico Physical Therapystrength training in seniors

Seniors cannot gain muscle mass.  (FALSE)

There is no age limitation on the body’s ability to gain strength or muscle mass. Resistance training at a higher intensity, above 60 percent of their one repetition maximum, has been shown to cause larger increases in strength in seniors. Strength training can increase the strength, mass, power and quality of muscle as well as improve endurance performance in seniors. Strength in seniors is important for performance of daily activities and to decrease the risk of falling which is a common cause of injury in this population.

Exercise improves cognitive function.  (TRUE)

Several studies have confirmed that both long-term exercise training and short-term (under 4 weeks) exercise training showed positive results on cognitive functions including memory, reading ability, attention and processing speed in people over the age of 60. The exercise program in these studies included aerobic exercise, strengthening exercises, and stretching at least three days per week. This combination of exercises appears to be the most effective for improving cognitive function.

Strength training in elderly individuals is not safe. (FALSE)

There is risk of injury with exercise at any age but there is no evidence that senior populations are at higher risk for injury than other age groups when performing strength training. For any individual beginning a strengthening program, education is important to ensure safety when using weight machines or free weights. Individuals should consider consulting their physician before starting any new exercise program, and should also be cautious about the number of repetitions and amount of resistance for their own safety and recovery after workouts.

An Athletico physical therapist or athletic trainer may be helpful to discuss strengthening programs for added safety. Contact your closest Athletico for a complimentary screening.

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Is Genetic and Testing Right for You?; Non Surgical Treatment for Arthritis

Episode 17.19 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.

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Segment One (01:25): Scott Weissman, MS, CGC from Chicago Genetic Consultants talks about the value of genetic consulting to assess your risk of certain conditions with a comfort in knowing that you will be making fully informed decisions about genetic testing and your health.

The decision to evaluate your risk of having or developing a genetic condition is not an easy one to make.  There are many complexities that go into the choice to undergo genetic testing and meeting with a certified and licensed genetic counselor is one of the most important parts of the genetic testing process in a variety of genetics disciplines including:

  • Cancer Genetics
  • Neurogenetics
  • Cardiogenetics
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Ocular Genetics
  • Whole genome/exome sequencing
  • Carrier Screening
  • Interpretation of genetic test results from direct-to-consumer genetic testing

Chicago Genetic Consultants

Segment Two (16:50): Dr. Adam Yanke from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush talks about Non Surgical Treatment for Arthritis. How biologic or stem cell therapy is used in the treatment of certain conditions. Dr. Yanke’s motivation to perform both clinical and basic science research has always been to deliver the most advanced patient care possible.

This includes being involved in clinical trials that utilize stem cell injections for arthritis. He also believes that the cornerstones of good orthopedic care are proper indications and understanding that non-operative measures are commonly the most appropriate treatment.