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.

Schedule a Complimentary Injury Screen

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

Biologic Knee Reconstruction: A Surgeon’s Guide

Treatment of articular cartilage pathology in the knees of young and active patients is a challenging and controversial issue. Biologic Knee Reconstruction: A Surgeon’s Guide is a how-to, step-by-step guide that addresses the evaluation and management of this unique patient population.

Internationally renowned cartilage experts Dr. Brian J. Cole and Dr. Joshua D. Harris, along with their contributors, present information on normal and abnormal history and physical examination. The reader will learn proper decision-making using a patient-centered approach of treatment, increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome. In addition to radiographic assessment of articular cartilage, Biologic Knee Reconstruction discusses the use of biomarkers, defect classification, and patient-reported and surgeon-measured outcomes. Aggressive nonsurgical medical management, including medications, injections, physiotherapy, and rehabilitation, is also presented.

Biologic Knee Reconstruction also discusses the management of concomitant pathologies such as malalignment, meniscal deficiency, and ligamentous instability. Selection of surgical cartilage restorative treatment options is multifactorial, requiring consideration of several patient-, knee-, and defect-specific issues. All contemporary open and arthroscopic cartilage techniques are presented in detail with high resolution figures. A unique feature of Biologic Knee Reconstruction is the presentation of several chapters discussing non-medical issues highly pertinent to the advancement and future of this field: funding of research and cost of new advanced technologies, regulation of advanced cellular, tissue, and genetic technologies, evidence-based medicine and clinical trial design and conduct, and the ethics of allograft tissues and stem cell use.


  • Technique preference cards from the experts performing cartilage surgery
  • Patient education information
  • The most up-to-date descriptions of advanced cartilage techniques
  • Unique chapters not covered in books elsewhere, including:
    • Biomarkers
    • Patient-reported outcomes assessment
    • Newer injection techniques (PRP, stem cells)
    • One- and two-stage open and arthroscopic techniques using chondrocyte- and stem cell based cell therapies
    • Costs and public and private funding of research
    • Barriers to high-quality randomized trials
    • Governmental regulation and availability/accessibility to patients
    • Gene therapy and tissue engineering
    • Ethics of articular cartilage surgery with stem cells, ex-vivo cell manipulation, and juvenile tissue sources

With the most up-to-date content and step-by-step methods for surgical procedures, Biologic Knee Reconstruction: A Surgeon’s Guide is the perfect addition to the bookshelf of the orthopedic surgeon, cartilage researcher, sports physical therapist, or athletic trainer who evaluates and manages this unique patient population.

Editorial Review

“This is a wonderful reference on a growing area and that has had an important impact on patient function, especially over the past decade. This guide provides foundational knowledge and well thought out approaches for residents and fellows in training and a thorough reference for orthopedic surgeons in practice who wish to stay current on the state of the art of biological knee reconstruction.”

– Mark R. Hutchinson, MD, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, Doody’s Review Service

About the Authors

Brian J. Cole, MD, MBA is a Professor in the Department of Orthopedics with a conjoint appointment in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. In 2011, he was appointed as Chairman of Surgery at Rush Oak Park Hospital. He is the Section Head of the Cartilage Research and Restoration Center at Rush University Medical Center, a multidisciplinary program specializing in the treatment of arthritis in young, active patients.

He also serves as the head of the Orthopedic Master’s Program and trains residents and fellows in sports medicine and research. He lectures nationally and internationally, and through his basic science and clinical research has developed several innovative techniques for the treatment of shoulder, elbow, and knee conditions. He has published more than 1000 articles and has published 11 widely read textbooks in orthopedics.

Dr. Cole was chosen as one of the “Best Doctors in America” each year since 2004 and as a “Top Doctor” in the Chicago metro area each year since 2003. In 2006, he was featured on the cover of Chicago Magazine as “Chicago’s Top Doctor” and was selected NBA Team Physician of the Year in 2009. In 2012, 2013, and 2014, Orthopedics This Week named Dr. Cole as one of the top 19 sports medicine specialists and one of the top 28 North American shoulder surgeons as chosen by his peers.

He is the team physician for the Chicago Bulls National Basketball Association team and co-team physician for the Chicago White Sox Major League Baseball team and DePaul University in Chicago.

Joshua D. Harris, MD is an Assistant Professor at Houston Methodist Hospital Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in the Institute of Academic Medicine in Houston, Texas. He holds a conjoint appointment as Assistant Professor of Clinical Orthopedic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, New York.

He trains fellows in sports medicine and residents in orthopedic surgery at HoustonNot found Methodist Hospital, and medical students from Texas A&M University. He is co-director of the Houston Methodist Cartilage Repair Center and the Houston Methodist Hip Preservation Center. Dr. Harris received his MD from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, in 2006.

He completed General Surgery internship in 2007 and Orthopedic Surgery residency in 2012, both at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. He completed his Sports Medicine Fellowship at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Harris also serves as head team physician for the Houston Dash and the Houston Methodist Endurance Medicine Program and serves as assistant team physician for the Houston Ballet.

Dr. Harris specializes in knee, hip, and shoulder surgery. His clinical interests include articular cartilage surgery of the knee, hip, and shoulder; meniscoligamentous and realignment surgery of the knee; arthroscopic and endoscopic hip preservation surgery; and open and arthroscopic shoulder surgery. His research interests include clinical, translational, and basic science of knee, hip, and shoulder pathologies and treatments.

He has authored and edited more than 150 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and presented more than 250 national and international presentations. He is a member of several national and international societies, reviews and serves on the editorial board for multiple orthopedic sports medicine journals, and is a member of numerous committees in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and other national and regional societies.

Can ACL Tears Be Prevented?

By Anne Bierman for Athletico Physcical Therapy

One of the most common knee injuries is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprain or tear. The ACL is a major ligament that helps to stabilize the knee joint. Athletes and recreational enthusiasts of all ages can experience an ACL tear, especially those who participate in high demand sports like soccer, football and basketball.

To reduce the number of ACL injuries and improve the outcomes for athletes that suffer an injury, Athletico Physical Therapy offers the ACL 3P Program, which stands for Prevention, Progression and Performance. As program manager of this program, I frequently get asked by physicians, athletes and parents if ACL tears can be prevented. Although contact injuries cannot be prevented, there is evidence to support prevention programs can decrease the risk of non-contact ACL injuries – particularly in female adolescent athletes.

Athletico’s ACL 3P Program

Athletico’s ACL 3P Program helps minimize the risk of ACL injury and restores strength and normal mechanics post-ACL surgery. Prevention in the 3P program begins with a screening to identify potential injury risk factors that can be corrected. Unlike other movement screens that just look at double-leg tasks like squatting and lunging, Athletico’s ACL 3P screen looks at both double-leg and single-leg activities that include jumping and cutting (quickly switching direction), which are the two most common mechanisms of non-contact ACL injury.

By screening athletes, we are not necessarily predicting injury. Rather, we are gathering baseline measurements and identifying impairments that can lead to biomechanical flaws and the increased potential for injury. Athletico offers sport-specific ACL risk assessments for individual athletes or for entire sports teams in the community. In addition, Athletico ACL 3P clinicians are available to teach dynamic warm-up programs. It is important to note that studies show dynamic warm-up programs can decrease non-contact ACL injury risk by up to 70 percent.

Dynamic Warm-Up Programs

Athletico ACL 3P Program Manager Anne Bierman had the opportunity to meet Mario Bizzini, one of the creators of the FIFA 11+ dynamic warm-up program, at Team Concept Conference in Las Vegas in December 2016.

Can ACL tears be prevented?U.S. Soccer started a campaign to decrease knee injuries in athletes and promoted two popular dynamic warm-up programs – the PEP (Prevent injury and Enhance Performance) and the I am often asked my opinion on which program is better, and my answer is whichever one you will use consistently! Compliance with these programs is critical.

FIFA 11+ is a great dynamic warm-up program that is structured into three different parts. Part One includes dynamic stretches and partner contacts, such as shoulder bumps, to work on landing mechanics. Part Two includes six strengthening exercises with three levels of progressing difficulty. Part Three includes planting and cutting exercises at high speed. When performed at least twice per week, studies show that injuries have been reduced 30-50 percent.2

PEP is another great ACL prevention program that includes warm-up, strengthening exercises, plyometrics, agility exercises and stretching. This program also provides specific recommendations for younger athletes.

Other Recommendations

In addition to formal dynamic warm-up programs, I recommend athletes keep their hips and core strong. When in season, typically a one day per week home exercise program is sufficient. During the off-season, exercises should be done at least three days per week.

In addition, coaches always ask me to assist their players in becoming faster and more explosive. I explain that athletes cannot further develop these skills until they learn how to decelerate and load properly. Eccentric hamstring/quad exercises in addition to hip and core strength are critical for decelerating properly. Athletico’s ACL 3P clinicians can provide a comprehensive and individualized program to address both of these skills, improve athletes’ performance and reduce the risk of ACL injuries.

If you are interested in an ACL risk assessment or having a dynamic warm-up program taught to your team, please email

News on the Willy Garcia Collision with Yoan Moncada; Why Store My Stem Cells?; Join us at The Chicago Sports Summit

Episode 17.18 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 (01:30): Dr. Nik Verma from Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush and Head Team Physician for the Chicago White Sox, talks about the recent Willy Garcia Collision with Yoan Moncada; how the medical team deals with multiple player injuries; the new White Sox-MLB concussion protocol; the diagnosis, treatment and recovery of the injuries.

White Sox rookies Yoan Moncada and Willy Garcia left the game after colliding inshallow right field. Moncada’s knee struck Garcia in the side of the head and both players were injured. Garcia was able to leave the field under his own power but Moncada needed to be taken off on a cart.

Segment Two (12:26): Dr. Cole and Steve ClausnitzerCEO of Forever Labs talk about the important reasons and process for preserving your stem cell for later use in life and the ongoing research on cell biology by Dr. Cole and others at Rush University Medical Center.

Why Store My Stem Cells? The number and therapeutic quality of our stem cells diminishes with age. Storing your stem cells today preserves them for future therapies that combat age-related disease, and perhaps aging itself.

Segment Three (25:45): Dr. Cole announces the 2nd Annual Chicago Sports Summit, a half-day event featuring some of Chicago’s heaviest hitters. Participants will speak about how sports and after school activities empower youth to engage in positive behavior to help reduce Chicago’s violence.

Executives will also discuss how they use sports marketing and celebrities to grow their business. Attendees will learn about new developments in sports science and how these advances impact an athlete’s endurance, performance and injury prevention.

October 4th, 2017 - 8AM to Noon Hyatt Regency Hotel, 151 East Upper Wacker Drive, Chicago IL

Join Us For The Greatest Sports Event of the Year! Click here to Register.