Surgeon By Day, Artist By Evening

By day, Bernard Bach, MD, serves as director of sports medicine at Rush University Medical Center and Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush.

In the evening and on weekends, he heads to his workshop in his Chicago-area home or to an Oak Park glassblowing studio to create handmade art, including jellyfish sculptures, Persian wall platters and vases.

“I believe people should do whatever makes them happy,” Bach says. “I love medicine because I interact with people and use my hands to treat them and make a difference in their lives. I love art because I use my hands to create something for my own satisfaction.”

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Running Injuries Rise With Marathon Training Mileage

Join Joshua Blomgren, DO, for tips on running injury prevention and treatment during an online chat from noon to 1 p.m. on July 25. Visit our Rush Facebook page to sign up for a reminder and view the chat.

By Joshua Blomgren, DO

As the temperatures rise in Chicago, I also see a rise in the number of running injuries that present to my office. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon hosts over 40,000 runners, many from Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, for the annual event that takes place in October.

Many runners see a large increase in their mileage as they begin to progress in their training programs, and most training plans for an October marathon will have the runners begin to progress to 10 miles and beyond around this time of year. It’s not uncommon for a patient to say things such as, “I did my long run this weekend and …” or “I did 10 miles last weekend, and this is the farthest I have ever run.” Often these long runs are met with aches and pain as the runners push toward their goal of completing 26.2 miles.

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Spring Training Update: Encountering a Legend

Joshua Blomgren, DO, a sports medicine physician with Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush University Medical Center, is posting updates from Chicago White Sox spring training in Arizona. Rush is the preferred hospital of the White Sox and home to the team physicians.

Wednesday, March 9: Today was a really special day! The players had a lighter day in terms of workouts, but they had a truly awe-inspiring team meeting that I had the opportunity to sit in on. They were paid a visit by member of Athletes for Hope, an organization whose mission it is “To educate, encourage and assist athletes in their efforts to contribute to community and charitable causes, to increase public awareness of those efforts, and to inspire others to do the same.”

This great organization empowering athletes was founded by Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Lance Armstrong, Warrick Dunn, Jeff Gordon, Mia Hamm, Tony Hawk, Andrea Jaeger, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mario Lemieux, Alonzo Mourning and Cal Ripken, Jr. The members of Athletes for Hope led a group discussion, which was inspiring to me, and it was directed towards professional athletes.

The thing however, that made this a truly special event was that Athletes for Hope was represented by one of its founders, boxing legend Muhammad Ali. He was accompanied by his family and took the time to pose for a photo shoot with the Chicago White Sox team and then pose for individual photos for anyone that wanted, myself included (please see attached photo). This was an unbelievable opportunity, and I feel lucky to have been able to be a part of it. Continue reading

Spring Training Update: A Day of Physicals

Joshua Blomgren, DO, a sports medicine physician with Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush University Medical Center, is posting updates from Chicago White Sox spring training in Arizona. Rush is the preferred hospital of the White Sox and home to the team physicians.

Sunday, March 6: Woke bright and early to get to the ballpark at 6 a.m. for physicals. Today all the minor league coaches, pitchers and catchers reported to start their spring training. These players comprise all the pitchers and catchers working their way up the ranks through the White Sox Minor League and player development programs. Many of the players had prior “spring training” experience, having been here at Camelback Ranch (the White Sox spring training home) last year and some with other teams. There were also a lot of players who were taking in the experience for the very first time. You could sense their excitement and nervousness.

The physicals are set up like a well oiled machine. The players cycle through a few stations before presenting for their medical and orthopedic examinations. Once these are complete they are free to get started with their workouts and drills. We made short order of the 45 or so physicals thanks in part to a team of four primary care sports medicine physicians, myself included, and four orthopedic surgeons. After this I was free to go out to the practice facilities and take in batting and fielding practice while enjoying the Arizona sun. Continue reading

Why We Created the Sports Concussion Clinic

Jeff Mjaanes, MD, a physician with Midwest Orthopaedics and Rush University Medical Center

Jeff Mjaanes, MD

By Jeff Mjaanes, MD

I’m excited to announce the opening of the new Chicago Sports Concussion Clinic at Rush University Medical Center. The clinic offers a comprehensive approach to the management of sports-related concussions, with a multidisciplinary team of clinicians to assess patients and guide treatment decisions.

The clinic provides child, teen and adult athletes with evaluation, treatment and medical clearance before returning to activity for sports-related concussions. The focus of the clinic is to provide proper diagnosis of concussion, including medical evaluation and neuropsychological testing, as well as guide return-to-play decisions. The goal is to ensure that athletes return to their sport in a timely yet safe fashion.

The main reason we decided to organize this clinic is that we have seen such a large number of concussions at all level of sports in Chicago for years. We felt the need to try and create a “home” where these could be managed appropriately.

Athletes, parents, coaches and trainers need to understand the seriousness of concussions and the importance of proper treatment plans to get the athlete back to sport safely. I have personally seen many cases at the high school and college level where athletes continue to play with symptoms and end up failing classes, not completing semesters in school and having difficulty sleeping, concentrating and remembering for weeks or months. Continue reading