As athletic trainer Sara Myers guides athletes through their rehabilitation journey, she enjoys proving to patients that they are stronger than they think. The Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics Return to Play program, which begins approximately three months following surgery, she explains, consists of two very intense evaluation sessions, followed by an individualized regimen of exercise "correctives".

Phase I of the evaluation includes not only a Functional Movement Screen™ but also Y-Balance™, core, single leg strength and single leg hop testing. Phase II includes agility testing, vertical jump and drop jump testing, assessing force development and the ability to control movement patterns.

In the unique collaboration between physicians, physical therapists and athletic trainers that is Forté's strength, doctors have immediate access to video assessments of their patients, allowing them to see how each patient is moving outside of the clinic exam room. Progress is assessed relative to the movement patterns required of each patient's sport. From among a wide variety of the latest breakthrough treatments and techniques, Forté doctors, physical therapists and athletic trainers design correctives that will benefit each athlete, sharing information about each patient's strengths and deficits. 

While Forté certainly offers orthopedic walk-in care for recent bone, muscle, joint or sports medicine injuries, a very important aspect of Return to Play is injury prevention. Each sport has its unique demands, and in the rehabilitation process, movement quality must be evaluated within the framework of each specific sport. Return to Play, Sara Myers explains, is all about challenging patients in their element - on the turf, in the batting cage, on the pitching mound, on the court.

There's little debate about the one thing athletes want most after suffering an injury and undergoing surgery - returning to play!

By Bill Benner, Sports Journalist

It began in a hospital basement.

Certainly, what’s now known as Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics today enjoys a much more elevated view of the landscape.

Under the guiding influence of the acknowledged godfather of Central Indiana sports medicine, the late Dr. Thomas Brady, three young orthopedists – Drs. Art Rettig, John McCarroll and Don Shelbourne – combined to form Methodist Sports Medicine with a relatively concise and simple mission in mind.

They wanted to get injured athletes, especially young ones, “back on the field as quickly and safely as possible,” says McCarroll.

“Brady was the founder and we followed his principles,” says Rettig. “We did it when no one was thinking about it and it started when Doctor Brady opened the basement clinic downtown Indianapolis.

“We tried to emulate what he did.”

Which was to be healers. Helpers. And to some, heroes. Plays, games and experiences that might have been lost to their young athletes – and their families – were rescued and revived.

In the 40-odd years since those combined talents took on that vision, thousands of Hoosier youngsters – and yes, oldsters, too – have benefitted from that expertise.

“We just wanted to take care of people,” says McCarroll. “That’s all we wanted to do.”

Thus, as Forté Sports Medicine celebrates Founders Day, it’s important to hear from the Founders, especially McCarroll and Rettig, who guided the growth of the enterprise from inception to their recent retirements from active practice.

“We opened that walk-in clinic and before we knew it, we’d have 50 kids there on a Saturday morning,” McCarroll recalls. “Years later we did a survey and discovered we had treated athletes from every county in the state of Indiana.”

It wasn’t as if they simply hung a shingle outside the clinic in downtown Indianapolis. Rettig, McCarroll and Shelbourne worked the sidelines at high schools and colleges throughout the state. They networked with high school and college athletic trainers. Methodist/Forté also aligned with the Indiana High School Athletic Association.

It was more than a clinic. It was a partner.

“We’ve always given back to the community,” says McCarroll.

And their legacies live on, both in the gleaming new headquarters of Forté, but on a personal family basis. Rettig’s son, Lance, is on the Forté staff as a fellowship-trained hand and upper extremity surgeon. McCarroll’s son, Tyler, will join Forté after completing orthopedic sports medicine and hip preservation fellowships.

“We’re awfully proud of them,” says Rettig. “It’s a nice legacy.”

Their legacies include an array of honors. McCarroll was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 2012 and received the Merit Award from the Indiana Soccer Hall of Fame. Rettig is a member of the Indiana Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame and was recognized as the NFL’s Team Physician of the Year in 2003.

Both have had special experiences along the way. McCarroll recalls being behind the team benches in 1990 when a youngster of some note – his name is Damon Bailey – led Bedford North Lawrence to the state high school basketball championship before a crowd of 41,000 in the Hoosier Dome. And Rettig was on the rainy sidelines in Miami when the Indianapolis Colts and a quarterback of some note – his name is Peyton Manning – hoisted the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy.

Yet those high-profile moments were neither the goal nor what they envisioned when they opened that clinic and began walking those high school football sidelines.

“We tried to take care of patients with humility,” says Rettig. “We wanted to do the right thing for them – no shortcuts – whether they were a young high school athlete or the 50-year-old tennis player.”

“On those nights at high school football games, we never dreamed of building something like Forté,” says McCarroll. “It’s quite remarkable to see what it has become.”

And it all goes back – way, way back – to Dr. Thomas Brady.

“When we started Methodist Sports Medicine, it was in homage to Doctor Brady,” says McCarroll.

Adds Rettig, “He was such a great guy, funny with a keen sense of humor. But he also was very humble. He didn’t take credit for anything.”

It all started with that man and that basement … the literal and figurative foundations for what Forté has become.

In water, many of her patients perform activities and exercises that they cannot do on land, Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics physical therapy assistant Andrea Glass finds. For example, those with back pain, joint pain or stress fractures, for whom weight-bearing exercise is painful, do wonderfully well when underwater. Thanks to the buoyancy and warmth of the water, even many of those entering the building with a cane, crutches or a walker, move freely in the pool with no need for their assistive devices.

Underwater treadmill therapy has proven particularly helpful for patients who:

Andrea knows, because, following surgeries to repair the severe injuries she suffered as a college athlete, it was physical therapists and their assistants who helped her return to basketball, inspiring her to pursue a career helping others get back to a pain-free, active lifestyle.

The water in the therapeutic pool is maintained at 97 to 100 degrees, Glass explains, promoting both buoyancy and muscle relaxation, reducing the stress on either painful, injured or repaired joints and muscles. At the same time, recovering athletes report it's just as hard, if not harder, running against the resistance of the water, with some reporting an even better workout for their muscles than land running.

15-year joint replacement surgeon and sports medicine physician Dr. Kevin Condict to serve as head team physician

CARMEL, Ind. Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, previously known as Methodist Sports Medicine, announces today it has been named the official orthopedic and sports medicine provider of Indiana University Kokomo athletics.

Forté’s sports medicine physicians and orthopedic surgeons have extensive experience working with athletes to get them back to play quickly and safely. For nearly 40 years, Forté has proudly served the Indianapolis Colts, as well as universities and high schools across Central Indiana.

As part of the new agreement with IU Kokomo, Forté’s Dr. Kevin Condict will serve as head team physician and oversee the care of all student-athletes. Forté will also provide athletic trainers for the school’s 14 men’s and women’s sports.

“We are excited to expand our orthopedic and sports medicine services to student-athletes at IU Kokomo,” said Condict. “Our top priority is to provide these student-athletes with highly specialized, comprehensive care to help them stay active and healthy, now and for their long-term health.”

An orthopedic surgeon who specializes in total joint replacement and sports medicine, Condict treats patients at Forté’s clinics in Carmel and Tipton and serves as the team physician for Tipton High School athletics. In his new role at IU Kokomo, Condict will work alongside his athletic trainer colleagues, student-athletes, parents/guardians and coaches to prevent injuries, manage athletes’ conditions and develop plans for return to play.

“IU Kokomo athletics is looking forward to growing our relationship with Dr. Condict and the Forté team,” said Tom Norris, director of athletics at IU Kokomo. “Their depth of skill and experience will be invaluable to the physical and mental health of our student-athletes on the field of play and in life.”

IU Kokomo’s athletes compete in the River States Conference of the NAIA. For more information about its men’s and women’s sports, visit iukcougars.com.

Learn more about Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics at forteortho.com.

###

About Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics

Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, previously known as Methodist Sports Medicine, is an independent, physician-owned orthopedic practice recognized as one of the region’s most respected orthopedic groups. Founded in 1983 as one of the country’s original sports medicine practices, Forté’s physicians and staff provide comprehensive, specialized sports medicine and orthopedic care to patients of all ages.

Clinical evaluations performed by highly skilled fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons, combined with advanced surgical techniques and comprehensive non-surgical treatment options, provide patients with exceptional treatment outcomes and a return to active living. Forté provides patients with expert orthopedic care in several sub-specialties, including hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder; foot and ankle; hip and knee; joint replacement and revision; spine care and sports medicine. Forté has been trusted by the Indianapolis Colts as their official team physicians since 1983 and serve as the orthopedic provider for Purdue University, Butler University, Indiana State University and numerous high schools and public safety departments throughout central Indiana.

Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics also innovates daily through a separate 501(c)(3), Forté Orthopedic Research Institute, that improves the lives of patients everywhere through advanced clinical research and education.

For people suffering from chronic pain, there are movements and activities that help - and others that make things far worse.

Some activities are safe for patients to do despite the temporary discomfort they cause; others have the potential to cause damage. One function of physical therapy is helping patients know the difference, explains Dr. Sydney Harman, anesthesiologist and interventional pain medicine specialist.

Patients with chronic pain commonly tend to decrease their activity level. That pain avoidance then has a de-conditioning effect, actually worsening their pain. That's where physical therapy comes in because one important function of the therapist is to reverse this negative pain/disability cycle.

When patients understand how to safely increase their activity, their confidence increases. As they develop greater strength, their pain levels decrease.

"When I give injections," Dr. Harman reflects, "those are tools to acutely decrease a patient's pain level and allow them to meaningfully participate in their therapy sessions. There are also specialized, neuroscience-based therapy tools such as graded motor imagery to help patients with disorders such as chronic regional pain syndrome," she adds. But education, that's truly the long-term maintenance aspect of treating chronic pain.

At Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedic, we know that there are movements and activities that are harmful and others that are safeEngaging our patients in their own health means helping them know the difference. If you suffer from chronic pain, request an appointment with our pain medicine specialists. 

Some treatment aspects turn out to be more helpful than originally thought; others prove less helpful than intended, Dr. David Porter explains. Follow-up research is the key to learning the difference, he emphasizes. "I've personally made significant changes to treatment plans based on prior research assessment," the Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon reveals. The only way of knowing which surgical and treatment techniques work better than others is follow-up research, Dr. Porter stresses. 

When research reveals that a given treatment lacks adequate benefits, that treatment can be omitted and a more effective one substituted. Patients want to know percentages, or the "odds" of full function recovery, Dr. Porter explains. "My research allows me to carry on a more accurate discussion with them." On several occasions, when the patients have done active follow-up on their own recovery process, he's been able to offer improved outcome expectations.

Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics’ physicians have prioritized research and innovation since its inception. That dedication to improving patient outcomes lives on today with the recent opening of the Forté Orthopedic Research Institute located at the Orthopedic Center of Excellence in Carmel, IN. The Institute includes a state-of-the-art, 15 station bioskills lab, 3D printing, and a virtual reality surgical simulator.  

“It takes more than talent to become a successful dancer: a lot of hard work and sacrifice are required as well. It is a difficult profession: stress and workloads are high, and there is little time for rest and self-care,” says Andrea Wilson, Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics’ dance medicine specialist.  

There will be risk, too, she cautions, because performing the most fluid and beautiful dance movements often means causing micro trauma to muscles and tendons. In fact, one study evaluating health-related problems among ballet dancers found that ballet artists were affected by "the physical workload, the high risk of injuries, and constant stress."

Andrea Wilson understands the challenges of life in dance from her own professional career as a ballet dancer. That career ended with serious knee injuries that brought her to Forté for surgery and rehabilitation. Her experiences inspired her to become a physical therapist herself, and to specialize in working with dancers.

Now in her eighteenth year in practice, Andrea serves as dance medicine therapist at Forté, spending time each week as the physical therapist for Indianapolis Ballet and Dance Kaleidoscope performers; many of the other patients she serves are professional dancers or students headed for competitive dance or performing careers.

“The advantage of Forté is that we bring a team approach: the physicians really appreciate the needs of dancers and understand that the goal is to keep dancing. As a former dancer, I can go deeply into the specifics of technique and how it affects a dancer’s injury, how the dancer can safely bridge their rehabilitation from the clinic to the studio and stage. The physicians and physical therapists are in frequent communication about our patients, so that there is as much consistency and clarity as possible for the dancer throughout the recovery process,” says Andrea.

Dance medicine is not the same as orthopedic care for athletes, Andrea explains, because dance movements are unique and demand extreme flexibility. Rehabilitation for dancers emphasizes technique correction as well as strength and mobility to improve faulty body mechanics that contribute to injury. 

“We’ve seen promising results at Forté with our professional dancers who now have access to early rehab and preventive maintenance.” Andrea is happy to report, dancers are improving some of their chronic issues and have less time lost from dance due to new injuries.

Yes, there will be sacrifice and there will be risk. But with less time lost to injury, dancers can continue to perform at all levels. Request an appointment to learn how you can benefit from dance medicine.

Forté’s Jillian Hacker to serve as the first-ever athletic trainer for the Colts Cheerleaders

CARMEL, Ind. The Indianapolis Colts are teaming up with Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, formerly known as Methodist Sports Medicine, to serve as a leader in sports medicine care for cheerleaders. With the hiring of Jillian Hacker, outreach services coordinator at Forté, the Colts join a handful of NFL teams to have an athletic trainer dedicated to providing specialized care for its squad members.

“We’re proud to partner with Jillian and Forté to focus on the unique injuries our cheerleaders might face and to continue prioritizing the well-being of every athlete-performer on our team,” said Kelly Tilley, director of cheerleading for the Colts.

For nearly 40 years, Forté has served as the Indianapolis Colts’ team physicians. As the first-ever athletic trainer for the Colts Cheerleaders, Hacker, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS, will follow in the tradition of providing the franchise with leading-edge sports medicine services.

A former college gymnast, Hacker has experience coordinating care for the Purdue University Fort Wayne softball and women’s soccer teams. Prior to that, she provided sports medicine services to the Fort Wayne Ballet professional dance company, local gymnastics clubs, and various high schools and colleges.

While cheerleaders have fewer high-impact injuries than football players, Hacker says it’s not uncommon to see stress fractures, tendonitis, sprained ankles and other related injuries. To treat and prevent injuries, she will work with the cheerleaders three days a week – attending practices, offering services during game-day rehearsals and performances, and leading post-game recovery and treatments.

“I’m honored to represent Forté and the Indianapolis Colts in this new role,” said Hacker. “I’m looking forward to helping the Colts Cheerleaders perform at their best so that they can, in turn, make game day fun for everyone.”

The Colts Cheerleaders are celebrating their 39th season in Indianapolis. To learn more about the squad and its scheduled appearances, visit Colts.com/cheerleaders.

More information about Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics is available at forteortho.com.

About Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics

Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, previously known as Methodist Sports Medicine, is an independent, physician-owned orthopedic practice recognized as one of the region’s most respected orthopedic groups. Founded in 1983 as one of the country’s original sports medicine practices, Forté’s physicians and staff provide comprehensive, specialized sports medicine and orthopedic care to patients of all ages.

Clinical evaluations performed by highly skilled fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons, combined with advanced surgical techniques and comprehensive non-surgical treatment options, provide patients with exceptional treatment outcomes and a return to active living. Forté provides patients with expert orthopedic care in several sub-specialties, including hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder; foot and ankle; hip and knee; joint replacement and revision; spine care and sports medicine. Forté has been trusted by the Indianapolis Colts as their official team physicians since 1983 and serve as the orthopedic provider for Purdue University, Butler University, Indiana State University and numerous high schools and public safety departments throughout central Indiana.

Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics also innovates daily through a separate 501(c)(3), Forté Orthopedic Research Institute, that improves the lives of patients everywhere through advanced clinical research and education.

Staying fit and active is an important part of maintaining our overall health, Dr. Matthew Negaard, Sports Medicine Physician and Emergency Medicine Physician of Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics emphasizes. In fact, exercise allows us to:

But aren't arthritic patients advised to avoid putting too much stress on their joints?

Yes, Negaard answers, but there are many forms of exercise that are low-impact, including biking, swimming, water aerobics, walking on the treadmill or elliptical, rowing and yoga. Most studies suggest, he adds, that even running does not appear to accelerate the progress of osteoarthritis, so long as you allow adequate rest between runs.

Low-impact training provides all the cardiovascular benefits of exercise without placing stress on your joints, assisting in active recovery and improving blood flow and circulation to the muscles, the American College of Sports Medicine explains. What's more, the benefits are not limited to the physical - one important result of exercise is the management of anxiety and depression. "Every adult should perform activities that maintain or increase muscular strength and endurance for a minimum of two days per week, the CDC recommends.

For those with arthritis, low-impact activity is encouraged. If pain or injury is holding you back from regular activity, let the experts at Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics help. Request an appointment now.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram