Fairview opens new clinic near campus

The new clinic will cater to athletes and the physically active.

by Tara Bannow

A new clinic that opened this week near the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus will cater to athletes and the physically active, offering treatments for an array of bone, muscular and joint problems. The Fairview Sports and Orthopedic Care-Minneapolis clinic, located on the ground level of the University Village apartment complex a few blocks from TCF Bank Stadium, is staffed with doctors, physical therapists and athletic trainers. The seven doctors who will rotate through the clinic are members of the University of Minnesota Physicians and work in the sports medicine division of the UniversityâÄôs department of family medicine and community health. As many as five physical therapists will rotate through the clinic as well. While Boynton Health Service already offers on-campus care to students, itâÄôs important that they have access to providers that specialize in the athletics arena, Suzanne Hecht, the clinicâÄôs medical director and assistant professor of family medicine and community health, said. âÄúIf you happen to be a very high-level track and field athlete, your primary care physician can get things started but doesnâÄôt really understand the requirements of your sport and the demands of your training,âÄù she said. âÄúThatâÄôs where we come in handy.âÄù Most of the doctors on staff are also team physicians for Gophers athletes and generally treat players in their training rooms. The new site will combine sports medicine with orthopedic physician services, tending to a variety of musculoskeletal conditions that affect those active in sports or recreational athletics, Scott Kulstad, system director for Fairview Orthopedics, said. âÄúThe special sauce is really that collaboration and the integration of physical therapy with our physicians,âÄù he said. âÄúWhen our patients come in, theyâÄôre getting coordinated, seamless care.âÄù The location will also treat bone fractures, osteoporosis, nutrition, lacerations, diabetes, concussions or any medical issue associated with being active. Most of the clinicâÄôs physical therapists come from the former Institute for Athletic Medicine-Minneapolis clinic in the Riverside Park Plaza building, which has relocated into the new clinic next door to Fairview ChildrenâÄôs Clinic. FairviewâÄôs University Orthopedics Therapy Center, which offers similar physical therapy services, is located across the street from the former Riverside Athletic Medicine clinic. âÄúWeâÄôve created more geographic distribution for our patients,âÄù Kulstad said. âÄúInstead of having two sites on either side of the street, we now have two sites, one on either side of the river.âÄù FSOC runs five similar clinics throughout the state, located in Burnsville, Blaine, Elk River, Maple Grove and Wyoming. Kulstad said he expects patients of all ages and backgrounds will visit the clinic, including high school, intramural and recreational athletes or senior citizens who want to remain active while managing physical ailments such as shoulder or knee pain. Not everyone who comes to the clinic needs to play a competitive sport, Hecht said. âÄúWe like to think that every patient is an athlete, they just havenâÄôt been discovered yet sometimes,âÄù she said. âÄúWe can put exercise as a medicine and a treatment for a lot of things that people have.âÄù Patients can generally schedule same-day or next-day appointments at the clinic, which will eventually extend its hours in the fall to include evenings and weekends, Hecht said. âÄúThe University and its neighborhood are very active people,âÄù Robert Johnson, a physician at the clinic and family medicine and community health professor, said. âÄúWeâÄôre just trying to make sure we can offer the best care, hopefully, for their exercise and musculoskeletal needs so we can keep them active and not have them limited.âÄù