The specialized experts at Spanish Fork Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery know what it takes to get patients back to the activities they love
When the pain starts — and life gets interrupted — finding knowledgeable advice from specialized physicians is vital to returning to the trails or court.
“My primary goal is to return patients to their previous levels of activity — if not better,” says Dr. Eric R. Robinson, a sports medicine physician at the Spanish Fork Orthopedics and Sports Medicine clinic adjacent to the new Intermountain Spanish Fork Hospital. “I am always seeking ways to keep patients going. I strive to make informed, shared decisions with patients, and I try not to dictate my opinions.”
Sharing the decision-making with patients increases the odds of full recovery because the patient is “on board” with what has been discussed.
“Most of the time, there are many potentially effective options, and I hope to provide the information necessary for patients to make the best decision for themselves in their own personal goals,” Dr. Robinson says.
Working hand in hand with Dr. Robinson’s sports medicine specialty are a pair of skilled orthopedic surgeons also ready to help athletes when medical treatment alone won’t do the trick. Dr. Blake P. Gillette joins Intermountain after being in practice on his own for more than five years.
“I strongly believe in the concept of group intelligence,” Dr. Gillette says. “When a group of people come together to evaluate a patient, we can provide higher quality care for that patient and improve outcomes.”
That is where the two specialties — sports medicine and orthopedic surgery — work well together under the same roof.
“Orthopedic surgeons — although able to help people nonoperatively — really have their specialty in the operating room,” says Dr. David A. Joos, an orthopedic surgeon in the office who specializes in foot and ankle surgery. “My use of surgery dovetails nicely with the sports medicine physician’s use of ultrasound, injections and other treatments.”
The new clinic is part of expanded medical services Intermountain is bringing to its Spanish Fork Hospital campus. The clinic opened in April and enjoys proximity to new capabilities found at the hospital.
“The new hospital allows us to have advanced imaging, surgical services, state-of-the-art physical therapy facilities, and a new, pristine clinic space to work from,” Dr. Robinson says. “With this new clinic, we are bringing ‘big city’ specialized orthopedic expertise and care to the communities in southern Utah County.”
Sports medicine and orthopedic surgery both focus on injuries and maladies of the musculoskeletal system. Sports medicine doctors treat patients without surgery, instead utilizing medical treatments such as physical therapy, injections and ultrasound.
Orthopedic surgeons work with similar patients but often get more involved with cases requiring surgery. Dr. Joos specializes in foot and ankle maladies while Dr. Gillette has extra training and experience with complex shoulder and knee injuries.
“Just because I’m a surgeon doesn’t mean I think surgery is the only way to fix things,” Dr. Gillette says. “If I think a non-operative course will be more effective or is the best treatment, I will always pursue those options first.”
Dr. Joos agrees and both surgeons generally believe that in most cases surgery is used when more conservative treatments prove ineffective.
Patients benefit from the collaborative care at Spanish Fork Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery Clinic, which utilizes all the best resources Intermountain has to offer to get them back on their feet as quickly and effectively as possible.
“We work hand-in-hand,” Dr. Robinson says. “I evaluate and treat patients in a conservative, non-surgical manner, but when the time is appropriate and needed for surgery, we are able to smoothly transition the patient into the skilled hands of my orthopedic surgery colleagues. I also appreciate the opportunity to balance ideas back and forth and discuss surgical perspectives on the various injuries we treat.”