TSAOG Welcomes Athletic Trainer John Carollo

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TSAOG is very pleased to announce that Athletic Trainer John Carollo has joined our team!

According to TSAOG Chief Operating Officer Chris Kean, “the addition of an athletic trainer will enhance our sports medicine program by supporting the San Antonio Talons’ and the San Antonio Scorpions’ needs in addition to the many local high school and college athletic teams for which we provide medical coverage.  John Carollo is a talented individual who has dedicated his career to supporting both professional and amateur athletes and helping them to achieve their maximum sports potential and we are excited to work with him.”

John Carollo has been working as an athletic trainer for 15 years.  He completed his undergraduate degree in Athletic Training at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX and went on to attain a master’s degree in Medical Management at Ohio State University.  In addition, he served 5 years in the US Navy as a Russian translator and is an Operation Desert Storm veteran.

John’s resume as an athletic trainer is impressive, including work with the following organizations:

  • 2012 Olympic Games in London
  • 2011 PanAm Games in Guadalajara
  • University of the Incarnate Word Football
  • Roosevelt High School (NEISD)
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Florida Panthers
  • San Antonio Talons
  • San Antonio Rampage
  • US Olympic Committee
  • Kingdom of Bahrain Olympic Committee
  • USA Wrestling, Volleyball, Gymnastics, Taekwondo, Synchronized Swimming

John will be working closely with TSAOG’s Sports Medicine Institute to provide coverage for athletic organizations in and around San Antonio.  Dr. Christian Balldin, TSAOG’s newest sports medicine trained orthopaedic surgeon, had this to say: “The hiring of John Carollo allows our Sports Medicine Institute the opportunity to connect more effectively with local athletic trainers.  His extensive experience in high school football right here in San Antonio as well as in the London Olympics this past summer makes him a tremendous asset.  I am very much looking forward to working with John in developing easier access to specialty orthopaedic care within our Sports Medicine Institute thus allowing the athletes that need it better and more global care from the field and training room to the doctors’ office.”

We invite you to contact John Carollo directly with any questions you may have regarding sports coverage requests or sports injury management.  He can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 210.683.5749.

Dr. Christian Balldin on Causes and Treatments of Hamstring Injuries

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Hamstring injuries are very common in sports and can involve any part along the entire length of the muscles and tendons from the hip to the knee.  The hamstring origin is found on the part of the pelvis called the ischial tuberosity, which is easily felt as it is the hard bone that we all sit on in our buttocks.  The majority of the muscles form a common tendon that attaches in this area.  The muscle bellies considered the hamstring muscles are found on the back of the thigh.  The hamstrings attach below the knee on the upper tibia and fibula – the two bones that make up the lower leg. 

Injuries can happen at any point along this course, but hamstring injuries involving the tendons attaching to the lower leg are quite rare.  When they do occur, these injuries usually involve the tendon from the biceps femoris muscle that attaches on the upper fibula. Injuries to this tendon are mostly associated with high energy injuries such as a knee dislocation or a significant ligament injury to the knee.  As you can imagine, there is often additional damage found alongside this type of injury.  Unfortunately, these types of injuries commonly need complex surgical repair and other reconstructive procedures.  The tendons that attach to the inside part of the lower leg are usually not injured significantly but can be involved with bursitis (when the fluid filled sac that envelops the tendons gets inflamed).  This can be treated with conservative means in the majority of cases.  

Injuries to the muscle bellies themselves are the most commonly seen hamstring injury.  These are often the easiest to recover from, but are also known for sticking around and being nagging injuries throughout an athlete’s season.  This has been the case with numerous professional athletes, including Miles Austin of the Dallas Cowboys.  These muscle belly injuries almost always heal without any need for an invasive procedure but they need time, something many athletes can be reluctant to allow for.  Not allowing enough time for this type of injury to heal can lead to chronic problems and reinjury.

Another location of injury to the hamstring complex is at its origin on the ischial tuberosity on the pelvis.  With explosive maneuvers, such as the beginning of a sprint or during the start of water skiing, this area sees a tremendous amount of stress.  The entire hamstring complex origin can pull off the ischial tuberosity with or without a piece of bone.  If it does so and retracts away from the ischial tuberosity it will most likely require surgical repair.  There are numerous studies to indicate that patients that have it repaired do better than those who do not.  One of the major nerves to the lower leg – the sciatic nerve – travels very close to the ischial tuberosity and can be involved in the scar that forms if these injuries are not treated surgically relatively soon after injury.  If this is the case it can be a significant source of ongoing pain.  Patients with chronic tears and sciatic nerve irritation also do well with repair and removal of the scar tissue in this area although the surgery is slightly more complex.

If you have acute injury with weakness and significant bruising or simply a nagging discomfort that is present in this area, I recommend you have it evaluated by a physician.  Hamstring injuries are often accompanied by a significant amount of bruising and pain.  At times the entire back of the thigh and groin can be black and blue due to the bleeding that occurs.  Consulting with a physician will help you understand the extent of your hamstring injury and your best options for treatment and rehabilitation.

Dr. Christian Balldin is an orthopaedic surgeon, fellowship trained in sports medicine, with The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group.  He treats patients aged 3 years and up for all orthopaedic conditions with the exception of the spine.  To learn more about Dr. Balldin, visit his web page here.  To schedule an appointment with Dr. Balldin, call 210.281.9595.

Pardon Our Dust! Orthopaedic Institute Remodel Kicks Off

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Next week, TSAOG will begin a major remodel of our main location at the Orthopaedic Institute – 400 Concord Plaza Dr, San Antonio, TX 78216.  We ask that you please pardon our dust during construction and look forward to a fresher, more functional Orthopaedic Institute.

Here are a few of the things you have to look forward to:

  • Our Ambulatory Surgery Center will expand to include 2 more operating rooms and an additional procedure room.
  • Our main clinic space will expand to include additional exam space and a larger casting area.
  • Everything will be freshened up with new paint, carpet, and finishes.

The Orthopaedic Institute will remain open at current capacity for exams, urgent care, surgery, physical and hand therapy, and imaging throughout the remodel process.

The estimated completion date for the remodel is April 2013, but we will keep you updated as things develop.

Streamlining our facilities to improve patient care is one more way TSAOG makes your health our mission.

RUNNING TIPS from The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group

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Cheryl Obregon, Physical Therapist & Runner

It’s marathon season here in Texas. To rebound more quickly after long training runs, remember to take in a recovery drink within 15-30 minutes of finishing.  This can be a recovery drink mix that you can buy at a running store, or 1 or 2% chocolate milk (it has the perfect ratio of fat/carbs/protein).  Taking in the recovery drink will improve the ability of your muscle to heal from the impact of the long run and will make you more efficient in your next runs.

Cheryl Obregon has been a runner for 14 years and is a marathoner. She is a physical therapist with The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group and a fellow in the American Academy of manual physical therapy. 

Halloween Celebration for Patients

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Patients who have to get physical therapy instead of celebrating Halloween this year were given a special treat Friday.  The San Antonio Orthopedic Group each year decorates its offices with Halloween or other scenes, right down to the exam tables.  Doctors challenge all 300 staff members to come up with the best costumes and décor. 

CEO Chris Kean said she toured all seven locations of the group’s medical offices, from Topperwein to Westover Hills, to judge the contest.

Kean: “The most impressive floor that we went to was our physical therapy department and they actually won the group award.  They were “Patellica,” which is a knock-off to Metallica, since they are physical therapists and they care of knees and patella injuries.  They produced a rock band show for our patients and they performed a couple times throughout the day.”

Kean said the event started several years ago when one of the principals of the company told the doctors, nurses and staff – “no costume, no paycheck” and since then has grown to an annual event that improves morale among staff and patients they treat.


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