Orthopedic Associates: Commitment to Excellent Care
Denver LIVING WELL Magazine
When she was a young girl, still with missing teeth, Colorado native Leslie Vidal told her family she wanted to be the team doctor for the Denver Broncos. “They thought it was hilarious,” she recalls.
Her family may have laughed out loud at the pronouncement, but this Denver girl (and lifelong Bronco fan) knew what she wanted to do. She stayed the course, earning her medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine and becoming fellowship trained in Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh.
Today—a mom of two and teeth intact—Dr. Vidal doesn’t cover the Broncos. Instead, she has enjoyed her work over the last several years as team physician for the Rocky Mountain Roller Girls Roller Derby and consultant for the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, CWW Triathlon Team and the Colorado Crush.
For the past seven years, Dr. Vidal has also valued her role as part of the Orthopedic Associates team. Each of the eight physicians is fellowship trained and highly qualified in providing expert, personal and state-of-the art care to their patients. As a medical group, their specialties cover a spectrum of areas related to sports medicine and bone and joint health, restoration and maintenance.
Located in the Rose Medical Center, the practice includes an onsite surgery center, X-Ray and physical therapy/rehab facility, providing patients with an efficient and comprehensive care experience. The physical therapy staff was hired by and works closely with the orthopedics practice. This relationship ensures that therapists are working closely, providing a continuum of care that works to a patient’s benefit. Physicians also practice in outside facilities and are able to meet the needs of patients whose insurance or preference designates an alternate hospital.
This specialty practice also has unique training and onsite capability to perform ultrasound guided injections into joints, significantly increasing accuracy and efficacy. Similarly, chronic tendonitis and tendonosis can be treated through an alternative PRP Platelet Rich Plasma capability, which has shown to be restorative in some patients.
Athletics and Beyond
Orthopedic Associates is active in the Colorado athletics arena, caring for professional and non-professional athletes from a wide range of sports. They have a long-standing partnership with the Olympic committee, helping Olympic athletes to function at the top of their games.
This longstanding practice (80 years downtown) also brings their expertise to Denverites of varying ages and activity levels, from the weekend warrior to the recreational hiker. This includes seniors, whose years of hard work and play can manifest in the form of pain, weakness, stiffness or decreased mobility.
“As we get older, our bones decrease in density, becoming weaker and more fragile,” explains Dr. Vidal. “There are some very specific things that can strengthen patients’ bones as they age that counteract some of these physiological changes.”
Orthopedic Associates Recommend…
Factors that impact people as they grow older: loss of water content in the soft tissue structure, decreasing metabolic rate, lower calcium mineralization, and repetitive stress leading to degenerative conditions.
The following are simple steps to support bone and joint health:
Low-Impact/Weight-Bearing Activities (at least 30 minutes per day) help maintain muscle tone around your joints and calcium absorption. Higher impact activities, like running and cycling, while positive for your cardiovascular system, tend to lead to more injuries as people age.
Stretching helps maintain the elasticity of the capsular ligaments around the joints, promoting better mechanical functioning of the joint and protecting the bone.
Adequate calcium helps bones stay strong. Adults require 1,200 mg per day, but not all at once. Calcium is best absorbed when taken throughout the day, particularly through calcium-rich foods. Not crazy about milk? You can find calcium in cheese, yogurt, sardines, dark leafy greens, fortified cereals and orange juice. If you feel you’re not getting enough calcium in your diet, then consider a supplement as well and vitamin D to help the absorption.
Bone density scan for people over 50 to determine bone mineral density (BMD) and if bone loss is occurring. Scans may reveal osteopenia, a lower than normal BMD and a potential precursor to osteoporosis, a disease of the bone leading to decreased mobility, fracture, and pain. If needed, there are prescription medications that can help with both conditions.
Weight control minimizes the impact on joint stress. People over 50 can find weight management more challenging as their rate of metabolism decreases, but even five to ten pounds can make a significant positive difference. For example, your knees take up to five times your body weight in stress with every step. So losing 10 pounds can significantly improve pain and joint stress.
Avoid high caffeine and alcohol intake, dehydrating substances, which can impact bones over time. Steer away from high impact activities, like running, jumping or pounding that can result in injury.
When to See an Orthopedic Specialist
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Yet even with prevention measures in place, people experience life-interrupting pain and injury. Dr. Vidal notes that people should consider making an appointment for a consultation if they experience an acute injury or onset of pain—or pain over an extended time (i.e., weeks) that doesn’t get better with rest, light stretching and ice.
On their initial visit to Orthopedic Associates, patients can expect friendly, efficient staff. They will see a doctor at every visit. They may also see a physician’s assistant, who takes time to listen and compile a complete history. By having a comprehensive facility, patients can relax knowing that all the aspects for treatment, surgery (if needed), healing and rehabilitation are under one roof or close at hand. In keeping with the vibrant Denver culture, the goal at Orthopedic Associates is providing expert care leading to the best possible performance and quality of life.