Doctor helps put injured athletes back on the field

Dr. Timothy Trainor will have a steady stream of work as long as daytime desk jockeys take to soccer and softball fields after work and push their aging, unconditioned bodies to the limit.

As a partner in Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Trainor repairs sports-related injuries to knees, shoulders and, to a lesser extent, elbows, hips and ankles. Trainor’s patients include careerists who push their bodies just a little too hard in the office-league basketball game and high-school athletes looking to preserve function and play competitive sports for years to come.

Trainor’s second job is a little less routine. When he’s not fixing blown-out knees and torn-up shoulders, Trainor works as the consulting physician for the Nevada Athletic Commission. There, Trainor screens comprehensive medical records on every boxer, kickboxer and mixed martial artist who wants to fight in Nevada to ensure combatants are healthy enough to survive battle.

Question: What’s the worst injury you’ve seen and how did you spare the person the most function?

Answer: I was in the military and served in Iraq. Soldiers would lose parts of their index fingers to bombs and bullets. To give them back a trigger finger, I’d amputate what was left of the index finger, and turn their middle finger into an index finger, giving them a “Mickey Mouse” hand with four fingers. It gives them back a trigger finger, so they can still be a soldier.

Other than that, something that is unique to our practice is double-bundle ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) repairs. Conventional ACL reconstruction uses a single-bundle technique. The double bundle is a little more complex, and myself and my two partners are the only ones here doing it. The ACL is made up of two bundles, not a single bundle, so using a double-bundle technique in theory recreates a more anatomically normal ACL. We’ve done 10 to 20 ACLs with double bundles since the summer.

Question: How did you connect with the Nevada Athletic Commission?

Answer: The commission sent invitations to doctors to apply for the job. I think I got it for a few reasons. I had boxing experience at Notre Dame, where I was the runner-up my sophomore year in the school’s Bengal Bouts competition. When I was in the military, I was a ringside physician for the Marines’ boxing program. And as an orthopedic surgeon, I have a major concentration in sports. I’m board-certified in sports medicine.

Question: What does your work for the commission consist of?

Answer: We get MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) and MRAs (magnetic resonance angiographies) on almost everyone who competes. We’re looking for subdurals (brain bleeds) and other technical things that show prior trauma to the head. Everyone also gets HIV and hepatitis B and C tests to check for communicable diseases transmitted via blood. If one boxer is bleeding on the other, or if blood spatters into the stands, it could cause problems for fans or people at ringside.

The other big thing we look at is eye exams. We look for detached retinas, and to make sure participants are not essentially blind. If they don’t have a certain level of vision, we’re not going to let them compete. Everyone also gets a complete physical exam, and I review that.

Question: If you’re evaluating fighters for a big match, like the recent one between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto, do you feel pressure to clear people because it’s such a major event?

Answer: I don’t think about that at all. I’m looking at objective information and making a very objective decision. I don’t look at the names until I after I’ve reviewed everything, and then I check to make sure the right person is competing, and to make sure the test dates are correct.

Question: Have you ever not cleared someone to fight?

Answer: It’s pretty uncommon. I have reviewed at least 2,000 records, and of those, there have probably been five or so I haven’t cleared. For the most part, these are young individuals who are very healthy athletes. The most common reason I don’t clear someone is a problem with their eyes, be it their vision is not good enough, or they’ve had retinal damage. I have also had people test positive for hepatitis C, and I’ve been unable to clear them. If someone has a subdural bleed, we won’t let them fight. Besides that, if someone has a questionable brain lesion showing on his MRI, I will send him to a neurosurgeon. If the neurosurgeon sends a letter stating the athlete isn’t at higher risk, then we clear him.

Question: Do you enjoy watching boxing?

Answer: Oh, sure. Sometimes, I will go to the matches. I enjoy both boxing and mixed martial arts. I like the athleticism it takes to compete in those sports. Unless people have actually done it, it is difficult to understand how hard it is to stand in a ring and throw punches for 10 rounds, or even three rounds. It’s similar to marathon-running in that it is much more difficult than it looks.

Question: When you watch, do you think more like doctor and less like a fan?

Answer: Yes. Every now and then, I’ll see a blow or a takedown and say, “That’s going to be a problem.”

Question: After you saw Miguel Cotto’s face in his fight with Manny Pacquiao, did you think he was in trouble?

Answer: People have asked me that question. “He looks horrible,” they said. I actually didn’t think he looked that bad. He certainly lost the fight, but part of the reason he looked so bad is the endurance it takes to fight 12 rounds, especially against someone who is superhuman. I didn’t think Cotto was hurt that badly from a medical standpoint. Sometimes, a lot of blood doesn’t mean a bad injury. The face is extremely vascular. A bad cut can look horrible, but a fighter might not really be in bad shape from a medical standpoint.

Question: Why is the work you do important?

Answer: I am helping people. It doesn’t even need to be the most famous athlete in the world. If I see a high-school athlete who tore their ACL sophomore year, and they were really looking forward to playing soccer for the next few years of high school and college, I can restore that person back to a functional level and get them back to playing. It’s very satisfying. By far the most important part of my job is getting people back to where they want to be.

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at jrobison@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4512.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like