Q & A with Team Orthopedic Physician Jared Levin

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We had a chance to speak with Monsters Doctor, Jared Levin from the Center of Orthopedic Surgery. Read about their relationship with the Monsters and what it is like to be a member of the team!

Lake Erie Monsters: What role do you play with the Lake Erie Monsters and how long have you been doing it?

Jared Levin: I am the Team Orthopedic Surgeon and I have been in that role for five years. As the Team Orthopedic Surgeon we help to manage the muscle and skeletal injuries, as well as the bone and joint injuries that the players have. We work with Athletic Trainer Brent Woodside as well as Physical Therapist Joe Bandura with offseason training programs, and in particular, training programs with players who are coming off injury. We also work very closely with the other members of the Medical Staff such as Scott Singer, Todd Russell, and Bernie Bubanic in taking care of any injuries that may arise.

LEM: What are some of the various ways you help maintain the players' health and address their injuries?

JL: In the pre-season we'll do physicals and evaluations on all of the players and if there are those that have had previous injuries with concerns we will work with Woody (Brent Woodside) on trying to devise an appropriate rehabilitation program to keep them from having the problems during the season.

Also, some of it too is just guiding their activity level or participation level in practice. I there is something that's nagging them then it has the potential to be a problem.

LEM: What goes into building a rehab program for players who are injured?

JL: It depends on the severity of the injury. There are some injuries where a player basically can't do too much of anything. Some injuries like sprains and strains, as well as some fractures may not be as serious, and with some of those we can better manage them based on their symptoms, how much pain they have, and how much they can tolerate it. However, if there are some injuries where we identify that further practice, play, or participation in hockey will worsen the injury, then those are the guys that we have to shut down for a while.

LEM: Take us through a typical game day for you and your staff when the Monsters are in town?

JL: We'll arrive typically around 45 minutes before the game starts and check-in with Woody and Joe (Bandura) in the training room on if any guys need checked out before the game, and if so we'll do that. If there is someone that really has an issue with their injury then we will get in the building a little bit earlier just to make sure we see them before they hit the ice.

Once the game starts it varies on what we're doing. We're available if there is an injury, and then during each intermission we are available in both locker rooms and if an injury came up for a player during the game we'll check them out during that time.

Finally, usually after the game there are a handful of guys that have something going on and we need to evaluate them. Most of the time it's just something that requires an exercise program, rest, and ice, and we can manager that. If it's a little more serious then we'll order the appropriate medical supplies.

We'll do the same thing for the visiting team throughout the game.

LEM: The typical bumps, bruises, and lacerations are fairly common, but what is the protocol when in the unlikely event there is a much more serious injury on the ice?

JL: If there is something it's usually a fracture. If someone happens to need more care than we can provide at the Q then we'll have them taken to Parma Hospital to get x-rays and then we will follow up with them from there.

That's pretty rare though, even in the five years that I have been doing this there's been maybe less than five guys that we've had to send straight to Parma Hospital.

LEM: What is it like for you to work some of the members of the Monsters Medical Staff (Woodside, Bandura, Singer, Russell, Bubanic, etc.) and how important are they to the team?

JL: There are four of us Orthopedic Surgeons, there's also Michael and Charles LoPresti and Alan Panteck so we'll split time covering games. It's very important for our team to work as close as we do. Woody is the one that really has his hand on the pulse of everything and knows day-to-day what's going on. Some guys don't like to say anything regarding injuries and Woody is really good at figuring out if something is wrong with one of the guys.

Joe (Bandura) is the guy that really works with guys that are going to be out injured for a longer period of time. He'll be guiding them during their physical therapy and he does a great job with that.

It's really great that we have a full medical staff because we basically have all of the specific areas covered and lets us focus in on the area of our expertise. Having

Dr. Scott Singer at all the games is important as he manages the internal medicine type related issues as well as having the expertise with concussions.

A lot of the injuries that take place during games are dental injuries, injuries that are mostly below the visor or above the neck. So it's great having Todd Russell and his team here to handle a lot of those injuries and they do a terrific job as well.

With Bernie (Bubanic), a lot of guys need treatment before the game. A lot of soft tissue problems or lower back issues that Bernie helps the guys out with, either before or sometimes even during the game. Bernie always jumps in and helps out with lacerations that players get during the games as well.

Having a full staff that works very well allows us to provide the best quality care to the Monsters and to the visiting teams. That's always our goal as a Medical Staff is for the visiting team to leave here saying 'Hey, we received great medical attention while we were in Cleveland.'

LEM: Are there any initiatives/practices or anything else that maybe you would like to share or bring to light from this season so far with the Lake Erie Monsters?

JL: We cover a wide array of issues with the players and when a player has come to a point where he has to have a surgical procedure we have been able to provide that and with that I'd like to mention that I have a Board Certification in Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine so it gives me a little extra expertise in not just managing orthopedic issues but things specific to taking care of certain injuries.