Caring for the Chicago Blackhawks and Rockford IceHogs
Developing and maintaining the superior physical condition of its professional athletes is of certain interest to The Chicago Blackhawks Organization. Dr. Trenhaile was honored to be invited to join the Chicago Blackhawks Medical Network to take care of the orthopedic needs of its professional athletes. “The athletes we work with typically have it all: strength, flexibility, agility, an understanding of their bodies’ capabilities,” says Dr. Trenhaile, who along with his OrthoIllinois partners Dr. VanThiel and Dr. Whitehurst are responsible for the orthopedic needs of both the Chicago Blackhawks and the Rockford IceHogs.
Successfully serving these professional athletes requires knowledge of the most up to date diagnostic and treatment regimes as well as an understanding of the context of every injury, including it’s severity and impact on both a player’s career and his teammates’ ability to perform. “In my opinion, it’s a bit of an art form as well as a science and experience really helps,” says Dr. Trenhaile.
Where the team from OrthoIllinois does travel to the United Center, like they did last week to assist in performing physicals for the Blackhawks players, most of Dr. Trenhaile’s time is spent working with the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL, ensuring that from a day-to-day perspective they are free of injury before they participate in workouts or live action. The OrthoIllinois team covers the Rockford IceHog games, assessing both new and chronic injuries during competition as well as following through after games with a complete diagnosis and design of treatment plan considering the ramifications of play in practice and games. It’s the responsibility of the OrthoIllinois team to ensure that each of the IceHogs are physically ready, at a moment’s notice, in the event that he is called up to the next level. In addition to caring for the players, Dr. Trenhaile, Dr. Whitehurst, and Dr. VanThiel keep the Organization informed of athletes’ treatment and physical restrictions, allowing everyone an understanding of the team’s available assets at a given time. Even the owners need to know when trades are being considered.
“The very best athletes have durability,” says Dr. Trenhaile, “Not always, but often the more ‘durable’ players take the time to warm up before practice and cool down after, and incorporate stretching and strengthening into their workouts. Rest and diet may also play a role. They do what needs to be done because they have the dedication and the work ethic.”