All athletes deserve the very best sports-related care and treatment that’s one-on-one and state-of-the-art. At Cleveland Clinic Sports Health, this involves conditioning to become stronger and faster, maximizing abilities, treating injuries if they do occur and improving future performance.
Our experts treat athletes in all sports, all ages and skill levels. As our patient, you have access to the same specialists who treat Cleveland’s professional sports teams and the orthopaedic program ranked #3 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Download a Free Treatment Guide
Cleveland Clinic offers a number of free treatment guides covering a broad range of information related to Sports Health.
Team and Event Medical Services
- We provide team physicians and athletic trainers for professional sports teams, high schools and college athletics.
- We offer educational opportunities for athletes, athletic trainers, physicians and coaches.
- We provide medical care for athletes at major sporting events.
Official Team Physicians for:
The Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Indians
Baldwin Wallace University
Cleveland State University
John Carroll University
Notre Dame College
Cuyahoga Community College - West Campus
High School Athletes
Greater Cleveland Sports Commission
Rogue Winter Classic
Sports Injury Clinic
Injured during a weekend high school sports event? We can help. Cleveland Clinic Sports Health is providing services for athletes who suffer acute sports injuries on the weekend with its Sports Injury Clinic.
Convenient, Expert Care
Our Sports Injury Clinic assembles a team of all of the experts you need — including sports medicine physicians, sports health orthopaedic surgeons, physical therapists (rehabilitation specialists) and radiologists. They’ll use the latest diagnostic technology to evaluate your injury and develop a specialized care plan to return you to your pre-injury performance as quickly as possible.
Our Sports Injury Clinic helps patients who have a wide variety of needs, including:
- Acute injury care for athletic-related injuries, such as sprains and strains
- Full array of sports medicine services, including X-ray, bracing
- Physical therapy consultation to review rehab plan, if needed
Why choose the Sports Injury Clinic?
Athletes who choose this clinic can receive a quicker diagnosis.
You won’t have to wait to get an appointment and begin treatment — getting you back in the game faster!
You’ll also receive comprehensive care from the same specialists who treat Cleveland’s professional sports teams and are ranked No. 3 nationally for orthopaedics by U.S. News & World Report.
Cleveland Clinic Sports Health Center
5555 Transportation Blvd.
Garfield Heights, OH 44125
August 25, 2018 – October 27, 2018
Saturdays: 8 - 11 a.m. Walk-ins welcome.
Mondays: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Acute injuries, by appointment only.
Call 216.518.3475 for an appointment.
What We Treat
What is a Sport and Exercise Medicine physician?
Physicians specializing in sports and exercise medicine undergo their initial training and board certification in a specialty such as family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, emergency medicine or physical medicine and rehabilitation. They then complete a one-two year training fellowship in sports medicine. This branch of medicine is dedicated to the comprehensive care of athletes and active individuals, promoting lifelong fitness and wellness, and encouraging the prevention of illness and injury.
What do they treat?
A sport and exercise medicine physician’s scope of care includes diagnosing and managing acute injuries, musculoskeletal conditions and illnesses (both chronic and acute) that can potentially affect performance.
Common conditions treated and services provided may include:
- Acute and overuse injuries (sprains, strains, fractures, tendonitis)
- Joint injections (corticosteroid or viscosupplementation)
- Injury prevention
- Return-to-play decisions for the sick or injured athlete
- Athletes with chronic or acute illnesses (such as mono, asthma, hypertension or diabetes)
- Athletes with chronic musculoskeletal conditions (chronic muscle injuries, arthritis of various joints)
- Exercise and performance counseling
When surgery is needed, our sports and exercise medicine physicians can provide easy access to our orthopaedic surgeons for help for both overuse or traumatic injuries, including:
- Torn ligaments (such as ACLs) and tendons
- Broken bones
- Damaged cartilage
- Arthritis and other degenerative conditions
- Complex problems of the shoulder of instability and dislocation
- Complex throwing related problems of shoulder and elbow
- Hip impingement
Our surgeons use minimally invasive techniques whenever possible to minimize pain, scarring and recovery time. Our services include:
- Arthroscopic surgery of shoulders, elbows, hips and knees
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction
- Meniscus transplant surgery
- Hamstring repairs
- Advanced surgery for articular cartilage
- Partial joint replacements
- Tommy John surgery
Our surgeries are typically done as outpatient, where the patient undergoes regional anesthetic rather than general anesthesia which leads to quicker recovery.
Orthopaedic surgeons work side by side with sports and exercise medicine physicians in the office and on the sidelines. Both specialize in diagnosing and managing musculoskeletal injuries that occur acutely and over time.
Sports Specific Rehabilitation and Performance
Proper early rehabilitation is essential for a swift recovery from injury. Our physical therapists, exercise physiologists, athletic trainers and strength and conditioning specialists collaborate to maximize care for each individual. Patients have access to advanced rehabilitation equipment and the latest in rehabilitation techniques. Our emphasis is on efficient transition from rehabilitation to peak athletic performance, and we pay special attention on educating patients to avoid re-injury.
Integrative Sports Medicine
After an injury, every athlete hopes to heal and get back to the game as quickly as possible. Our Sports Health team collaborates with experts from Cleveland Clinic's Center for Integrative Medicine to provide services with a special focus on supporting the body’s natural abilities to heal after a sports-related injury or condition, using techniques such as:
Combined with standard treatments, integrative medicine techniques can help reduce chronic conditions that prevent top-level performance, speed recovery from acute injuries, and enhance and improve conditioning and strength.
Chiropractic Sports Medicine
You can be confident that your Cleveland Clinic sports and exercise medicine specialist will recommend care that does not involve surgery whenever possible. Chiropractic sports medicine has proven effective in treating a wide range of acute and chronic athletic injuries, including:
- Overuse injuries
- Shoulder pain
- Peripheral nerve entrapment syndromes
Our certified chiropractic sports physician is skilled at identifying problems with body mechanics and eliminating the source of pain without surgical intervention.
Pediatric and Adolescent Sports Medicine
Children aren't just small adults; they need specialized care for any sports-related injuries or conditions.
Our dedicated team of sports medicine experts are specifically trained to provide comprehensive assessment and treatment for both non-surgical and surgical issues in children, teens and young adults, including:
- ACL tears
- Shoulder instability
- Joint cartilage problems, especially involving the knee and elbow
- Throwing and overuse injuries
- Sport-specific rehabilitation
We also are actively involved in ongoing research with other U.S. children’s hospitals to improve understanding and treatment for various pediatric sports injuries.
Dance Medicine Clinic
Cleveland Clinic has recently started a Dance Medicine clinic utilizing a multidisciplinary approach to rehabilitation, involving practitioners interested in the care of both amateur and professional dancers.
Performers interested in being seen in Dance Medicine clinic may call 216.518.3475 to arrange for an appointment.
Where: Cleveland Clinic Sports Health
5555 Transportation Blvd, Garfield Heights, OH 44125
When: Dance Medicine Clinic is on the second and fourth Tuesday each month from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Nutrition for Athletes
Optimal nutrition is important for maximizing your stamina and ability to perform. Our sports health nutritionists can help you stay healthy, avoid injury or accelerate your healing. Nutritional requirements vary by sport, so our nutritionists will work with you one-on-one to design a nutrition plan that helps you achieve you goals, including:
- Improving your diet and hydration status to maximize your performance or workout
- Assist with weight loss, muscle and weight gain
- Prevention of bone loss and injuries
- Playing your best with a chronic condition, such as diabetes or heart disease
Athletes interested in being seen by our sports health nutritionist may call 216.518.3475 to arrange for an appointment.
Where: Cleveland Clinic Sports Health
5555 Transportation Blvd, Garfield Heights, OH 44125
When: Sports Nutrition Clinic is every other Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cleveland Clinic Courage Award
Cleveland Clinic Sports Health Courage Award is an honor given annually by the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic Sports Health at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards banquet each January. It is awarded to a student athlete who has faced a medical challenge in his or her life and approached the situation with courage and determination to get back into the game.
2019 Courage Award
If you know a student athlete who has overcome a medical challenge in his or her life and would like to submit them for the 2019 Courage Award nominate them today.
2017 Courage Award
Presented by Cleveland Clinic Sports Health
2017 Award Recipient: Samer Babi, North Olmsted High School, Football
On the football field, Samer Babi didn’t let his slight stature prevent him from being a hard-hitting linebacker for his high school team.
And that same aggressiveness and determination are serving him well in a much tougher battle, as the North Olmsted High School senior undergoes treatment at Cleveland Clinic Children’s for stage IV alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS), a rare, fast-growing form of cancer.
In spring 2017, Samer began to experience pain in his jaw. Despite a number of visits to medical facilities, the pain persisted and his face became quite swollen. Eventually, Samer visited Cleveland Clinic Children’s where an MRI revealed a tennis ball-sized mass in his right parotid gland. On the day before his high school prom, doctors determined its cause — RMS, a type of cancer that develops from connective tissues in the body.
Since then, Samer underwent surgery to remove the mass, chemotherapy and radiation as an outpatient at Cleveland Clinic, and attends school as often as he can. According to Marta Bodnaruk, RN, a Cleveland Clinic Children’s pediatric nurse, Samer is “the most positive and inspiring patient I have ever met. Even when he is feeling sick, he still has a smile on his face and jokes to tell. He is very deserving of this award.”
Samer now sees a team of caregivers to help manage and treat his ARMS., including Dr. Stacey Zahler, a member of Cleveland Clinic Children's Pediatric Hematology Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplantation program.
Although he couldn’t play football this season, Samer served as a captain for the North Olmsted Eagles and organizer for the school’s Kick It For Cancer program, which raises money for childhood cancer research and helps families facing a diagnosis. The program — which has raised nearly $2,500 thus far — also honors Marty Simon, a North Olmsted coach who died from colon cancer just days before Samer was diagnosed.
Samer, who plans to attend college, and hopefully play on its rugby team, says the memory of Coach Simon helps motivate him as he faces his own fight with cancer.
“Anything that happens to you in life, you can’t just stand there and let it hit you,” Samer said. “You gotta fight back, and you always have to fight your hardest.” For displaying courage beyond the boundaries of the playing field, and for inspiring those around him, Samer will receive the annual Cleveland Clinic Sports Health Courage Award during the 18th Greater Cleveland Sports Awards in January 2018.
“I make it a point to never complain about my circumstances or how I am feeling, as it could always be worse. I live by (Coach Simon’s) motto — “Don’t complain. Don’t ask why.”