Why Mehiläinen Sports Hospital?

Many top clubs and athletes around the world have trusted the services at Mehiläinen Sports Hospital for years. The hospital’s success is based on solid professionalism and competence, as well as research and excellent networks with international elite sports.

Experience and understanding of athletes’ daily lives

The crucial factors in finding and choosing a place of treatment for an elite athlete’s health issues are the physicians’ experience of caring for athletes, the high standard of hospital facilities, and competent staff. An understanding of the daily lives of athletes and the ability to collaborate with the clubs’ own medical teams are prerequisites for a good partnership. Mehiläinen Sports Hospital has sound experience of this.

Research on sports injuries

Mehiläinen Sports Hospital understands the significance of research in diagnosing and treating athletes’ injuries. Carrying out research in the field allows us to obtain an even better understanding of injury mechanisms and of the various alternatives for treating, preventing and rehabilitating sports injuries.

In recent years, our orthopedists Lasse Lempainen and Sakari Orava have published various studies on subjects such as the treatment of muscle and tendon injuries. They carry out active research collaboration with clubs such as FC Barcelona, and many of their publications have awakened positive international attention. Lempainen and Orava have recently been sought-after speakers at international congresses related to muscle and tendon injuries.

Elite clubs have contacts with global networks of experts in various fields, and their own physicians often consult these experts in relation to athletes’ injuries. Mehiläinen Sports Hospital is best known around the world for its treatments of lower extremity muscle and tendon injuries, and Dr Lempainen, among others, is consulted almost weekly by many clubs around the world. Lempainen’s latest consulting agreement was made in November with the Italian club A.S. Roma.

Specialisation reinforces competence

For many years, the trend in sports surgery has been so-called narrow sector specialisation. The quality of care improves when surgeons focus on their core competences, and this is beneficial for elite athletes and amateurs alike. These days not only athletes but also ordinary people and sports enthusiasts are prepared to travel long distances to receive the best possible care for their conditions. Geographical boundaries are not an issue in this respect.

The best for the best

Foreign customers visit Mehiläinen Sports Hospital’s experts on an almost weekly basis for consultancies and surgeries. This was done in November by Bryan Cristante from A.S. Roma, who consulted Dr Lempainen due to a tear in a hip adductor muscle. A rehabilitation plan was formulated for Cristante, which is now being implemented by the Sports Hospital in collaboration with the club’s own medical team. “Bryan’s condition is promising and it is likely that he will return to the football field with his team during January,” Lempainen says.
Some of the footballers who have had surgery with Lempainen during this autumn include Nikola Vasiljević from Serbia (anterior thigh injury), Rubén Castro Martín from Spain (hamstring injury), Valerio Mantovani from Italy (hamstring injury), Marko Obradović from Serbia (hamstring injury) and Danil Krugovoy from Russia (anterior thigh injury).

The player Malcom, who was sold by FC Barcelona to Zenit for EUR 40 million earlier in the summer, had a tear in his rectus femoris muscle, which also required surgery. The operation was successfully conducted in Turku in October by orthopedists Lasse Lempainen and Sakari Orava.
“Malcom’s condition looks very good. He has carried out rehabilitation exercises according to plan, and I have been in touch with Zenit nearly weekly. He can hopefully return to playing in February,” Lempainen says.

Mehiläinen has top-level hospitals specialising in sports orthopaedics, sports medicine, rehabilitation and physical coaching in Turku and Helsinki. Both hospitals are fully equipped for receiving world-class athletes with various kinds of health concerns. Besides the aforementioned surgeons specialising in muscle injuries, the hospitals have specialists in shoulder injuries, back surgery, neurosurgery and various lower extremity issues.

Grants for Sports Medicine from the Professor Sakari Orava Fund

Grants for Sports Medicine from the Professor Sakari Orava Fund

On 27 September, the Professor Sakari Orava Fund gave out two grants for research and development in sports medicine.

One of the recipients was Kristian Johansson of the Paavo Nurmi Centre and the University of Turku, who will use the grant to fund his PhD thesis research on “Achilles tendon region pains among athletes – with special reference to operative findings”.

“In his research, Johansson is analysing a large number of achilles surgery patients, including their symptoms and surgery findings. The outcomes can be used for developing surgery techniques and further personalising each patient’s care. The research is partly based on Sakari Orava’s extensive experience and on decades of achilles surgery in Finland,” says Jussi Rantanen, Chief Surgeon at Mehiläinen’s Turku hospital unit and board member of the Hospital Foundation.

The other grant went to Sergei Ilyukov from the Sports Medicine unit at Clinicum in the University of Helsinki. His PhD thesis subject is “Athlete’s performance passport: a new methodology in anti-doping efforts”.

“Ilyukov’s research in the field of anti-doping is pioneering. His methodology focuses on continuous monitoring of an athlete’s performance and competition results. The monitoring is intended to pick up on inconsistencies and irregularities in athletes’ results, which could indicate use of illicit procedures. Besides sports surgery, anti-doping activity is one of the major focal points of sports medicine in Finland,” says Rantanen.

The Professor Sakari Orava Fund supports research and development in sports medicine. The grants are paid out by the Hospital Foundation, which administers the fund. The fund was established when Sakari Orava turned 70 in 2015, based on capital donated by Terveys Oy and friends of Professor Orava. The foundation does not administer any other funds.

Another Successful Experts’ Conference

Another Successful Experts’ Conference

During the last weekend of September, the Mehiläinen Sports Hospital Experts’ Conference once again brought together fantastic speakers and a large audience in Helsinki.

The themes of the by now well-established conference included repetitive strain injury in young athletes, diagnosing and treating tendon injuries, basketballers’ health, and the overall well-being of athletes.

During the event, the Professor Sakari Orava Fund also gave out two grants for research and development in sports medicine.

The international elite clubs FC Barcelona and AC Milan shared their experiences of working with Sports Hospital’s experts, as well as valuable information on how multimillion-grossing footballers can return to the pitch after being injured.

Some of the Finnish top speakers at the event were orthopedists Juha Ranne, Mikko Kirjavainen, Olli Pajulo and Håkan Alfredson, radiologist Justin Lee and basketball coach Henrik Dettmann. Additionally, panellists discussed elite athletes’ experiences and stakeholders’ views on issues relating to athlete health.

Pictures of the conference you can see from here

Short feeling video of the conference:


Collaboration tightens with the Russian sports society

Collaboration tightens with the Russian sports society 

In the beginning of October our specialists – Lasse Lempainen and Marko Yrjövuori took part in the second annual conference on sports medicine and rehabilitation with international participation: «Muscle and tendon injuries. Modern approaches to treatment and prevention» as the speakers which was held in Moscow on the Spartak Stadium. Conference was organized by the «Game without injuries» project with the VTB United League, Russian Basketball Federation, Figure skating Russian Federation, Russian Rugby Federation support. Among the speakers were leading Spanish, Italian, Finnish, Polish, German and Russian specialists in the field of sports medicine and rehabilitation. The aim of the conference was to provide the participants – sports doctors, physical coaches, heads of medical club services, rehab specialists with current innovative approach to the treatment and prevention of muscle and tendon injuries.

In addition to this Dr. Lempainen familiarised himself with the Dynamo Moscow’s football club’s medical team, footballers and facilities. And gave lectures on muscle and tendon injuries and how to prevent them.

“I have to thank Dynamo’s head physician, Alexander Yardoshvili, for the invitation. I was very interested to see the conditions in which the football club operates, and was delighted to note that everything was first-rate: the gym, the pool, the medical facilities, the fine football fields. I am happy to start this collaboration with Dynamo’s medical management,” Lempainen says.

“Dr Lempainen is a world-class surgeon: a true star and absolutely one of the top experts on muscle and tendon injuries in Europe. His experience and the fact that he has worked for years with clubs such as FC Barcelona clearly demonstrate he is worthy of our trust. It is wonderful to have his support for the Dynamo medical team,” writes Yardoshvili in a press release.

Sports Hospital receives new customers from around the world

The strong international renown of Mehiläinen Sports Hospital and many athletes’ positive experiences of the hospital’s surgical procedures, facilities and services are bringing more and more athletes from around the world to the hospital.

Sports Hospital involved in FIFPro’s research project

Mehiläinen Sports Hospital involved in FIFPro’s international football research project

FIFPro, the International Federation of Professional Footballer’s Associations, is initiating a ten-year research project monitoring the health of professional football players. Mehiläinen Sports Hospital has been invited to contribute its special expertise in diagnosing sports injuries and to coordinate the Nordic parts of the study.

The research will follow the state of health of several hundred ex-professional footballers after the end of their careers.
“Particular attention will be paid to the consequences in later life of head and knee injuries obtained during their careers, and to the development of the athletes’ cardiac health,” explains Orthopedist Jussi Rantanen, Chief Surgeon at Mehiläinen Sports Hospital in Turku and medical director of Mehiläinen Sports Hospital.

Mehiläinen is one of around ten European research units involved in the project, which is led by the University of Amsterdam. Among other things, Mehiläinen will carry out clinical and laboratory studies related to the monitoring, as well as magnetic resonance imaging. The hospital’s orthopedists will also be among the authors of the research reports to be published at the end.

“Being involved in this project reinforces Mehiläinen Sports Hospital’s status as a major Nordic player in sports medicine. Our involvement will also allow us to maintain and expand our network of contacts at the heart of European sports medicine,” Rantanen says.

“The Football Players’ Association of Finland has had a long and fruitful collaboration with Mehiläinen Sports Hospital in Turku, consulting the hospital’s experts on diverse issues related to footballers’ health,” explains Markus Juhola, Executive Director of the Finnish member association of FIFPro.

The objective of the study is to learn how typical football injuries can be prevented better in the future, and how the overall health of athletes can be fostered both during and after their careers.

“This study is very interesting for players. For Finnish players it will give an excellent point of comparison with international fields and health care. It will also be very significant for the individuals involved to receive up-to-date information on their own state of health, both during their active careers and for several years after retirement,” Juhola continues.

The project kick off on 16 October 2019 at a symposium on Health Challenges in Professional Football in London, in which Mehiläinen Sports Hospital is involved, with Jussi Rantanen being one of the chairs of the symposium.

FC Zenit’s Malcom at Sports Hospital

FC Zenit Saint Petersburg’s forward Malcom has surgery at Mehiläinen Sports Hospital in Turku

The Brazilian forward Malcom, who plays for FC Zenit Saint Petersburg, had successful surgery on an anterior thigh injury on 9 October 2019 in Turku. The surgery was conducted by orthopedists Lasse Lempainen and Sakari Orava.

Malcom, who was sold by FC Barcelona to Zenit for EUR 40 million in the summer, had a tear in his rectus femoris muscle. Malcom visited the chosen venue for the surgery, Mehiläinen Sports Hospital, earlier the same week.

“The surgery was completed successfully and I trust that the player will be able to return to the elite level according to plan,” says Lempainen.

The striker received the injury after joining the ruling Russian champions, and rehabilitation was initially attempted without surgery. When the injury recurred, surgery became the only option. It was the player’s first-ever visit to Finland and he was impressed with the friendly and competent staff he encountered.

“The surgery went well and my leg feels good. I consulted Russia’s national team player Denis Cheryshev on the morning of the operation and if I had any doubts that this was the right decision, they disappeared when he told me of the similar procedure he had successfully had in Turku,” Malcom said, referring to Mehiläinen Sports Hospital.
Cheryshev sent his regards to Turku via Malcom, saying that Dr Orava and Dr Lempainen had saved his career. He praised the hospital and said that its orthopedists’ judgement should be trusted.

“It is a great demonstration of trust in us when an elite-level athlete comes to us for surgery,” Lempainen rejoices.

The surgery was attended by FC Zenit’s physiotherapist Felix Ledesma. Malcom returned to St. Petersburg yesterday and will begin his rehabilitation shortly. He is expected to return to the playing field during the winter break.