Trusted by the brightest stars of the sporting world, Mehiläinen NEO Sports Hospital has established an international reputation for the quality of its medical care with hundreds of surgical procedures performed on athletes, football, ice hockey and basketball players, among others. The hospital cooperates with over 200 athletic clubs in Finland and many international sports clubs but also serves thousands of individual patients, focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders.
Founded in 2011, Mehiläinen NEO offers a comprehensive range of services from nutrition to prevention, treatment and rehabilitation – all provided by specialist doctors, surgeons, orthopaedists and physiotherapists who are leading experts in their field. NEO’s services also include laboratory examinations and services, imaging services (x-ray, MRI, CT), and outpatient hospitals and polyclinics. A smooth and efficient treatment path ensures that treatment can be started quickly in Turku.
Star treatment for all sporting enthusiasts
“The Mehiläinen NEO slogan says, ‘For us, everyone is a top athlete’, which means that we provide the same high level of treatment to everyone. Most of our patients are not sports professionals but ordinary people who really enjoy their sporting and leisure activities, and want to regain fitness as quickly as possible following an injury,” explains Lasse Lempainen, an orthopaedic surgeon and adjunct professor at Mehiläinen NEO Sports Hospital, who specializes in injuries and disorders affecting the knee, ankle, foot, hamstring, quadriceps and Achilles tendon.
Lempainen’s own active sporting background includes winning medals at national level orienteering competitions, which brings a deeper understanding of the patients to his work.
“I know from personal experience what it’s like to train in a goal-oriented way, and the importance of sporting activities to people who practice regularly, not just in terms of fitness but also at the emotional level,” he says.
“When patients come to Mehiläinen NEO for a consultation, we have an in-depth discussion and a thorough examination of the problem. If surgery is required, we aim to make the process as simple, affordable and fast as possible. Surgery is often followed by a visit to our physiotherapist. We plan the rehabilitation program and keep in regular contact with the patient following an operation.”
Unique international experience
Alongside his clinical work, Lempainen has an active research career in the field of orthopeadics and sports medicine, especially in hamstring and Achilles tendon injuries and disorders. He is regularly invited to give lectures by sports clubs and international conferences and receives weekly consultation requests from teams in different countries. Lempainen has a long-term consulting role with FC Barcelona and has collaborated on three joint publications published by the Spanish club on the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of muscle tendon injuries.
With many sporting celebrities sharing selfies after a successful surgery in Turku, Mehiläinen NEO’s surgeons can also find themselves in the limelight. Professor Sakari Orava, mentor of Lasse Lempainen, is among the most renowned sport and orthopaedic trauma surgeons in the world. Now aged 73, Orava illustrious career stretches back over four decades. He has performed Achilles tendon surgery on Olympic gold medallist Haile Gebreselassie and footballer David Beckham, among many other famous people.
“I started my research under Sakari’s supervision 20 years ago and have been privileged to work closely with him for many years. His unique international experience and networks and are a great asset to the hospital,” says Lempainen.
Over the years, Orava and Lempainen have often had joint patients and worked together in the operating theatre. For example, in September 2017 they performed surgery on the torn hamstring of FC Barcelona’s EUR 105 million signing Ousmane Dembélé, who was part of France’s World Cup winning team in 2018.
“It was very satisfying to watch the football World Cup held in Russia this summer because players who have had surgery at Mehiläinen NEO won gold, silver and bronze medals,” says Lempainen. “In addition to the top athletes, now more and more ordinary fitness enthusiasts from around the world are also starting to find Mehiläinen NEO. The borders between countries are disappearing and people are coming from further afield to get treatment, for example with difficult hamstring injuries.”