Surgical Goals is a unique podcast looking at sports injuries, it is hosted by expert Professor Gordon Mackay, a specialist sports orthopaedic surgeon, and broadcaster Jennifer Reoch who asks the questions you all want answers to. Together they explore the world of sports injury, treatments, rehab, and recovery. From Olympians to weekend warriors they talk to guests from all sporting disciplines from football to skiing, golf to rugby, learning not only how they managed their own injuries and recoveries but also finding out what impact this had on their sporting careers. In other episodes, experts in other fields of sports medicine and rehab join us to discuss how advances in technology and treatments are helping to accelerate athletes' recoveries or general care. Conversations range from the light-hearted to the more serious and along the way it is hoped listeners pick up tips, not only about how to deal with your own injuries for a return to sport and activity but even better, find out what you can do to prevent injury in the first place.
Goalkeeper Lauren Perry talks ACL ruptures and loving penalty shoot outs.
Our latest guest needs little introduction in the world of women's football. At just 16 Lauren Perry made her senior International debut in goals for Northern Ireland. Since then the young player's star has shone brightly taking her to various clubs, Championship League experience, and to winning major awards such as NIFWA Women’s Football Personality of the Year and NIFL Player of the Year. Currently signed with Dundee United Lauren explains how from a young age she knew she wanted a career in football.
Prof Mackay first met Lauren in 2018 when she came to him for InternalBrace surgery for a ruptured ACL injury and he clearly remembers her calm and optimistic attitude back then when focussing on her recovery. Sadly though Lauren has recently ruptured her other ACL and suffered the massive disappointment of not being able to play for her country in the recent Euros. Typically though she once again focussing on the future.
Jennifer is surprised to hear she has not had her surgery yet after she walked into our studio with no crutches or sign of a limp so conversation ranges over how this is even possible with cruciate damage, and then on to the latest treatment options and research conclusions.
Of course, we also take the chance to chat tactics, penalty shootouts, what it takes to be a good keeper, and the sport's bright future with one of its most talented stars.
Knife in the fast lane - Bill Ribbans sports surgeon to the stars
Over his 40-year career Prof Bill Ribbans has operated on some of the world's best-known sports stars in his capacity as a top sports surgeon. A friend and mentor for many years to Prof Mackay, it was brilliant to welcome him to the Surgical Goals podcast. Bill has recently encapsulated his 40 years of experience in a must-read book - Knife in the Fast Lane. Part autobiography, part commentary, and full of amazing anecdotes Bill explains that as well as looking back over his career it also looks into the future of sports medicine without shying away from some of the legal minefields and ethical controversies that arise in today's professional atmosphere.
From the age of 3 when Bill found himself a regular in the press-box with his sports journalist Dad he has loved sport. He himself played rugby at county level and still loves the game while being an advocate now for change to halt the increasing number of players being diagnosed with early-onset dementia.
We wish we had had more time with Bill as he has so many incredible stories but we managed to catch up with him while he was on a flying visit to Scotland.
Nik Binning - rugby player's fastest recovery from multi-ligament knee dislocation
Brilliant to catch up with former Premier League rugby player Nik Binning and hear his remarkable tale of recovery from serious knee injuries. Nik had already recovered from a bad ligament injury on one knee, only to suffer a multi-ligament dislocation to his left one. With unhappy memories of the first, slow, immobile 9-month recovery Nik tells us how his heart sank at the thought of going through that again so he decided to go chat with Prof Mackay about his new InternalBrace surgery.
The pair remember the meeting well - Nik was keen to avoid being laid up for months on end, losing all his precious fitness again and Prof Mackay thought that although it would be the first time he had used the technique for such a serious injury he was sure it could help accelerate Nik's recovery. And it did!
The pair saw a fair bit of each other during Nik's rehab and he aced it although Prof Mackay recalls his slight heart failure on hearing during a consult that his patient had taken up cage fighting! Nik returned to top-class rugby with his club Stirling county.
Nik still loves staying fit and active and taking part in some high-octane sports - a genuinely uplifting episode in the entertaining company of a determined athlete.
Netball superstar Claire Maxwell on netball's rise, ankle injury & juggling sport and motherhood
Claire Maxwell, still better known in netball circles by her maiden name Brownie, is one of the finest netball players Scotland has ever produced. Gaining over 90 caps she has been a vital part of making the national squad competitive on a world stage. In this brilliant episode, she chats about what it really takes to become an elite athlete while holding down a day job, overcoming a serious injury, and the reality of returning to top-level after becoming a Mum.
Claire grew up in an ultra-sporty family playing netball alongside her own Mum and sister but she still recalls the exact moment the seeds of her future sporting career were sown and how she set out to achieve them. Of course it didn't happen overnight and listening you get a real sense of the drive and energy required to make it at this level.
Her sights were set on the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014 when an old ankle injury reared its head. Ignoring it for as long as she could Claire eventually realised she needed to fix it and saw Prof Mackay back in 2013 when his new InternalBracing technique was in its infancy. Claire chose the surgery as it offered her the only realistic chance of rehabbing in time to make the Games. Prof Mackay for his part, recalls the op only too well as it was more complicated than initial presentations and he knew the timeline was tight.
As a keen netball player, Jennifer & Claire chat about the sport's increasing popularity and its evolution as it aims to become an Olympic discipline.
It is also fascinating to listen to Claire talk honestly about the expections versus reality of returning to elite-level sport following pregnancy and motherhood.
All in all a brilliant episode with an amazing athlete.
Don't miss it!
Mark Reynolds: Footballer harnesses competitive nature to recover from ACL rupture
It's every football player's nightmare - rupturing your ACL but when Mark Reynolds ruptured his while playing for Aberdeen FC, because the initial pain subsided quickly he didn't realise the extent of the injury. The team physio was worried though and scans revealed the rupture. Find out how Mark found surgery, rehab and recovery.
With an incredible football career that began by walking onto the pitch for his home team Motherwell, to playing for Sheffield Wednesday, Aberdeen, Dundee, and now Cove Rangers it was brilliant to welcome Mark to Surgical Goals. During such a long career it was inevitable there would be injuries and Mark ruptured his ACL and shoulder AC joint. He explains to us how the injuries happened and what they felt like at the time and then how his recoveries went.
Both times Mark referred to Prof Mackay and had InternalBrace surgery as he was keen for minimum down-time and the technique offers an accelerated recovery. It is really interesting listening to Mark explain how he then turned his ultra-competitive nature into acing his rehab with the help of Adam Stokes and the club physio team.
This leads us to a fascinating conversation about the insecurity of sport as a career and Mark, also a qualified engineer, is only too aware of this, and he is a vocal advocate of allowing young players to also follow academic dreams.
Another really fascinating episode of Surgical Goals.
Ankle injury in sport - recognise, treat and prevent it
We've all done it - rolled an ankle, it's agony, quickly goes an impressive black and blue so you strap it up and sit on the sofa watching boxsets for a couple of days before resuming life and sport as if nothing had happened. But, in this episode we ask, should we all be taking ankle injuries more seriously?
In this episode listen in to your very own ankle injury consultation with sports surgeon Prof Gordon Mackay and Jennifer Reoch. Because it is such a common injury, not just in sport but in everyday life, we tend not to take ankle injury too seriously but this can cause problems and some more severe injuries can remain undiagnosed and untreated. The pair discuss how that is possible and why sometimes you can even return to high-level sport without realising the extent of the damage. So they discuss how to recognise this may be the case for you and knowing how and when to seek professional advice.
They analyse the mechanics of the ankle joint, why is it so prone to injury, the sports that put it under the most pressure, and the different injuries that occur. They also talk about how you can avoid ankle injury and chat over some common preventative methods such as strapping - does it really help and how and when should you use it?
Some are put off seeking further treatment by the thought of a lengthy layoff during recovery but Prof Mackay touches on more modern treatments available which can mean an accelerated recovery these days.
If you need to know more about ankle injuries download this episode of Surgical Goals today.