The Steadman Clinic has been repairing injured skiers and riders, as well as world famous athletes, for over 20 years. The [R482R, Vail] Valley fixture is essential to those with knee, hip, shoulder, elbow, hand and wrist, foot and ankle, spine and neck injuries.

The hallway of fame in the clinic is full of framed jerseys and autographs of athletes from around the world, including Greg Norman, Mario Lemieux, Dan Marino, Alex Rodriguez, Lindsey Vonn, Amare Stoudemire, and Yao Ming. They're just a few of those who have been treated. Nearly 4,500 people were treated last year alone. Offices are in Vail, and in nearby Frisco, which is in Summit County, another ski hub of the state.

Lyon Steadman, CEO of The Steadman Clinic says, "Our primary goal is to serve this community and keep our extremely active Colorado population enjoying the sports and activities they love as long as possible. We also see patients from across the country and all over the world make the trip to Vail to see our doctors."

That includes injured skiers and riders who come off the nearby slopes of Vail and [R36R, Beaver Creek] every day. Steadman says, "Knee injuries are the most common followed by shoulder."

Someone who has had surgery on both is former U.S. Ski Team downhiller Chad Fleischer, who now runs a ski shop in Steamboat. His first surgery was a shoulder in 1999. "It is stronger than my shoulder that never got hurt or fixed."

Fleischer's next injury was to his knee. "My knee folded in the wrong direction two weeks before the 2002 Olympics in Switzerland. Since that day I have had 10 surgeries, and the last being two years ago. It feels better now than it has since the accident but I did a lot of damage."

Fleischer says The Steadman Clinic is world-renowned and sees everyone from soccer stars, tennis stars, ski racers, race car drivers, football players, baseball players, and more. "There is nowhere else in the world more people trust as a professional athlete than The Steadman Clinic and that to me says it all. We are talking about athletes whose careers are at stake as well as their livelihood."

Lyon Steadman adds that athletes do not get priority, "But we will add additional cases because our doctors understand that an athlete's physical well being is their entire career and timeliness is crucial."

He adds that Dr. Steadman played football at Texas A&M under Coach Bear Bryant. "Most of our surgeons were athletes, so that creates a respect and consideration throughout our clinic culture."

Fleischer says physical therapy is crucial and all part of the big picture. "It is a team of true professionals who care deeply about every single person who comes through the doors and it is hard to believe how dedicated they are and have been since day one in Vail."

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