Answering the Bell podcast archive

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The "Answering the Bell" podcast debuted during the 2016 NFL season and has become a must-listen for those interested in the top injury and health concerns in the sports world today.

Below are links to each of the shows, with the most recent podcast listed at the top.

Medical evaluation at the NFL combine -- March 2019
Guests: Dr. Robin West, Washington Redskins; Dr. Walt Lowe, Houston Texans; Dr. Robert Anderson, Green Bay Packers; physical therapist Brett Fischer, Arizona Cardinals

What actually happens when a player walks into the medical screening room at the Combine? How do teams consider medical findings in the context of player evaluation? Stephania talks with Dr. Robin West (Redskins), Dr. Walt Lowe (Texans), Dr. Robert Anderson (Packers) and physical therapist Brett Fischer (Fischer Institute and the Arizona Cardinals) to find out the answers to these questions and more.

Head injuries in soccer: Where are we now with in-game management? -- January 2019
Guest: Taylor Twellman, ESPN Soccer Analyst, Former MLS MVP and U.S. Men's National Team player

Taylor joins Stephania to provide an update on the current state of recognition and in-game management of head injuries in soccer. He offers his thoughts on what rule changes are needed to improve player safety at all levels and announces his new athlete advisory role with a neurotechnology company.

Eye-Sync Technology: Using Eye Tracking as a Measure of Brain Performance -- October 2018
Guests: Scott Anderson, ATC, Chief Customer Officer, Sync-Think; Steve Young, Hall of Fame NFL quarterback, serves on Athlete Advisory Board for Sync-Think

Scott Anderson describes Sync-Think's integration of virtual reality with the tracking of eye movements to help assess brain performance, from on-field injury evaluation to rehabilitation to dynamic vision training. As an athlete who was forced to retire due to concussions, Steve Young shares his personal experience and explains why he is committed to making this technology available within all levels of football.

NFL Gameday Concussion Protocol -- October 2018
Guest: Dr. Allen Sills, Chief Medical Officer, NFL; Professor of Neurological Surgery, Vanderbilt Medical Center

Dr. Sills joins Stephania to discuss the NFL's gameday concussion protocol. Their conversation is far-reaching and includes details ranging from which medical personnel are on site, components of the protocol including what happens in the spotter's booth and in the blue tent, video review, player evaluation and how the ongoing evaluation of the protocol keeps it a fluid process.

Cartilage Restoration and Dustin Pedroia's return -- May 2018
Guest: Dr. Riley Williams, Director of the Institute for Cartilage Repair at Hospital for Special Surgery (New York), Head Team Orthopedic Surgeon, Brooklyn Nets and New York Red Bulls

Dr. Williams joins Stephania to explain cartilage restoration procedures, including how they differ from microfracture and why Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia was the perfect candidate.

Spinal stabilization surgery -- December 2017
Guest: Dr. Robert Watkins III, Co-Director, Marina Spine Clinic, consultant for athletes in NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and others

When the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that LB Ryan Shazier had undergone spinal stabilization surgery, Dr. Watkins joined Stephania to explain spinal stabilization surgery and the context around this type of procedure.

Core muscle injury/repair -- November 2017
Guest: Dr. William Meyers, President and Chairman of the Vincera Institute

Dr. Meyers joins Stephania to explain what exactly constitutes a core muscle injury, the goal of surgical repair (when indicated) and why the term "sports hernia" should no longer be a part of our vocabulary.

Knee dislocations -- November 2017
Guests: Dr. Jason Lee, Director of Endovascular Surgery, Stanford Hospital and Dr. Walt Lowe, Head Team Physician, Houston Texans and Houston Rockets

When Chicago Bears tight end Zach Miller suffered a knee dislocation in Week 8, he needed urgent surgery to repair an artery in his leg with additional orthopedic procedures and a lengthy rehab process to follow. Dr. Lee and Dr. Lowe join Stephania to share what happens from the field to the operating room following this type of injury.

Wrist and hand injuries -- October 2017
Guest: Dr. Bobby Chhabra, Professor and Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery at University of Virginia Health System and Team Physician for UVA Athletics

Elbow, wrist and hand specialist, Dr. Chhabra joins Stephania to talk about these injuries in the NFL. How long does it take to recover from a wrist dislocation like the one David Johnson suffered in Week 2? How common is it for a player to have a finger joint pop out of place -- like we saw earlier this season with Odell Beckham Jr. -- and then continue to play? Dr. Chhabra answers these questions and many more.

High-ankle sprains, importance of wider cleats -- January 2017
Guest: Dr. Robert Anderson, foot and ankle specialist, consultant for athletes in NFL, NBA, MLB and others

Stephania chats with Dr. Anderson about a wide range of foot and ankle injuries, including the dreaded high-ankle sprain, turf toe, Achilles ruptures and much more. Plus, just how important is proper footwear when it comes to injury prevention?

Concussion: Part 4 -- December 2016
Guest: Dr. Javier Cardenas, Director of the Barrow Brain Injury and Concussion Center in Phoenix

Dr. Cardenas, a neurologist who serves as an unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant (UNC) on the sidelines for Cardinals home games joins Stephania to explain the details of this role. Cardenas also serves as an independent neurologic consultant for players who have or who are suspected of having suffered a concussion and provides sideline coverage for Arizona State University's football and soccer programs. Cardenas explains why there is no longer a grading scale for concussions.

Concussion: Part 3 -- November 2016
Guest: Merril Hoge, former NFL running back

Hoge, who retired from football due to concussion injury, shares his experience with Stephania. From a near-death cardiac event to having to re-learn basic skills he previously took for granted, Hoge offers a unique perspective on how the injury can impact a life. He also describes his efforts to help make the sport of football safer, particularly at the youth level.

Concussion: Part 2 -- October 2016
Guest: Dr. Melissa Womble, Dr. Melissa Womble, Director of Concussion in the Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at Inova Medical Group in Fairfax, VA

Dr. Womble, who also serves as the independent neuropsychologist for both the Washington Nationals and the Washington Redskins, joins Stephania to discuss neurocognitive testing and the various phases of the NFL concussion protocol.

Concussion: Part 1 -- October 2016
Guest: Dr. Michael "Micky" Collins, Executive and Clinical Director of the Sports Medicine Concussion Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

In the first of a four-part miniseries on the current understanding and management of concussion injuries, Stephania is joined by Dr. Collins who shares the results of a recently published consensus document drafted by a group of concussion experts. Highlights include the outline of several clinical patterns of concussion and how treatment for these injuries is evolving.

Sickle cell trait -- October 2016
Guests: Ryan Clark, Former NFL safety and current ESPN analyst, and Jeff Legwold, NFL Nation Broncos reporter

Before his first visit to Denver, Falcons running back Tevin Coleman, who carries the sickle cell trait, expressed uncertainty about how playing at altitude might affect his health. Clark -- also a carrier of the trait -- experienced severe illness while playing at altitude, ultimately requiring major surgery and a lengthy recovery. In this episode, he joins Stephania to talk about playing with the condition. ESPN.com's Jeff Legwold chimes in to discuss the unique challenges of playing at Mile High Stadium.