Facility open to Vikings, public in spring

While the Minnesota Vikings were constructing a new campus in northeastern Eagan, two new Twin Cities Orthopedics facilities were also being built.

One is similar to other offices in the metro, but the other plans to be a destination for sports medicine and rehabilitation.

It’s all part of collective plan of Twin Cities Orthopedics and the Minnesota Vikings.

“We strongly believe from the first day we met, we wanted to create an environment here in the Twin Cites that would become the epicenter of sports, technology, community, people, football, energy, great memories,” Vikings COO Kevin Warren said last fall during a media tour of the facilities.

The main three-story, 76,000-square-foot building will house physical therapy, an orthopedic clinic, urgent care, surgery and outpatient services, which is similar to several other Twin Cities Orthopedics offices throughout the metro.

A 22,000-square-foot sports medicine center will offer brain health, vision/reaction training, muscle/tendon recovery services, sport psychology and regenerative medicine.

“It’s highly unique to our company as well as to the entire region in my opinion,” said Cris Bailey, Twin Cities Orthopedics director of sports medicine and physical therapy.

The sport medicine training center will include a 60-yard turf field, basketball court, dance studio, conference spaces, concussion/vision training lab, biomechanics lab, resistance training lab, sports nutrition offices and space for fitness classes.

“This will probably be the trend in professional sports,” Warren said. “To be on the front end of this, to create a holistic health center, a health-focused environment for our staff, our players, our coaches, our fans, our community ... we’re really excited,”

Both buildings are up, and the interiors are being filled.

When it’s open, it will serve both the Minnesota Vikings and its fans.

The sports medicine portion will serve athletes including marathon runners, youth sports participants, public service workers, the military and weekend warriors.

“The recovery side is a big area of sports right now,” Bailey said. “There’s a lot of innovation right now to get athletes back on the field fast and effectively.”

The biggest benefit to building this facility, Bailey said, is to put all their best providers together under one roof.

“It really allows us to connect the dots with sports medicine rehabilitation,” Bailey said. “Nutrition, sports psychology, rehabilitation, these things are offered throughout the market, but they’re not always in the same spot. ... This facility is going to have people at the very top of their profession in athletic training, chiropractic therapy, massage, pilates, acupuncture, all working together for the athlete, the client.”

The center allows Twin Cities Orthopedics to house specialty rehabilitation equipment such as gravity-minimized treadmills, Kaiser resistance equipment, cold laser therapy and cryotherapy machines.

While most athletic training involves various muscle groups, one of the growing fields in training involves the brain.

The facility will offer concussion baseline testing and help with post-concussion rehabilitation.

“If there is an injury, we know there’s a lot of downstream affect,” Bailey said. “People will have an increase in ankle sprains after a concussion.”

Bailey said they hope to partner with area high schools for concussion rehabilitation and testing.

The facility will also have virtual-reality programing to help with vision and perception in a high-speed environment.

“From police officers to quarterback, it’s a positive thing if they can perceive their environment quickly and respond appropriately,” Bailey said.

Bailey said they’re hoping to offer services to area police, fire and military personnel to “help reduce injury rates and keep their body younger as they age in their career.”

Keeping that mind healthy and psychologically sound is key.

“We all know when an athlete is confident, they’re going to perform at their highest level,” Bailey said. “We work with an individual to help build confidence and reduce subtle fears and release them from the pressure, to just allow them to perform. When you have to make a putt at the Masters, you should be thinking about nothing. ... And people can easily feel depressed when they’re coming from an injury. You’re away from your sport and your team and what you love to do.”

The facility will also offer group fitness classes including yoga via memberships, but it won’t serve as a traditional gym.

The Minnesota Vikings will essentially be practicing across the parking lot.

It will allow for faster diagnosis. If a football player needs an MRI, CT scan or a DEXA scan, they can get one right away.

“Missed diagnosis or a lack of diagnosis is a real problem in the recovery of the athlete,” Bailey said. “It’s a two-minute golf cart ride away.”

The new headquarters will open in about two months and the new medical facilities in about four.

They’re both located south of I-494, east of Dodd Road at 815 Vikings Parkway.

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