When a child sustains an injury during exercise, sports, or other types of physical activity, they might need to see a pediatric specialty sports medicine doctor for treatment. While many facilities treat orthopedic sports related and soft tissue injuries, few offer services designed specifically for children. 

Children and teens require specialized care due to their growing bodies. Their physiology is vastly different than adult athletes, including their bones, muscles, ligaments, and joints. When pediatric sports injuries occur, accurate diagnosis and treatment are crucial to avoid long-term growth or developmental injury effects. No parent should have to settle for their child receiving orthopedic or soft tissue repair by an adult surgeon and adult anesthetist.

With a highly skilled and experienced team of pediatric orthopedic providers and sports medicine specialists, Gillette provides 
world-class care for children and athletes of any age—whether they perform on a field, stage, or playground.

Distinctive Expertise

At your patient’s appointment, they’ll be evaluated by both a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and a pediatric sports medicine surgeon. It’s a cooperative partnership that blends complementary skills to set out the best course of care and plan for patients and their families. Surgeons Trent Cooper, DO, and Marc Tompkins, MD, have research and educational backgrounds in pediatric sports medicine that go beyond the standard training.

“This is truly a unique clinic not found anywhere else in the Twin Cities, or for that matter, the surrounding states,” Dr. Cooper says. “Both Dr. Tompkins and I are orthopedic surgeons. But because he has completed a Sports Medicine Fellowship and I did a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery Fellowship, we can look at a patient’s problem and combine our expertise and training when recommending a treatment. Each patient is essentially getting a second opinion when they are seen at our clinic.”

With the addition of Natalie Stork, MD, the team boasts thorough knowledge of both surgical and nonsurgical care for sports injuries. With this well-rounded expertise, pediatric sports medicine patients receive leading-edge care that’s specific to their injury or pathology as well as their age.

Dr. Stork says: “Our depth of experience is such that families can feel comfortable working with us for their 4-year-old, 10-year-old, and 18-year-old. Even 18-year-olds are not fully grown and can benefit from seeing sports medicine or orthopedic experts that are pediatric-trained.”

Specialty Sports Medicine Conditions Treated at Gillette

Sports-related and soft-tissue injuries can be caused by trauma, overuse, pre-existing conditions, or an imbalance of strength or joint range of motion. Our specialty sports medicine experts understand these underlying causes and can determine the best treatments for several conditions, including:

• Meniscus injuries
• ACL tear
• PCL tear
• MCL/LCL tear
• Multi-ligamentous injuries
• Discoid meniscus
• Tibial spine/eminence fracture
• Osteochondritis dissecans
• Cartilage injuries and defects
• Patellofemoral pain
• Patellar instability 
• Shoulder instability
• Shoulder bicep injuries

Collaborative Care

The multidisciplinary pediatric sports medicine team allows for the most comprehensive care experience for a patient. Drs. Cooper and Tompkins have a clinic and operate together, giving their patients unique, dual perspectives throughout their sports medicine experience. Dr. Tompkins credits the collaborative nature of the entire sports medicine team with the group’s high patient satisfaction.

“In addition to the fact that Dr. Cooper and I have complementary training, we are also fortunate to work with Dr. Stork in primary care. We also have Angie Drummond, CPNP, as a key part of pre- and post-operative patient care and excellent nurses in Kristin Moran, RN, and Britney Jensen, RN,” Dr. Tompkins says. “I take great pride in the fact that we have a close-knit team that all play important roles in the care of our patients."

The Pediatric Sports Medicine Clinic also partners with experts outside the orthopedic specialty, working with pediatric anesthesia services when surgery is recommended for a patient—including surgeries for children younger than 4 years old. 

Patients also benefit from coordinated recovery care with expert pediatric physical therapists for their post-surgical needs. This end-to-end care means a patient's entire Gillette care team collaborates for the benefit of the patient, answering questions about the case and providing their specialties’ unique perspective.

A Closer Look at Sports Medicine and Nonoperative Orthopedics

“There are not many doctors like me,” says Gillette Children’s pediatric orthopedic sports medicine physician Natalie Stork, MD. 

Dr. Stork came to Gillette in 2022 to expand the sports medicine program after completing a nonsurgical pediatric orthopedic and sports medicine fellowship. Her role as a nonsurgical provider on the team means she specializes in tailoring treatment plans to help children and teens dealing with injuries to the wrist, elbow, shoulder, ankle, knee, and hip.

“I work up a plan to manage a child’s pain, help them recover and return to playing their sport or doing their activity,” Dr. Stork says. “I help with any injury, like an acute injury, a fall, or chronic pain—any issue that keeps a child from doing what they love."

Dr. Stork works closely with Gillette orthopedic sports medicine doctors and orthopedic surgeons Trent Cooper, DO, and Marc Tompkins, MD. “They are wonderful surgeons and great teammates,” Dr. Stork says. “We work as a team, and I believe our care at Gillette stands out because I can bring in the nonsurgical perspective. The three of us work together to best treat patients and make our pediatric Sports Medicine Program better."

Nonsurgical Orthopedics

In her nonoperative orthopedic role, Dr. Stork’s expertise is equally varied. In addition to Gillette Children’s clubfoot clinic and hip preservation clinic, Dr. Stork works with orthopedic concerns like intoeing, out-toeing, knock knees, and bow leggedness—all of which can be treated with bracing, casting, and therapy.

The bottom line? Not all sports injuries or orthopedic conditions require surgery, and Gillette has a full range of treatment options for pediatric patients of all ages. “We have expert physical therapists and rehabilitation medicine physicians, as well as a large team of orthotic specialists who can recommend braces and other tools,” Dr. Stork says.


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