London Bridge Hospital consultant, Dr Jonathan Rees, played a key role at London 201214 September 2012
Dr Jonathan Rees, a leading Consultant Rheumatologist and Sports Physician, put his expertise to good use this summer as part of the medical team charged with looking after the Olympic and Paralympic athletes. He is one of the many consultants at London Bridge Hospital who was part of the London 2012 Games.
Dr Rees, who practices at the City of London Medical Centre, part of London Bridge Hospital, is an expert in diagnosing musculoskeletal problems and rehabilitating people after injuries. He has worked with many high profile athletes from many sports including professional football, rugby, cycling and Formula One. This is his second Olympics as a member of the medical team.
“The most important element of my work is the diagnosis,” he says.
“I spend a lot of time trying to identify why a problem has happened. Unless you work out what has happened you can’t help prevent it happening again in the future. Then I try and go for the least invasive option and favour non operative treatments where possible.
“With athletes, I often look at training patterns to see if altering them might help prevent the same problems in the future or help an injury settle down.”
“I also see a lot of people with arthritis, gout, osteoporosis and back pain,” he says.
“I also have a special expertise in managing tendon problems. I find that all the areas that I specialise in – sports medicine, rheumatology, tendon issues, have quite a lot of cross over and so complement each other.”
He is also qualified to perform ultrasound. “Rather than just getting a scan back, I can do it myself and get the complete picture,” he says. That means if I have to give an injection it is definitely going to go to the correct area.”
The fact that he works with severely injured servicemen and women at Headley Court, the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre in Surrey, has expanded his expertise in rehabilitating people after injuries.
“Having been a Consultant at Headley Court for eight years I’ve gained valuable experience in rehabilitation,” he says. “That means not just the use of physiotherapy, it means also using other methods of conditioning the body and getting the right people involved.”
Dr Rees has been a part of the planning team involved in making sure that there is adequate medical cover for the London 2012 games. However this is not the first major games he has been involved in. He was medical officer for the British Paralympics team in Beijing in 2008. Indeed, he treated visually impaired cyclist Anthony Kappes who went onto get two gold medals despite a broken shoulder.
“The Paralympic athletes are medically more challenging to work with because they have the basic requirements of athletes – i.e. the strains and stresses they put on their body. However they also generally have another underlying medical condition which needs to be taken into account. It was a great honour to be involved with London 2012,” said Dr Rees.