Sports medicine was always the plan for University of Louisville football’s head team physician

Chad Smith, M.D., provides preventive care and treats injuries for the Cards. Other patients can benefit from his expertise at Norton Sports Health and Norton Orthopedic Institute.

Chad Smith M.D.’s love of sports led him to become an orthopedic surgeon. His love for Louisville brought him to Louisville’s leading provider of orthopedic care after advanced training in sports medicine.

With Norton Healthcare teaming with the Louisville Cardinals as their official health care provider, Dr. Smith is also the head team physician for University of Louisville football.

“It’s an honor to have this wonderful opportunity and responsibility of taking care of the athletes from my hometown and alma mater,” Dr. Smith said.

Dr. Smith’s role with the team includes  preventive care and treating injuries. Other patients can benefit from his expertise at Norton Sports Health and Norton Orthopedic Institute.

“We take care of patients of all ages and activity levels,” Dr. Smith said.  “We take care of sports injuries, arthritis, trauma, providing non- operative and operative options including arthroscopic surgery and joint replacements.”

Norton Orthopedic Institute has more than 80 providers, including orthopedic surgeons at 30 locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana.

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“When treating athletes, not only is our goal to get them back to the field as quickly and safely as possible, but also back to the same level of competition and performance.” Dr. Smith said.

With patients who are not athletes, Dr. Smith said the goal is still getting people back to their previous lifestyle and fitness level. In the case of arthritis, the aim is reducing pain.

With his surgical training, Dr. Smith can determine which conditions don’t require an operation. As a result, most of his patients receive more conservative treatments than surgery.

“We’re happy to get you better and get you doing what you want to do,” he said. “If you have a knee replacement or hip fracture surgery, we want to get you up and going right away. Over time, the pain subsides, and you can comfortably walk to church or the grocery store. That’s a success, too.”

Dr. Smith said he enjoys developing a relationship with patients and their families. With all his patients, Dr. Smith said he takes the time to listen.

Smith grew up in Oldham County, outside Louisville, playing football, baseball, and tennis. When he was 11, he realized there were specialized doctors who cared for athletes when he read about injured stars like the legendary professional football and baseball player Bo Jackson.

“Initially, I thought orthopedics was only sports medicine,” Dr. Smith said.  “Over time, I came to learn about the entire spectrum of the conditions we treat.”

Dr. Smith attended the University of Louisville both as an undergraduate and for medical school. He did his medical residency at the University of Toledo Medical Center and a fellowship in Sports Medicine at Wake Forest University.

Dr. Smith then began practice in a small town in Southern Indiana taking care of the athletes from several local high schools. Working for Norton Healthcare and returning to Louisville was a homecoming. Dr. Smith’s wife is from Henry County. The couple have threeschool-aged children.

Caring for Division I athletes is a dream come true for Dr. Smith.

“Taking care of patients of all ages and activity levels has been very rewarding. My new role allows me to treat these collegiate athletes on and off the field,” he said.

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