Department of Orthopedics Update | Summer 2019

Innovations in Orthopaedics | Summer 2019

Treating professional athletes, connecting with the nation’s top physicians, and studying the latest treatment protocols for common sports injuries are all in a day’s work for the University Hospitals Department of Orthopedics.

The year began with a new partnership: UH is now the official health care provider for the Cleveland Ballet. As part of this relationship, UH will provide comprehensive care to the ballet's professional dancers, apprentices and their families.

Dancers and other performing artists suffer the same overuse injuries as professional sports players,” says Medical Director James E. Voos, MD, Chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. “Our multidisciplinary team will perform preseason physicals, conduct injury prevention programs, and treat and manage injuries and other health conditions. The Cleveland Ballet is a great addition to UH's sports medicine family. We're thrilled to partner with them.”

In other sports news, Dr. Voos and a group from the Cleveland Browns medical staff traveled to Indianapolis in March for the NFL Scouting Combine. The UH sports team performed medical evaluations on the more than 300 invited athletes hoping to make it to the NFL draft.

UH Orthopaedic physicians at NFL CombineUH Orthopaedics Physicians pictured L to R: Sean Cupp, MD, Michael Salata, MD, James Voos, MD, Michael Karns, MD, Robert Flannery, MD, and Benjamin Boswell, DO

They also participated in the concurrent NFL Physicians Society Annual Meeting, where the Cleveland Browns medical staff had the most scientific presentations of any team for the third year in a row. UH physicians gave both poster and podium presentations during the meeting.

“We are strongly committed to a player’s health and safety,” Dr. Voos says.

The NFL also invited Dr. Voos to serve on the Musculoskeletal Injury Committee that deals with all nonhead/neck-related injuries, as well as the Hamstring Injury Reduction task force. These multidisciplinary groups discuss and develop ways to make the sport safer for players. “It's a true honor to be included with this group of physicians, engineers, epidemiologists and league executives,” he says.

Later in March, the sports medicine team headed south to Nashville to attend the Football Sports Medicine conference, co-sponsored by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and the National Football League Physicians Society. The conference provides information on the latest solutions for areas of concern or controversy when managing football athletes in a team setting, from youth to professional football. 

UH had a strong presence at the conference, with Dr. Voos serving as co-chair. Lecturing at the conference were orthopaedic surgeon Michael Salata, MD, Director of the UH Sports Medicine Institute, and Cleveland Browns Lead Medical Physician Sean Cupp, MD, Sports Medicine Department Co-Director.

Dr. Voos says one key takeaway centered on how to develop young football players. Instead of going straight to tackling, kids now start with flag football, move to modified tackle, and then progress to tackle football. “It's a great way for kids to get a safe introduction to the game,” he says. “They focus on fundamentals first, reduce their risk of injury, and reduce contact until they're older. It's a great concept that has been launched across the United States.”

The services UH physicians provide at these elite levels of sports give them the tools to care for people of all ages, backgrounds and fitness levels, from youth athletes to adult recreational athletes to athletes-in-spirit. All of these patients require support from the entire department.

“Coaches and parents may need joint replacements,” Dr. Voos says. “Athletes can suffer fractures and require trauma services. Elementary and middle school students use our pediatric orthopaedic services. Our department works as a team because we see all types of injuries from all types of athletes.”

To refer your patient to an orthopaedic specialist, call 216-844-7200.

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