When an athlete becomes injured, the priority is finding the very best physician—one who can help him or her heal quickly and fully. MedStar Sports Medicine has earned a reputation as one of the leading providers of orthopaedic and sports medicine care in the region, serving as the “go-to” place for athletes and those with physically active lifestyles. And now that program is expanding, adding new facilities and providers to even better serve the community.
“The vision is to create a system of care that gives athletes access to physicians and therapists who truly specialize in their sport or the specific type of injury or medical condition they are trying to correct,” explains David Cohen, MD, director of Sports Medicine at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center.
At MedStar Franklin Square, patients with orthopaedic and sports-related injuries can receive the collaborative, comprehensive care they need to ultimately get back to doing what they love. For Alex Krupey that means playing flag football.
In December 2016, Krupey’s flag football team was two minutes into a game when the 30-year-old reached for a high-flying ball. Half of a second later, he came crashing down onto a twisted leg, immediately falling and clenching his left knee in pain. Within seconds, his leg went numb.
“My first thought was ‘this cannot be happening,’” says Krupey. “And my second thought was ‘where is Dave?’”
Dave Stewart, PA-C, Krupey’s teammate, happens to be a physician assistant at MedStar Franklin Square, specializing in orthopaedics and sports medicine. He rushed to Krupey’s side to evaluate the situation and within minutes confirmed the injury was a tear of his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
“I was beside myself,” Krupey adds. “I knew this meant I would be out of the game for a while. But I also started worrying about how this was going to affect my life. How would I get to and from work? Who would walk my dog?”
Fully trusting the opinion and expertise of his teammate and friend, Krupey followed Stewart’s advice and scheduled an appointment with Dr. Cohen.
“Dr. Cohen told me that if I ever wanted to play football again, I needed to have surgery,” says Krupey. “It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but I didn’t think twice about the decision. Football is an important part of my life and I wanted to get better and get back out there as soon as I could.”
“Together, our team provides a unique network of experts that gives athletes and people who are physically active the resources they need to fully recover and return to normal,” Dr. Cohen notes.
In January 2017, Krupey had surgery at MedStar Franklin Square to repair his ACL. By luck of the draw, Stewart was assigned to his case and was in the operating room to assist Dr. Cohen during the procedure. The surgery was a success, and the weeks and months to follow were quite busy for Krupey, who was eager to get back to playing football as safely and quickly as possible.
He saw a physical therapist twice a week, gradually rehabilitating. And during his six months of therapy, he accomplished more than he expected. He increased his endurance, built a lot of muscle and lost 20 pounds in the process. He was cleared to return to the football field after a final appointment with Dr. Cohen in July and wasted no time doing exactly that.
“We had practice that night and I was not missing it,” says Krupey, a local mortgage banker. “I had gotten in such good shape that I knew I would be an even better player than I was before I got hurt—and I am.”
“Our goal is to be seen by athletes, coaches, parents and others with orthopaedic injuries as the premier place to receive both surgical and nonsurgical sports medicine care,” Dr. Cohen says.
In December, it will be even more convenient for patients in the area to access the care they need with the opening of a brand new, state-of-the-art Sports Medicine Center at MedStar Franklin Square. The new space will bring together experts who specialize in hand, foot and ankle, pediatrics, joint replacement and spine injuries, and who care for athletes of all levels; from amateurs and those who play recreationally, to high school and college players, and professionals.
Krupey is extremely grateful for the care that Dr. Cohen and the entire team at MedStar Franklin Square provided in helping him recover from his injury and ultimately get back in the game. “I told Dr. Cohen that I hope to never do business with him again,” says Krupey. “But if something ever does happen to me in the future, I know exactly where I’ll go.”
For a physician referral, please call 877-34-ORTHO.
Sports medicine specialists can provide valuable guidance to nonathletes who want to become active or begin an exercise program.
There are more than 100,000 ACL tears per year in the U.S. Most ACL injuries occur without contact, while landing or turning.
"MedStar Orthopaedic Institute works with most of the major professional sports teams and athletes in the region for a reason,” says Dr. Looze.
“Some of the best sports orthopaedists are here, and the approach is very comprehensive. The surgeons, trainers, therapists and office staff all work together to provide the care each patient needs to heal. Having that system for care in place is so important. That’s why I choose to practice medicine here."