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Chair: Joel M. Press, MD

Visit the Department Page for the full faculty listing.

The physiatrists at HSS perform non-operative treatment procedures on patients who have spinal and sports-related injuries as well as other musculoskeletal problems. These procedures are combined with medically supervised exercise therapies to restore mobility and function in patients who might otherwise require surgery. Several members of the Department of Physiatry also perform electrodiagnostic studies such as nerve conduction and electromyography to help determine whether patients may have nerve or muscular disorders such as lumbar or cervical radiculopathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other debilitating conditions.

Recent Achievements

The Department of Physiatry recently expanded with several staff additions. Pediatric physiatrist Dara Jones, MD, will work collaboratively with the Weill Cornell Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and the HSS Pediatric Orthopaedic Department to provide musculoskeletal care for our pediatric patients. And physiatrist Dan Blatz, MD, joins the staff at HSS Stamford and HSS Westchester. Drew Creighton, MD, a current member of the department, will serve as an anchor physician at the newly opened HSS Hudson Yards, providing all levels of musculoskeletal care for various injuries and conditions.

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A meta-analysis of 10 studies published from 2000-2018 showed that women are at higher risk for concussion due to ball or equipment contact in soccer and lacrosse.

The department has seen a threefold increase in accepted peer-reviewed publications from 2015 to 2020. Our sports health manuscript, "Sex-Based Differences in the Incidence of Sports-Related Concussion: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis,” won the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine/American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) T. David Sisk Award for the Best Review Paper in 2020.

Authors include Jennifer Cheng, PhD, Emerald Lin, MD, Ellen Casey, MD, and Daphne Ling, PhD. The study found that concussion incidence rates were significantly higher in females than in males for soccer and basketball.

Ellen Casey, MD, was the recipient of the 2020 AMSSM-ACSM Clinical Research Grant Award for her project “Differential Effects of Oral Contraceptives on the Structure and Function of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament.”

Notable Studies

Prevalence of Lumbosacral Transitional Vertebrae in Patients with Symptomatic Femoroacetabular Impingement Requiring Hip Arthroscopy. Luo R, Barsoum D, Ashraf H, Cheng J, Hurwitz NR, Goldsmtih CY, Moley PJ. Arthroscopy. 2020 Sep 10;S0749-9063(20)30729-5.

Cellular and Clinical Analyses of Autologous Bone Marrow Aspirate Injectate for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Pilot Study. Wells K, Klein M, Hurwitz N, Santiago K, Cheng J, Abutalib Z, Beatty N, Lutz G. PM&R. 2020 Jun 5.

Women Are at Higher Risk for Concussions Due to Ball or Equipment Contact in Soccer and Lacrosse. Ling D, Cheng J, Santiago K, Ammerman B, Jivanelli B, Hannafin J, Casey E. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2020 Jul;478(7):1469-1479.

Looking Ahead

The Department of Physiatry will play an integral role in the opening of the HSS Midtown location, which will be a comprehensive musculoskeletal center. We are also seeking to further develop the Athlete Spine and Sports Program initiated by James Wyss, MD, PT, and Chevy Iyer, MD, of the HSS Spine Service. In addition, we are increasing online scheduling and telehealth visits to improve access to HSS physiatrists for all levels of musculoskeletal care.

The department is also working with Dr. Ling to develop the Women’s Soccer Health Study, an investigation of the long-term health and well-being of retired college and professional soccer players, similar in design to the NFL Players Health Study housed at Harvard.

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