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Sports Medicine Institute
Adult Orthopaedics

Sports Medicine Institute



Bryan T. Kelly, MD, MBA

Chief, Sports Medicine:

Andrew D. Pearle, MD

Chief, Primary Sports Medicine:

John P. DiFiori, MD, FACSM

Visit the Service Page for the full faculty listing.

2021 Surgical Volume: 9,165
2021 Published Studies: 246*
*Some studies may overlap with other services

As team physicians for more than 30 professional and collegiate sports teams, HSS staff have been an integral part of the ongoing efforts to understand the impact of COVID-19 on adult and youth athletes worldwide. We have published several studies evaluating lessons learned for youth sports, mitigation strategies and transmission risk for professional athletes, and guidance for pediatricians, athletes and parents.

Recent Achievements

Marci Goolsby, MD, has been named Medical Director and Beth Shubin Stein, MD, has been named Orthopaedic Director of the Women’s Sports Medicine Center at HSS.

The HSS ACL Study Group published findings of their study, “Patient Reported Outcome, Return to Sport and Revision Rates 7-9 years after Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction,” which showed improvements in the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) score of more than 30 points were maintained for all patient categories. The strongest predictor for lesser improvement in IKDC was a cartilage lesion > 2 cm2 identified during surgery.

Several investigators including Brett G. Toresdahl, MD, Kathryn McElheny, MD, Jordan Metzl, MD, and James Kinderknecht, MD, received the T. David Sisk Award for Research Excellence from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine in the category of Best Original Research 2021 for their paper, “A Randomized Study of a Strength Training Program to Prevent Injuries in Runners of the New York City Marathon.”

Benedict Nwachukwu, MD, MBA, Answorth A. Allen, MD, and Riley J. Williams III, MD, received the Douglas W. Brown Award for Best Review Paper from the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine for their paper, “How Much Do Psychological Factors Affect Lack of Return to Play After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction? A Systematic Review.”

Samuel Taylor, MD, was the 2020 Charles S. Neer Award Finalist from the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons for his paper “Biomechanical Analysis of Latissimus Dorsi, Pectoralis Major, and Pectoralis Minor Transfers in Subscapularis-Deficient Shoulders.”

Despite continued interruptions of youth sports programs throughout 2021, the HSS Youth Sports Safety Program delivered injury prevention education to nearly 100,000 children, parents, coaches and teachers throughout the United States and around the world. Through a combination of on-site, virtual and on-demand programming, stakeholders in 44 states and nearly a dozen countries received innovative training to help reduce the risk of sports-related injuries among children. Several developments throughout the year spurred the program’s wide reach and expanded scope, including the creation of several strategic partnerships and the initiation of a large-scale digital transformation.

New and expanded partnerships with several organizations, including the New York Junior Tennis League, US Youth Soccer, the American Volleyball Coaches Association and the Aspen Institute’s Project Play provided new opportunities to engage with communities nationwide this year. Building on the expanded scope that these partnerships provided, the Move Better Initiative was launched to help school sports programs and community sports organizations promote the health and safety of their young athletes. Combining a public awareness campaign with risk-factor screenings, injury prevention workshops, a comprehensive physical education curriculum and access to HSS Sports Medicine practitioners, the novel project contributed to recognition as a National Youth Sports Strategy Champion by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Additionally, Dr. Pearle contributed to the development of the program’s digital offerings by spearheading the creation of an innovative injury prevention mobile app.

Notable studies

Subramanyam V, Kinderknecht J. Lessons Learned from COVID-19: The Youth Sports World Going Forward. Pediatr Ann. 2021 Nov;50(11):e470-e473. doi: 10.3928/19382359-20211018-03. Epub 2021 Nov 1. PMID: 34757878.

Metzl JD. Youth Sports During COVID-19: Concerns for Pediatricians, Athletes, and Parents. Pediatr Ann. 2021 Nov;50(11):e449. doi: 10.3928/19382359-20211018-04. Epub 2021 Nov 1. PMID: 34757875.

McElheny KD, Little D, Taylor D, Manzi JE. Communicable Illness Mitigation Strategies for Traveling Elite Sporting Organizations. Sports Health. 2021 Jul 22:19417381211032226. doi: 10.1177/19417381211032226. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34292110.

Toresdahl BG, Young WK, Quijano B, Scott DA. A Systematic Review of Telehealth and Sport-Related Concussion: Baseline Testing, Diagnosis, and Management. HSS J. 2021 Feb;17(1):18-24. doi: 10.1177/1556331620975856. Epub 2021 Feb 21. PMID: 33967637; PMCID: PMC8077975.

Mack CD, DiFiori J, Tai CG, Shiue KY, Grad YH, Anderson DJ, Ho DD, Sims L, LeMay C, Mancell J, Maragakis LL. SARS-CoV-2 Transmission Risk Among National Basketball Association Players, Staff, and Vendors Exposed to Individuals with Positive Test Results After COVID-19 Recovery During the 2020 Regular and Postseason. JAMA Intern Med. 2021 Jul 1;181(7):960-966. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.2114. PMID: 33885715; PMCID: PMC8063131.

Toresdahl B, McElheny K, Metzl J, Kinderknecht J Quijano B, Ammerman B, Fontana MA. Factors associated with injuries in first-time marathon runners from the New York City marathon. Phys Sportsmed. 2021 Mar 31:1-6. doi: 10.1080/00913847.2021.1907257. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33750264.

McElheny K, Sgroi T, Carr JB 2nd. Efficacy of Arm Care Programs for Injury Prevention. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2021 Apr;14(2):160-167. doi: 10.1007/s12178-021-09694-8. Epub 2021 Jan 22. PMID: 33481174; PMCID: PMC7990975.

Meisel PL, DiFiori JP, Côté J, Nguyen JT, Brenner JS, Malina RM, Ryan E 3rd, Güllich A. Age of Early Specialization, Competitive Volume, Injury, and Sleep Habits in Youth Sport: A Preliminary Study of US Youth Basketball. Sports Health. 2021 Nov 9:19417381211056301. doi: 10.1177/19417381211056301. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34753335.

Subramanyam V, Day MA, Kinderknecht JJ. The Role of Telehealth in Sideline Management of Sports-Related Injuries. HSS J. 2021 Feb;17(1):46-50. doi: 10.1177/1556331620979653. Epub 2021 Feb 21. PMID: 33967641; PMCID: PMC8077984.

Looking Ahead

Among numerous other projects, the Sports Medicine Institute is undertaking research comparing patient outcomes for postoperative telemedicine and in-person follow-up visits (Joshua Dines, MD); studying the effect of pretreatment for propionibacterium acnes on surgical site burden in shoulder arthroplasty (Lawrence Gulotta, MD); studying implant longevity and comparing fixation and navigation techniques in unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (Dr. Pearle); and studying anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory impact of epigallocatechin gallate in anterior cruciate ligament rupture and rotator cuff repair (Scott Rodeo, MD).

Research is also underway on anteriorizing tibial tubercle osteotomy for patellofemoral chondral defects (Dr. Williams); surgical time, traction time and intraoperative procedures in relation to achievement of postoperative threshold scores on PROMs after hip arthroscopy as well as surgeon experience in hip arthroscopy in relation to achievement of postoperative threshold scores on PROMs (Anil Ranawat, MD); psychometric analysis for the performance of PROMIS Global Health 10 in patients undergoing knee cartilage procedures (Benedict Nwachukwu, MD, MBA); return to sport and outcomes after hip arthroscopic surgery in recreational athletes, maximal outcome improvement after hip arthroscopy for femoroacetabular impingement, and donor site morbidity following ACL reconstruction using quadriceps tendon autograft at two-year follow-up (Danyal Nawabi, MD); patterns of osteoarthritis after shoulder instability (Theodore Blaine, MD); which activities patients can perform two years after reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (Michael Fu, MD); and a concordance study of preoperative aspiration cultures and intraoperative surgical cultures for periprosthetic shoulder joint infection, preoperative predictors of humeral stem revision in anatomic to reverse total shoulder arthroplasty revision, and the impact of revision infection on mental health in revision shoulder arthroplasty patients (Dr. Gulotta).

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