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Orthopedic Surgery and Trauma Service

Sports and Soft Tissue Trauma

Orthopaedic and sports medicine specialists at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center treat a wide range of sport-related and soft tissue trauma to the knees, shoulders, arms, and legs. When a patient needs surgery, our team completes the procedure using a minimally invasive approach whenever possible. Using an arthroscope (camera) to see inside the body, the surgeon can operate through small incisions, resulting in less discomfort after surgery and speeding the patient's recovery and return to regular activities. Arthroscopic surgery is often done on an outpatient basis, enabling the patient to return home the same day.

Our Physicians for Sports and Soft Tissue Trauma

Injuries We Treat

While our orthopaedic surgeons are skilled at treating the full range of sports and soft tissue injuries, they most often take care of patients with:

  • Rupture of the Achilles tendon (at the base of the calf)
  • Rupture of the quadriceps tendon (in the thigh)
  • Rupture of the patella tendon (around the kneecap)
  • Shoulder injuries: Rotator cuff tears and labral tears; instability/chronic dislocation and fracture/dislocation; shoulder replacement
  • Knee injuries: Ligament reconstruction (medial collateral ligament and posterolateral corner, in addition to anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments); meniscal tears, dislocation, and chondral defects; knee replacement

These and other sports and soft tissue traumatic injuries are typically diagnosed using MRI, CT and x-rays, along with a clinical exam by the physician.

Our Approach to Treatment

Achilles Tendon Rupture

The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Treatment for an Achilles tendon that has completely ruptured may include surgery requiring a small incision to reattach the tendon followed by splinting, or splinting alone.

Quadriceps and Patella Tendon Rupture

The quadriceps tendon and patellar tendon (or patellar ligament) are parts of the knee which allow us to straighten the knee or perform a kicking motion. Usually patients who experience this injury fall onto a partially bent knee. When the quadriceps muscle contracts to break the fall, the quadriceps tendon or patellar tendon cannot withstand the force and ruptures. Quadriceps tendon and patella tendon ruptures require an open surgery in which suture anchors are placed in the kneecap to reattach the injured tendon to its proper location.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the major ligaments in the knee that provide stability. A torn ACL does not heal on its own, and often leads to a feeling of instability in the knee. ACL reconstruction is an arthroscopically assisted procedure where a graft (segment of tissue) is obtained either from the patient's patellar tendon or hamstring tendons (autograft) or from the Achilles tendon or tibialis anterior tendon (allograft) and is used to replace the torn ACL. In particular cases, if someone is an ideal surgical candidate for an ACL repair, our surgeons can reattach the patient's own ACL to its proper location.

Torn Meniscus

Repair of a torn meniscus, a wedge-like rubbery cushion located where the major bones of the leg connect around the knee, may be performed arthroscopically to trim off damaged pieces of cartilage. The medial meniscus is found on the inside of the knee, while the lateral meniscus is located on the outside of the knee. The meniscus is also repaired whenever possible.

Rotator Cuff Tear

Rotator cuff tears are treated according to their size and location and how long the patient has had the tear. A partial tear may not require a repair, but a simple debridement (trimming) of torn tissue. With a complete tear, the surgeon must reattach the torn tendon back to the humerus (upper arm bone). This is typically done with suture anchors, where an anchor is placed in the bone and the suture attached to the anchor is then looped around the torn edge of the tendon. The tendon is then positioned back to the bone and tied in place.

Both debridements and repairs are typically done arthroscopically. However, for very large rotator cuff tears, an open incision may be required to give the surgeon a better view of the shoulder joint.

Contact

Orthopedic Surgery, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell
Directions
(212) 746-4500
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