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16-year-old Anthony Cavallaro tore his left ACL during a district soccer game in February 2012. He underwent reconstruction surgery performed by Dr. Murray and now is back on the field running, kicking and winning.

TEAMWORK: Sports medicine collaboration advances patient care, research, education

April 2013

by Catherine Duncan

Some of San Antonio’s best orthopaedic physicians - who specialize in sports medicine surgery, patient care, rehabilitation and research - are joining forces under the new UT Medicine Sports Medicine Institute.

This collaboration brings together faculty from UT Medicine San Antonio, which is the clinical practice of the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, with physicians from Sports Medicine Associates of San Antonio.

Sports Medicine Associates is famous in town for serving as the official doctors to the San Antonio Spurs, San Antonio Rampage, San Antonio Silver Stars, San Antonio Missions baseball club, and area collegiate athletic teams.

Robert Quinn, M.D., chair of the Department of Orthopaedics, said the new collaboration is bringing together the best and the brightest to care for athletes from the Spurs to college football players to student athletes of all ages.

"The institute helps us share our strengths and knowledge. By doing so, we can provide doctors in training from the Health Science Center the opportunity to learn from a vast array of sports medicine specialists. Our residents and medical students will attain invaluable knowledge in sports medicine as they help care for professional and non-professional athletes," he said.


Victory after surgery

(photo left) Matthew Murray, M.D. adjusts 16-year-old Anthony Cavallaro’s knee brace. The 5-foot-11 Claudia Taylor Johnson High School sophomore tore his left ACL while defending his home turf during a district soccer game in February 2012. A month later, he underwent reconstruction surgery performed by Dr. Murray, who completed his medical degree and orthopaedic surgery residency training at the UT Health Science Center. After pre- and post-surgery physical therapy sessions, Cavallaro is back on the field running, kicking and winning in more ways than one. His mom, Jane, says her son is feeling better than ever. "He says he feels stronger and that he can run faster. We call him the bionic man when he runs with his brace on," she joked. This spring, Dr. Murray gave Cavallaro the green light to participate in soccer without the use of his knee brace.


  Dr. Matthew Murray adjusts Anthony Cavallaro’s knee brace.
Matthew Murray, M.D., (pictured left) adjusts 16-year-old Anthony Cavallaro’s knee brace.
Matthew Murray, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon and an assistant clinical professor of orthopaedic sports medicine surgery, said doctors at Sports Medicine Associates are the most well-known orthopaedists in town.

"They have established their practice as the go-to place for sports injuries in this area. We will have them as consultants and teachers for our students. Our sports medicine fellows and residents will be working with Dr. (David R.) Schmidt and his colleagues. Our students will receive a more comprehensive experience in sports medicine," Dr. Murray said.

He calls the new institute an "umbrella for people who need accessible and readily available care. Both entities already have state-of-the-art equipment, MRIs and physical therapy equipment."

Jesse DeLee, M.D., professor of orthopaedics, said this collaboration will make the university the lead location for the management of sports injuries. He said the partnership puts the research capabilities of the UT Health Science in a position to be utilized for sports medicine.

"I believe the ability to do sports medicine research is the most important aspect of the institute," Dr. DeLee said. "It will allow us to be recognized as the place to go for athletic injuries."

Dr. DeLee said a research project has already begun on the bone quality of patients with anterior cruciate ligament, which is commonly called ACL, injuries. Dr. Murray is overseeing this research and has six patients participating. "By doing this study, we all have access to the research findings. We will be able to better teach our residents and better care for our patients," he said.

David R. Schmidt, M.D., an orthopaedic knee surgeon with Sports Medicine Associates of San Antonio, hails the collaboration as a win-win for all involved.

"This will substantially improve the sports medicine experience for residents and fellows who are studying orthopaedics at the Health Science Center. They will learn from all the doctors involved. In the end, this collaboration will result in better trained sports medicine doctors throughout this area," said Dr. Schmidt, who received his medical degree and completed his residency in orthopaedic surgery at the Health Science Center.

Ralph Curtis, M.D., an orthopaedic shoulder surgeon with Sports Medicine Associates who also received his medical degree and completed his residency in orthopaedic surgery at the Health Science Center, said it is great to be able to give back to the university by working with the residents and fellows.

"This collaboration is Dr. Quinn’s brainstorm. He is right on the money. It is a wonderful way to better train the residents and fellows. The collaboration will allow them to gain experience in sports medicine on all levels," he said.

The UT Medicine Sports Medicine Institute will create first-class sports medicine training and patient care in the San Antonio area, Dr. Curtis added.

Patients treated as part of the new institute will be seen at the Sports Medicine Associates’ offices at 21 Spurs Lane in the South Texas Medical Center and at 5921 Broadway in Alamo Heights as well as UT Medicine’s orthopaedics clinic on the third floor of the Medical Arts & Research Center, 8300 Floyd Curl Drive.

To schedule an appointment at UT Medicine, call 210-450-9300. To schedule an appointment with Sports Medicine Associates, call 210-699-8326.

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