Orthopedic and Spine Industry Leader to Know: Dr. David Altchek of the Hospital for Special Surgery

Laura Dyrda -   Print  |
David Altchek, attending orthopedic surgeon and co-chief in the sports medicine and shoulder service at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, has pioneered sports medicine while treating top professional athletes from around the country. He started his career early — when he was 10 years old — by following his orthopedic surgeon father during Saturday morning rounds, according to a story published in the Times Herald-Record.

When Dr. Altchek told his father he wanted to practice sports medicine, his father said the decision was "stupid" because back then, sports medicine was almost non-existent. However, due to physicians such as Dr. Altchek and their famous patients, sports medicine is one of the fastest-growing fields in orthopedics. Dr. Altchek is experienced in performing the Tommy John surgery for pitchers with damaged UCLs, a procedure he performed on Minnesota Twins pitcher Carl Pavano.

"I think he really made Carl feel comfortable, he has a great bedside manner," said Mr. Pavano's manager, Gregg Clifton. "The thing about him is that he's always available. That's not the case with some physicians. He takes time to explain everything to you and it doesn't sound like it came out of a medical textbook. He looked Carl in the eye and explained things to him in plain English."

In addition to his practice, Dr. Altchek conducts clinical research on topics including ACL reconstruction in adolescents and clinical outcomes of knee and shoulder arthroplasty. He has published several sports medicine articles and regularly appears in mainstream media stories about the athletes he treats.

Dr. Altchek is currently the medical director for the New York Mets and medical consultant for the NBA. He has served as the North American Medical Director for the Association for Tennis Professionals. He is the recipient of several awards, including the T. Campbell Thompson Award for Outstanding Achievement in Orthopedic Surgery, the John Jay Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement and the Charles S. Neer Award from the American Shoulder & Elbow Surgeons.

Dr. Altchek earned his medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City and completed his residency at the Hospital for Special Surgery. He also completed a fellowship in sports medicine and shoulder at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Read other coverage on orthopedic and spine industry leaders to know:

- Orthopedic and Spine Industry Leader to Know: Dr. Richard Steadman of The Steadman Clinic

- Orthopedic and Spine Industry Leader to Know: Dr. Lawrence D. Dorr of Dorr Arthritis Institute in California

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