13 Spine Surgeons for Professional Athletes

Written by Laura Dyrda | March 29, 2011 | Print  |
Here are 10 spine surgeon team physicians or consultants to professional athletes.

Andrew Cappuccino, MD (Buffalo Spine Surgery, Lockport, N.Y.).
Dr. Cappuccino is an assistant team orthopedic surgeon with the Buffalo Bills. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and a member of the North American Spine Society. During his career, Dr. Cappuccino has authored several textbook chapters and papers on topics such as cervical disc replacement and cervical spine surgery. During his career, he has also lectured across the country on several spine topics, including minimally invasive spine surgery. Dr. Cappuccino earned his medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine in New York City and completed a fellowship in spine surgery and scoliosis at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Donald S. Corenman, MD (The Steadman Clinic, Vail, Colo.).
Dr. Corenman is a team physician for the U.S. Ski Team. He is a member of the North American Spine Society and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. In addition to his clinical practice, he has conducted research in spine surgery and rehabilitation as well as lectured internationally throughout his career. He has previously served as a clinical assistant professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. Dr. Corenman earned his medical degree at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the Detroit Medical Center. His additional training includes a fellowship in spinal disorders and deformity at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver.

Andrew Dossett, MD (The Carrell Clinic, Dallas). Dr. Dossett is a spine consultant to the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars professional hockey team. He also serves as a consultant to several Division I athletic programs. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and a member of the North American Spine Society as well as the National Football League and Major League Baseball Team Physicians Societies. Throughout his career, Dr. Dossett has authored several articles on spinal fusions and neck injuries in athletes. Dr. Dossett earned his medical degree at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, where he also completed his residency in orthopedic surgery. His additional training includes a fellowship in spine surgery at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles.

Roger Hartl, MD (Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City).
Dr. Hartl is a surgeon for the New York Giants and the chief of spine surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. He has a professional interest in complex cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine procedures as well as minimally invasive surgery. In addition to his practice, Dr. Hartl is also involved in clinical research and Cornell's Global Health initiative to provide care in third world countries. Dr. Hartl earned his medical degree from the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, and completed a fellowship in neurosurgery at the Charite Hospital of the Humbold University in Berlin. He also completed a research fellowship at Cornell.

Andrew Hecht, MD (Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York City). Dr. Hecht is the co-director of spine surgery at Mount Sinai department of orthopedics in New York City. He is also the spine consultant for the New York Jets, New York Islander professional hockey team and the New York Dragons arena football team. Dr. Hecht also serves as the director of the NFL Spine Center Program for retired football players at Mount Sinai. His clinical interests include the evolution and surgical management of degenerative disorders of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine as well as minimally invasive surgery. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Hecht serves on the editorial review board of a spine journal and is a member of the North American Spine Society. He earned his medical degree at Harvard Medical School in Boston, where he also completed his residency in orthopedic surgery. His additional training includes a fellowship in spine surgery at Emory Spine Center in Atlanta.

Plas T. James, MD (Atlanta Spine Institute).
Dr. James is a back and spine consultant for the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Thrashers professional hockey team. He has also served as a team physician for the US Amateur Boxing Association. Throughout his career, Dr. James has published several articles and given lectures on topics such as spinal manipulation, lumbar spine trauma and chronic vertebral osteomyelitis requiring surgical intervention. He earned his medical degree at Harvard Medical School in Boston and completed his residency at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. His additional training in spine surgery was completed at Harvard Medical School Beth Israel Hospital.

Srdjan Mirkovic, MD (Northwestern Orthopaedic Institute, Chicago).
Dr. Mirkovic is a spine consultant for the Chicago Bears and Chicago Fire professional soccer team. Throughout his career, Dr. Mirkovic has served on committees with the North American Spine Society and the Spine Arthroplasty Society. He has published articles in several issues of Spine, Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques and Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. He has a professional interest in spine arthroplasty and operative management of the degenerative spine. Dr. Mirkovic earned his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. His additional training includes a fellowship in spine surgery at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center.

James R. Rappaport, MD (Sierra Regional Spine Institute, Sierra, Nev.).
Dr. Rappaport is a team physician for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. He has also served as spine surgery representative in the U.S. Department of Defense's Spine Center of Excellence project and a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. During his career, Dr. Rappaport was principal investigator for Kineflex Lumbar and Cervical Disc Replacement and a clinical professor at both the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of Nevada in Reno. Dr. Rappaport earned his medical degree at the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco, where he also completed his residency in orthopedic surgery. His additional training includes spine surgery fellowships at the Texas Institute for Spinal Disorders in Houston and the London Clinic in England.

Frank Phillips, MD (Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, Chicago).
Dr. Phillips is the director for minimally invasive spine surgery at Rush University Medical Center. He is a spine surgeon for the Chicago White Sox.In addition to his clinical practice, he has a research focus on biomechanics of spinal reconstruction and biologic strategies to promote spinal fusion and intervertebral disc regeneration. He is vice president of the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and on various committees of the North American Spine Society and Spine Arthroplasty Society. Dr. Phillips has also served as a principle investigator for US FDA clinical trails evaluating cervical and lumbar disc procedures. He earned his medical degree at the University of Witwatersrand Medical School in South Africa and completed his residency at the University of Chicago Hospitals. His additional training includes a fellowship in orthopedic surgery at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland. 

Thomas Schuler, MD (Virginia Spine Institute, Reston). Dr. Schuler is the founder of the Virginia Spine Institute and a spinal consultant for the Washington Redskins. He also serves as program director for the Virginia Spine Institute Physician Assistant Fellowship Program and is a fellow of the American College of Spine Surgery and the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Schuler has a professional interest in operative and non-operative interventions for cervical and lumbar spinal disorders. During his career, he has served as president and scientific advisor for the Spinal Research Foundation and a founding member of the Lumbar Spine Study Group. He is also a member of the North American Spine Society. Dr. Schuler earned his medical degree at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. His additional training includes a fellowship in spine surgery at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles.

Gary Shapiro, MD (Illinois Bone & Joint Institute, Glenview). Dr. Shapiro is a team physician for the Chicago Bears. Throughout his career, Dr. Shapiro has authored several journal articles on topics such as adult scoliosis and revision pediatric deformity. He has also been appointed to the Foundation for Orthopaedics and Complex Spine. Dr. Shapiro earned his medical degree at Health Science Center at Syracuse (N.Y.), and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. His additional training includes fellowships at HSS and at Children's Hospital San Diego in deformity surgery.

Thomas Tolli, MD (Thomas Tolli MD Spine Surgery, St. Petersburg, Fla.).
Dr. Tolli is a spine consultant for several professional baseball teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies. He also serves as a spine surgeon for Major League Baseball Umpires and professional boxing. During his career, Dr. Tolli has participated in authoring articles about topics such as spine injuries in wrestling, penetrating injuries of the cervical spine and spinal infections. He has given lectures across the country on sports-related spine injuries with an emphasis on spine injuries in baseball. Dr. Tolli earned his medical degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hosptial Center in New York City. His additional training includes a spine fellowship at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles.

Robert Watkins, MD (Marina Spine Center, Los Angeles).
Dr. Watkins is a spine consultant for the Los Angeles Dodgers and co-director of the Marina Spine Clinic in Los Angeles. He is a founding member of the North American Spine Society. During his career, he has authored several papers and books on spine surgery and traveled internationally to lecture on the topic. He has also published The Spine in Sports, a compilation of chapters on managing spine injuries in every day sports. Throughout his career, Dr. Watkins has participated in several FDA approved investigational studies, including the ProDisc artificial disc replacement study. Dr. Watkins earned his medical degree at the Medical School University of Tennessee Medical College and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Fellowship Baptist Memorial Hospital/Campbell Clinic in Germantown, Tenn. He also received spine surgery training at Klinik fur Orthopadische Chirurgie in Switzerland.




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