TBHC Appoints New Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery

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TBHC Appoints New Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery

June 16, 2005

here to schedule an appointment with Robert Meyerson, M.D., FAAOS    
The Brooklyn Hospital Center (TBHC) welcomes Dr. Robert Meyerson, M.D., FAAOS as its new Chief, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Surgery. With over 15 years of clinical and academic experience, Dr. Meyerson brings his orthopaedic expertise to TBHC by utilizing state-of-the-art techniques in arthroscopic and reconstructive joint surgery. "My goal is to build a team of Orthopaedic specialists so that TBHC may emerge as a center of orthopaedic excellence in Brooklyn and New York City ."

According to Dr. Meyerson, "Orthopaedic Surgery plays an integral role in the delivery of healthcare, and its addition to TBHC will provide comprehensive patient care for a variety of orthopaedic conditions - from traumatic injuries to acquired and degenerative disorders." Orthopaedic Surgery now includes the subspecialties of Joint Replacement and Reconstruction, Sports Medicine, Pediatric Orthopaedics, Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery, Foot and Ankle Surgery, Spine Surgery, and Orthopaedic Oncology. Common conditions that Orthopaedic Surgeons treat include fractures and dislocations, back problems such a herniated or "slipped" discs, bone tumors and birth defects of the skeleton, degenerative joint diseases and sports-related injuries. Dr. Meyerson explained that while many of these conditions may require surgery, "80% to 90% of an Orthopaedic Surgeon's practice is devoted to the non-surgical or medical management of injury or disease." Physical therapy remains an integral treatment modality for most orthopaedic problems.

The Orthopaedist also works closely with other health care professionals and often serves as a consultant to other physicians. Many diseases physiologically affect the musculoskeletal system, and therefore the Orthopaedist may play an important role in caring for medical and well as surgical patients. For example, patients with renal failure have difficulty maintaining normal serum levels of calcium and phosphate and may develop renal osteodystrophy, a condition that causes thin, fragile bones prone to fracturing. Many medical conditions may lead to joint swelling, and an Orthopaedic Surgeon may be called in to perform an arthrocentesis or aspirate fluid from the affected joint to aid in diagnosis and/or pain relief. Other previously undiagnosed conditions such as bone cancer or hematologic disorders may manifest themselves as bone pain or an occult fracture. In a more familiar role, the Orthopaedic Surgeon helps deliver emergency care and works as a team player in the management of complex multi-system trauma.

Who he is. 
Fellowship trained in sports medicine, Dr. Meyerson specializes in arthroscopic and reconstructive joint surgery. Rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL is a common sports-related injury of the knee. This injury occurs in athletes of all ages - from adolescent basketball players to senior tennis enthusiasts - and surgical treatment is no longer exclusive to the younger crowd. According to Dr. Meyerson, "My obligation is to keep older patients healthy, mobile and stable so that they are able to enjoy recreational activities for as long as possible." For surgical reconstruction of the ACL, Dr. Meyerson utilizes an advanced technique, which is not commonly performed in this part of the country. "When an athlete tears his or her ACL, the treatment of choice is to reconstruct their ligament with a tendon graft. Most ACL reconstructions performed in New York utilize a bone-tendon-bone autograft or BTB, which is harvested from the patient's own patella tendon through an incision made over the front of the knee. This provides a strong replacement for the ACL, but also results in a high incidence of anterior knee pain and quadriceps weakness." To reduce the incidence of anterior knee pain, Orthopaedic Surgeons have resorted to allografts or cadaver tendons, which will result in less anterior knee pain but carry with them a higher risk of disease transmission such as HIV. Dr. Meyerson prefers to reconstruct the ACL with a Double-Looped Semitendonosis-Gracilis Autograft (DLSTG), also know as a hamstring autograft. According to Dr. Meyerson, "The DLSTG is almost twice as strong as a BTB, can be harvested through a smaller one inch incision and results in less immediate post-operative pain." By utilizing advanced fixation techniques, the DLSTG now has the most rigid fixation and biomechanical properties that more closely mimic those of the native ACL. The initial hamstring weakness that follows a DLSTG is less disabling than the quadriceps weakness seen after a BTB autograft, and patients can return to activities of daily living sooner. "Patients will frequently report to me how much faster they rehabilitated their knee than other patients they met at physical therapy who had a BTB at or about the same time as their surgery. Even their physical therapists are impressed."

In addition to his clinical practice in Orthopaedic Surgery, Dr. Meyerson currently serves as the Associate Chief of Sports Medicine at St. Vincent 's Hospital - Manhattan Division, and has spent the last 14 years training residents as Coordinator of the Orthopaedic Residency Program and Director of the Anatomy Lab at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center. He has also held teaching positions at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Albert Einstein School of Medicine. Furthermore, Dr. Meyerson has presented nationally at the annual meetings for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, and has served as President of the Brooklyn Orthopaedic Society.

Where he came from. 
Dr. Meyerson was born in Brooklyn and has resided in New York all his life. After graduating from Columbia College , he earned his medical degree at the State University of New York at Downstate and trained in Orthopaedic Surgery at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center. He then completed a fellowship in Sports Medicine at the Hospital for Joint Diseases-Orthopaedic Institute.   When asked what brought him to The Brooklyn Hospital Center, Dr. Meyerson explained that during his years at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, he developed strong working relationships with both Dr. Buddhadev Manvar and Dr. Babu Jasty, members of TBHC's Professional Staff. When TBHC decided to develop an Orthopaedic Surgery service, both Dr. Manvar and Dr. Jasty recommended Dr. Meyerson to TBHC's President and C.E.O., Mr. Samuel Lehrfeld. Dr. Meyerson added, "I've always considered Brooklyn to be the center of the universe. The downtown Brooklyn area attracted me because of the tremendous change and development.the sports complex being built next door; Long Island University 's expansion - and orthopaedically, the area is grossly underserved. I consider this to be a great professional opportunity to develop a top-notch orthopaedic program for the hospital that provides comprehensive orthopaedic care for the Brooklyn community." Among the many anticipated improvements, the Orthopedic Surgery office will have a state-of-the-art digital x-ray suite.

Added Dr. Meyerson, "The leadership of the hospital is very doctor-oriented - they have a strong grasp of what it takes to create an environment for physicians where they can provide excellent care for their patients. I am excited to be joining a hospital organization whose administration has such great vision."

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