Dr. Chris Brown would have been content staying on the West Coast fulfilling his quest in sports medicine, but he bent to his wife’s wish to live closer to her Upstate New York family. The decision proved to be a win-win for both Dr. Brown and Newark-Wayne Hospital.
Following his specializing in Orthopedic studies at Duke University, Brown was fortunate to get a Fellowship at Stanford that allowed him further training and insight into his love of sports medicine. That allowed the 34 year-old doctor to participate and learn with the team physicians of the NFL San Francisco 49ers. There, he absorbed the ins and outs of complex knee and shoulder injuries and how to not only rebuild, but rehabilitate the athlete with the goal of getting them back in the field of play.
When Dr. Brown joined the Newark-Wayne Office of the Finger Lakes Bone & Joint Center, he hooked up with Clark Brown (no relation) from Brownstone Physical Therapy. Soon, Dr. Brown found himself on the sidelines of area high school sports. The goal was to treat the patient and get them back to functionality, and work with young athletes with an eye on prevention. “There are certain risk factors that can be identified in some athletes more than others,” stressed Chris. The biomechanics of how an athlete runs, jumps, pivots, falls, throws a ball – all work into a plan of injury prevention.
Although football garners most of the press for injuries with concussions and ACLs (anterior cruciate ligament in the knee), Dr. Brown pointed to girl’s soccer as one of the main areas of injuries.
The ACL is one of four major ligaments in the knee. Often girls in non-contact sports such as soccer and basketball make a sudden turn and twist resulting in injury. Too often the field, or court, sees the presence of a required knee brace after ACL reconstruction surgery.
Operating on the complex knee and shoulder injuries has advanced to the point where Dr. Brown now does actual bone and cartilage replacement using donor (cadaver) supplied material.
Dr. Brown admits that it often takes more than a single surgery to get a young patient back on the field. Currently, a local teen is awaiting a graft to fill a needfor a weight bearing on his knee. Meanwhile, an initial surgery was necessary as a stop-gap measure. He stated the field has allowed him some interesting cases.
These type of surgeries are almost unheard of in smaller, rural hospitals. Dr. Brown said he is fortunate that Newark-Wayne Hospital has given him the latitude and resources to work with local athletes and press the burgeoning field of injury prevention.
Although relatively a newcomer in his field, Dr. Brown has been asked to give guest lectures and has three research papers being published in such noted medical magazines as The American Journal of Sports Medicine and The Journal of Knee Surgery.