Dr. Lee Kaplan is the Director of University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute, part of UHealth, University of Miami Health System. To make an appointment call (855)-465-2604. Click here for more on sports medicine at UHealth, on the University of Miami’s health news blog.
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Local businessman and philanthropist Don Bailey Jr. is just as physically active today as he was when he played football for the University of Miami Hurricanes in the 1980s. But recently, a knee injury threatened to slow him down.
Bailey was on his regular Saturday morning run when he felt his knee lock. “I knew right away something was wrong,” he says. A longtime member of the radio broadcast team for the ‘Canes, he turned to Hurricanes head team physician, Dr. Lee Kaplan for help. On Saturday evening, Dr. Kaplan, Director of University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute, examined Bailey’s knee. The next day, Bailey received an MRI at The Lennar Foundation Medical Center that confirmed the tear in his meniscus. On Monday, he was in surgery.
Quick turnaround is one of the many exceptional things about University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute, which brings together a multi-disciplinary team to treat sports injuries for patients from around the world.
Meniscus injuries like Bailey’s fall into two basic categories, says Kaplan. In the best scenario, the tissue can be stitched back together. Or, as in Don’s case, the surgery team will pull as much of the tissue as possible back into place and trim the excess.
“The key to getting people back to play after a meniscus injury is to reduce the swelling of the knee. We use several techniques to achieve this, including being as efficient as possible in the operating room,” says Dr. Kaplan.
Bailey recovered quickly, with little pain, and soon after he earned one of his best times ever in Miami’s annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 10K run. “Every day, I have a two and half hour workout,” says Bailey. “A knee injury is an obstacle to that, but I’m not going to let it stop me. To be able to get moving again the day after surgery, you can’t put a price on that.”READ MORE: Parkland parents furious following Texas elementary school shooting: ‘They failed our kids again’
The University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute team includes radiologists, sports medicine physicians, surgeons, and physical therapists all under one roof at The Lennar Foundation Medical Center in Coral Gables. From professional athletes to people who participate in recreational sports, the sports medicine team treats knee, shoulder, elbow, and concussion injuries whether they occur on or off the field.
“If we have the ability to take care of world-class athletes, then we’re even better prepared to care for the police officer, the firefighter, the teacher, and the high school athlete,” says Dr. Kaplan. “Don’s speedy recovery and active lifestyle is an example of what many of our patients can have.”
Bailey says his experience as a business owner has given him an appreciation for good customer service, or in this case, excellent patient care. “This was a five-star experience from the time I arrived to the time I completed my surgery,” he says. “I send everyone here because I know the service is going to be elite.”
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