Emphasis on Exercise as MedicineSponsored By The University of Miami Health System

Dr. Stephen Henry is a sports medicine specialist at UHealth Sports Medicine Institute who treats patients at The Lennar Foundation Medical Center. To make an appointment, call 305-689-5555, option 2. For more information on sports medicine at University of Miami Health System, Click Here to visit the University of Miami’s health news blog 


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Anthony Pellerano is proud to be one of the best players on one of the best high school basketball teams in Miami-Dade County, but repetitive injuries including a fractured ankle, threatened to keep him off the court. Anthony wasn’t aware that a single-sport focus and lack of full-body conditioning can play a role in sports injuries.

With help from Dr. Stephen Henry, a sports medicine specialist at UHealth Sports Medicine Institute, Anthony strengthened his ankle, as well as the weaker core and hip muscles that were partly responsible for his injuries. “It’s a different approach. We’re not looking at people as just their injury. We’re looking at the whole person,” says Dr. Henry.

“If you don’t have strong muscles, it puts a lot of pressure on your bones,” says Anthony, who worked with physical therapists at The Lennar Foundation Medical Center as part of an individualized treatment program. “I realized how important it is to keep yourself in shape. It was fun. It was tiring. I got in a lot of workouts that I could take home.”

UHealth Sports Medicine Institute’s holistic approach brings together a diverse team that includes physicians, surgeons, nutritionists, physical therapists, and exercise specialists who work in tandem to create a personalized plan of action for each patient. This individualized care includes an assessment of lifestyle factors and a strategy for injury prevention in addition to rehabilitation.

“You want someone who understands the dynamics of the musculoskeletal system and how that impacts you,” says Dr. Henry, who also treated Anthony’s brother Christian for sports-related injuries. “Our goal is to get you moving and to get you back to the sport of your choice,  or doing whatever activities you enjoy.”

Dr. Henry says younger players are increasingly focusing on one sport for all seasons, but this approach has limitations. Players are not as well-rounded. Certain muscle groups are overworked while others are neglected.

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After spending some time in an ankle boot and completing his physical therapy program in The Lennar Foundation Medical Center’s state-of-the-art facility, Anthony is back on the court scoring more than 20 points per game. “He’s much stronger. His core stability is better, his balance is better. We try to emphasize these things so he has that explosiveness on the court,” says Dr. Henry.

For Christian, orthopedic footwear and nutrition education rounded out his treatment plan. Dr. Henry says weight gain is common in young, growing athletes. “We want to be sure that it’s not placing undue strain on the bones and improving nutrition and core strength helps better distribute weight evenly in the body.”

Exercise is medicine that can combat chronic conditions like hypertension, depression, obesity and back pain, says Dr. Henry. “At UHealth Sports Medicine Institute, we are known for our surgical outcomes, but we are also known for our injury prevention and rehabilitation protocols. We look at your medical history, nutrition, and lifestyle, and integrate that into your exercise regimen.”

Anthony is ready for starting the school year with a new team. “I’m looking to have a lot of fun and a lot of success this year,” he says.


Focusing on You: Innovations in Modern Medicine is a series of healthcare-related stories airing regularly on CBS4. For more stories like this one, visit YouTube channels for UHealth, the University of Miami Health System.

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