Miami Sports Medicine (MSM), located in the Baptist Medical Arts Building at 8940 N. Kendall Dr., Suite 101-E, is the premier sports-related injury treatment facilities in South Florida.
Renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Joe Fernandez and his 15 employees regularly work with athletes of all types, including some from the NBA, NFL and MLB, treating issues such as torn rotator cuffs, knee and ankle injuries, Achilles tendon repair, shoulder dislocation, and ACL tears.
A legitimately all-in-one facility, MSM provides x-rays, laser therapy, pain treatment, manual therapy, postural reeducation, and stretching and flexibility programs. The staff of physical therapists boasts more than 20 years of combined orthopedic related treatment experience.
A former athlete, Dr. Fernandez, who was born and raised in Miami, channeled his affinity for athletics into a successful private practice.
“I’ve always been involved in sports, I played basketball at Columbus High School, and it’s always been my passion,” he said. “I think most sports medicine doctors are frustrated athletes that wanted to move forward and I always felt that I could combine work with my passion, so it makes it just a pleasure to go to work every day.”
MSM remains at the forefront of sports injury treatment. Great leaps in surgery for ACL tears have made it so that only four or five barely visible holes need to be made to successfully use cadaver replacement techniques. Similarly, treatments such as platelet-rich plasma therapy, where injured areas are injected with a patient’s own plasma, and Theralase, which applies infrared and visible light on the body, have been used to positive effect and may be more widely employed in the future.
“With platelet-rich plasma therapy we can, through use of ultrasound guidance, find out the exact area of an injury and treat it to where the healing rates are one-fifth of the regular time,” Dr. Fernandez said. “What Theralase does is it penetrates the skin and basically stimulates a metabolic healing response, accelerating the healing potential of whatever is damaged in a noninvasive way.”
In 2010, Dr. Fernandez and MSM unveiled the sports performance training program Athletes United, which provides athletes of all types with a state-of-the-art training facility, located at 9135 SW 87 Ave. The gym has 15 employees led by head physical therapist Dave Calvo and athletic trainers Trevor Bowman and Tom Mendez
“Once athletes finish therapy, they’re not ready to directly transition back to sports,” Dr. Fernandez said. “The athletic training center is a way to bridge that gap for people who are recovering from injuries and it also serves as a means through which a lot of the younger kids who are just starting out can learn how to train correctly.”
The athletic trainers at Athletes United work in very close contact with the physical therapists at MSM to ensure proper treatment and to lessen the chance of delayed recovery or re-injury. Examples of equipment at the facility specifically designed for this are a counterbalance machine which strengthens the gluteus and hamstring muscles, effectively preventing knee injuries by making the muscles more symmetrically developed, and a high-speed treadmill that goes up to 25 miles an hour and up to a 20 degree incline that develops core strength.
“When your core is strong, there is a lot less injuries in the extremities and athletes just perform better,” he said. One of the most highly regarded orthopedic surgeons in the country, Dr. Fernandez currently acts as chief of Orthopedic Surgery at Baptist Hospital and has served as Master Instructor for the Arthroscopy Association of North America. He has been included in many best-of lists, including “Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors,” “America’s Top Physicians,” “Miami’s Best Doctors” and “The Best Orthopedic Surgeons in America.”
He currently serves as team physician for his alma mater, Columbus High School. A husband and father of four, he spends his free time exercising and attending his children’s sports activities.