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Under The Knife: Top surgeons blend research, track records


Sports Illustrated—July 9, 2012

These are the names no player wants to hear. These surgeons have become shorthand in baseball. The rise of the "super surgeon" in sports is understandable. Star players want star doctors. Teams want to protect their investments.

I put together the first rankings of the super surgeons in 2010 and since there's a powerful gravity to these surgeons, it's not surprising that other laws of physics, like inertia, hold as well. Eight of the 10 are the same.

These men -- indeed, they are all men -- are the leaders. Players may not want to hear their names, but when they do, there are no more powerful allies.


4. Dr. David Altchek
Team: New York Mets
Base: Hospital for Special Surgery (New York NY)
Med School: Cornell University
Specialty: Elbow
Notables: Joe Nathan (2010), Johan Santana (2008)
Does it surprise you that there's only one Ivy League guy on this list? David Altchek is perhaps best known for his adjustment to the original Jobe-created Tommy John technique, called docking. That technique has led many to consult with Altchek and his confident manner and location have led many to decide to use his services. A second generation physician, Altchek is also one of the lead consultants to the NBA for medical services in addition to his work with the Mets. His basketball work has led him to focus much of his recent research on ACL reconstructions. He's also the top doctor for many tennis professionals, working with both the local U.S. Open and the Davis Cup teams. Just how well-rounded is Altchek? I couldn't confirm this, but I'm pretty sure he's the only doctor to appear in a Ralph Lauren fashion ad. Yes, Lauren is one of his patients as well.

Read the full story at sportsillustrated.cnn.com.


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