Senior Vice President of Medical Services for the New York Giants, Ronnie Barnes, guest blogs for HSS about the role of the medical team caring for players in the Super Bowl.
Dr. Russell Warren has been the team physician for the New York Football Giants since 1981. Since Dr. Warren’s appointment with the team, the New York Football Giants have played in 5 Super Bowl Games and have won 4 of those games. It would be impossible to make it to the championship game without Dr. Warren and his team at Hospital for Special Surgery. The Giants championships are due, in part, to the HSS physicians and the many hours they spend at the Giants training facility during the week and at the stadium for games. Their families are invited to attend the Super Bowl games and any celebrations following the game.
- Super Bowl XXI January 25, 1987, Giants/Broncos Pasadena, California
Giants Won 39-20
- Super Bowl XXV January 21, 1991, Giants/Bills, Tampa, Florida
Giants Won 20-19
- Super Bowl XXV January 28, 2001, Giants/Ravens, Tampa, Florida
Giants Lost 34-7
- Super Bowl XLII February 3, 2008, Giants/Patriots, Phoenix, Arizona
Giants Won 17-14
- Super Bowl XLVI February 5, 2012, Giants/Patriots, Indianapolis, Indiana
Giants Won 21-17
Importance of a Team Physician
The sports medicine team comprised of HSS physicians is ultimately responsible for the medical care and overall wellness of every player on the team. The Giants utilize nearly every service available at the hospital throughout the year to make it to a championship game. Radiology, Laboratory, MRI, Sports Service, Spine Service, Pain Management and a host of other services and support staff work with the team year round to address injuries and illnesses.
HSS Physicians Dr. Russell Warren, Dr. Scott Rodeo, Dr. Bryan Kelly, Dr. Robert Hotchkiss, Dr. Frank Cammisa and Dr. James Kinderknecht, two orthopedic fellows and a primary care fellow are designated to work with the team are all involved in Super Bowl week and game. Team Physicians attend all home games and travel with the team to all away games to look after the needs of the players and their families throughout the week.
What do the team physicians do on game day?
They arrive at the stadium three hours before the game. During the game, physicians attend to injured players, order x-rays and are prepared for the simplex and complex injuries. The physicians come onto the field when a player is injured to assist in his medical evaluation. They examine and advise injured players who may be participating in the game. The team physicians have the final say in determining of the extent of a player’s injuries, and whether it is safe for the player to remain in a game. A physician can rule the player out of the game if he believes that an injury makes it unsafe for the player to continue in a game.
During the game the physicians and athletic trainers are on high alert for injuries. There are situations where all of the physicians on the sidelines are looking at various body parts of players and fortunately most of the time there are no emergent injuries so they can watch the game and enjoy it. Throughout the game, all of the physicians communicate through a sideline radio system that involves them wearing a headset and microphone.
One of the great treats to being a team physician is watching the game up close and personal. After the game, team physicians re-evaluate all of the injured players and determine the care that will be needed for their recovery.
The New York Giants team physicians consist of some of the most knowledgeable medical practitioners in the National Football League. The entire medical staff has experience ranging from ACL injuries of the knee and labral tears of the shoulder to concussions, spine disorders, and sports related medical disorders. Through maintaining close relationships with players and staff athletic trainers, the Giants team physicians ensure quick recoveries from on-field injuries and provide the guidance needed to help prevent future injuries.
Dr. Russell Warren is the team physician for the New York Giants Football team and oversees all medical care for the players. His special expertise includes shoulder and knee instability, ligament reconstruction and arthroscopy, joint replacement of the knee and shoulder, and rotator cuff disease and sports injuries.
Dr. Scott Rodeo is a clinician-scientist at Hospital for Special Surgery. He specializes in sports medicine injuries of the knee, shoulder, ankle, and elbow. He also performs arthritis surgery of the knee and shoulder, including joint replacement surgery.
Dr. Bryan Kelly is a specialist in sports medicine injuries and arthroscopic and open surgical management of non-arthritic disorders around the hip. Dr. Kelly currently serves as Co-Director for the Center for Hip Preservation, which is designed to provide multi-disciplinary care for patients at all levels with hip injuries.
Dr. Robert Hotchkiss specializes in the treatment of elbow injuries, hand and wrist injuries and arthritis, and vascular disorders of the hand. He is the Medical Director of Clinical Research, Director of Research in the Hand & Upper Extremity Service, and Director of Translational and External Initiatives at Hospital for Special Surgery.
Dr. Frank Cammisa, Chief of the Spine Service at Hospital for Special Surgery, specializes in the surgical treatment of spinal disorders. His areas of expertise include minimally invasive spinal surgery, computer-assisted spinal surgery, microsurgery, athletic spinal injuries and motion-preserving procedures, including artificial disc replacement.
Dr. James Kinderknecht has spent the past 20 years caring for athletes of all ages and levels. In addition, Dr. Kinderknecht enjoys promoting the positive benefits of physical fitness to high-level endurance athletes as well as individuals who want to begin an exercise program. At HSS, Dr. Kinderknecht is also the program director of the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship.