Category: ‘Blog’

Dr. Plancher was quoted in Orthopedics This Week

Posted in Blog | December 12, 2017

Sports Medicine Feature


By Biloine W. Young • December 12th, 2017

Click HERE for the full article on Orthopedics This Week.

Achilles Tendinosis: How It Happens and How It’s Treated

Posted in Blog, Press Releases, Sports Injuries | July 31, 2017

Dr. Kevin Plancher with Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine explains causes, diagnosis and offers tips on treatment of injury to body’s largest tendon.

New York, NY and Greenwich, CT (PRWEB) July 31, 2017

The Achilles tendon is the largest, strongest tendon in the body. Few pay attention to this tendon and muscle it until it becomes inflamed – causing pain and tightness – in a condition known as Achilles tendinosis, according to orthopaedic surgeon Kevin D. Plancher, MD, founder of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. (more…)

Robotic Knee Replacement Offers Key Advantages

Posted in Blog, Press Releases | June 15, 2017

Dr. Kevin Plancher with Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine with tips on robotic knee surgery using Stryker technology

New York, NY and Greenwich, CT (PRWEB) June 15, 2017

With knee replacement surgeries becoming increasingly popular among active adults whose joints have been damaged by osteoarthritis comes a parallel surge in robotic-assisted surgeries, which are proving to be more precise and usually offer a quicker recovery, according orthopaedic surgeon Kevin D. Plancher, MD, founder of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.

Nearly 700,000 people ages 45 and up undergo knee replacement surgery each year, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. These surgeries are primarily used to treat those whose knee joints have degenerated due to osteoarthritis, the surgery – whether a partial or total joint replacement – can be done in two ways: conventionally, which relies on the surgeon’s visual assessment of the knee and direct manipulation; or robotically, which uses CT imaging and a robotic arm to assist the surgeon with precise measurements.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has approved three robotic systems for knee replacement. Stryker Orthopaedics, a global leader in medical technology that manufactures prosthetic knee joints, acquired Mako Surgical Corp. in 2013. The Stryker/Mako system has used their robotic arm-assisted surgery for more than 50,000 partial knee replacements, according to 2016 research in the American Journal of Orthopaedics.

“The Stryker/Mako robotic system is a great example of how technology is transforming how knee replacement surgeries are done,” Dr. Plancher says. “I’m excited to be able to offer my patients this cutting-edge option to help them resume their active lives hopefully without chronic pain as soon as possible.”

How is robotic knee replacement performed?
Patients tend to have many questions about how robotic surgery is performed, Dr. Plancher notes. The most common question asked is if a robot is performing the patient’s surgery. The resounding answer to that is no. Despite the name, a human surgeon is very much in charge of the procedure. So, how is robotic knee replacement carried out? Dr. Plancher describes the steps:

  1. First, a CT scan, which is a type of special x-ray, of the patient’s knee is used to generate a 3-D virtual model of their specific anatomy. This model is loaded into the Stryker/Mako software and the surgeon uses it to personalize the surgical plan.
    2. In the operating room itself, the surgeon uses the robotic arm to assist the surgery, guiding it within the precise boundaries defined by the surgical plan. The robotic surgical tools resurface the damaged part of the knee.
    3. The robotic system allows the surgeon to make changes as needed based on what is visualized inside the knee.
    4. The surgeon places metal components on the ends of the thighbone and tibia bone (below the kneecap), cementing them in place. A plastic insert is then placed between the metal components to enable smooth knee movement.

“We’re simply taking advantage of technology to assist us in resurfacing the bones and individualize treatment to a patient’s own knee anatomy,” explains Dr. Plancher, also a Clinical Professor in Orthopaedics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

“Robotic surgery helps to tightly control factors such as lower leg alignment, soft tissue balance and other variables that all contribute to how successful the surgery is overall,” says Dr. Plancher, who lectures globally on issues related to orthopaedic procedures and sports injury management. “Research is making an attempt to improve accuracy through robotic assisted knee replacement in the hope of improving the longevity of the prosthesis.”

Kevin D. Plancher, MD, is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon and the founder of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.

Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine is a comprehensive orthopaedics and sports medicine practice with offices in New York City and Greenwich, CT.

Meniscus Surgery: Tips on Myths and Facts

Posted in Blog, Press Releases | April 26, 2017

Dr. Kevin Plancher with Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine explains key details about surgery to repair or replace knee cartilage

New York, NY & Greenwich, CT (PRWEB) April 26, 2017

There’s no mistaking the negative effects a tear in the knee’s meniscus – the C-shape of cartilage cushioning the space between the thighbone and shinbone – can wreak on patients’ daily lives. But a swirl of myths surround surgery to repair or remove the meniscus, can blur patients’ ability to decide whether this treatment may be right for them, says orthopaedic surgeon Kevin D. Plancher, MD, founder of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.

More than 400,000 surgeries to remove or repair a torn meniscus took place in the United States between 2005 and 2011, according to a 2013 study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. Meniscus tears are common for good reason: There’s double the opportunity to injure the meniscus, since two such cartilage pads are located in each knee joint, Dr. Plancher says. Tears stem from several causes, including sports injuries involving squatting and twisting motions, such as a football tackle or sudden basketball pivot; trauma such as car crashes; excess body weight, which strains the entire knee; and aging, which weakens and thins knee cartilage over decades due to less lubrication in the knee.

Symptom severity ranges from patient to patient, but typical signs of a torn meniscus include pain, stiffness or swelling in the knee that gradually worsens over days. Some patients feel a slipping or “popping” sensation in the knee, notes Dr. Plancher, also a Clinical Professor in Orthopaedics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

Conservative treatments are almost always tried first after a meniscus tear — including rest, ice, compression or physical therapy – but if a patient doesn’t experience symptom or pain improvement or can’t straighten the knee, surgery may be considered to either repair or remove part of the meniscus.

Tips on Truth vs. Fiction about Meniscus Surgery
In addition to normal concerns about surgery, those facing a meniscus operation often aren’t privy to correct information about the surgery itself and whether meniscus repair or removal is advised. Dr. Plancher, who lectures globally on issues related to orthopaedic procedures and sports injury management, offers these myths and facts about meniscus surgery:

Myth: The surgeon always knows before meniscus surgery whether the meniscus needs to be repaired.
Fact: Sometimes surgeons must visualize the inner knee at the start of the procedure before a final determination can be made whether repair is possible or a piece of the meniscus must be removed. Among other factors, the decision is also based on the patient’s age, activity level and overall health along with where the meniscus tear is located, its size and pattern. Saving the meniscus is important and when possible should be performed.

Myth: Removing the entire meniscus is always preferable to leaving any piece behind.
Fact: The lack of any meniscus tissue to cushion the knee joint may eventually lead to degenerative arthritis in the knee, which may necessitate an artificial knee joint down the road. So whenever possible – and especially in younger patients – preserving and if possible repairing the meniscus is preferable to removing it completely. In fact, studies have demonstrated that the more meniscal tissue removed from the knee, the more likely you will be to develop knee osteoarthritis.

Myth: Meniscus repair surgery involves large incisions.
Fact: In the past, larger incisions were needed during meniscus surgery. Advances in surgical equipment now enable tiny incisions or small poke holes to be used. Surgeons insert tools and a camera through these slits to either repair the meniscus or trim away damaged areas, a procedure lasting about an hour.

Myth: Failure rates for meniscus repair surgery are high.
Fact: 2013 research in the American Journal of Sports Medicine notes that many prior studies suggested between 20% and 40% of meniscus tears repaired surgically later re-tear with higher re-tear rates in medial (or the inside of your knee) versus lateral (or the outside of your knee) meniscal repair. But the 2013 research indicated those numbers were inflated, with less than 10% of meniscus patients experiencing a re-tear. Patient selection and the pre- and postoperative rehab program is essential.

Myth: Meniscus surgery will require patients to keep the knee immobilized for an extended period.
Fact: After the same-day procedure, patients can bear weight on the knee within a day or two but must wear a brace to keep the leg straight for 4 weeks. Physical therapy exercises are begun within days and the patient must bend the knee to 90º to avoid any long-term stiffness. While meniscus repair surgery generally takes longer to recover from because some of the meniscus has been preferred, this is still a more optimal result. Most patients that undergo meniscus repair will fully recover within about 6 weeks after wearing a knee brace and/or using crutches during that period. Patients with a small portion of their meniscus removed can expect to recover in 5 weeks.

Fact: All patients who require meniscus surgery must insist upon a plain, standing x-ray even if they have an MRI to avoid worsening symptoms.

Kevin D. Plancher, MD, is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon and the founder of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.

Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine is a group of fellowship-trained surgeons with expertise in knee, hip, and shoulder arthroplasty, sports medicine, hand and microvascular surgery, foot and ankle and cartilage specialty procedures. Offices are located in NYC and Greenwich, CT with office hours 6 days a week.

Dr. Plancher provided opinion for Energy Times

Posted in Blog, In the News | April 10, 2017

“Getting Good Golf Shoulders”


Click HERE to see the full article.

New and Here Now: Collagen Meniscus Implants for the Knee

Posted in Blog, Press Releases | March 22, 2017

Dr. Kevin Plancher with Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine details newest treatment he performs for torn knee cartilage.

New York, NY & Greenwich, CT (PRWEB) March 22, 2017

There’s no question our knees take a beating every day, but now there’s a new treatment option for those who’ve been plagued by knee pain stemming from damage or injury to the meniscus on having previously had surgery requiring the removal of a segment of their meniscus, the cartilage pad wedged between the thigh and shin bones, says orthopaedic surgeon Kevin D. Plancher, MD, founder of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. (more…)

Protect Your Knees While Running on the Treadmill

Posted in Blog, Fitness, Injury Prevention, Press Releases | March 1, 2017

Dr. Kevin Plancher with Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Offers Tips That Can Lead to Fewer Knee Injuries – “A Small Incline.”

New York, NY & Greenwich, CT (PRWEB) March 01, 2017


March 2017 – All year round the treadmill represents freedom for many runners, especially in the winter months when people don’t want to stop training to brave the cold weather, snow or ice. Treadmill running poses special challenges to the knees – and setting the treadmill to a small incline can help protect these vulnerable joints, says orthopaedic surgeon Kevin D. Plancher, MD, founder of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. (more…)

Weekend Warriors: Play Hard, Have Fun and Stay Injury Free

Posted in Blog, Injury Prevention, Press Releases | January 17, 2017

Dr. Kevin Plancher with Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine with tips for weekend warriors

Greenwich, CT and NY, NY (PRWEB) January 17, 2017


Weekend warriors are people who find little time to play in their favorite sports during the workweek, but instead, pack a weeks’ worth of them into the two short weekend days. The goal for these folks is to enjoy their sports while staying injury free.

“The good news is that ‘weekend-warrior’ type exercise is beneficial to the cardiovascular system,” explains Kevin Plancher, M.D., founder of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. The benefits of physical activity, even if just on the weekends, include improved overall health, increased energy, weight management and sheer fun. “So while we encourage our patients to exercise regularly, if that’s not possible, we are happy for them to get out on the weekends and play a game, run a bit and work up a sweat, adds Dr. Plancher. We offer the following tips for understanding the risks for injury helping them to stay healthy.”

‘Weekend Warrior’ Risks

Dr. Plancher offers that sometimes ‘Weekend Warrior’ activities are welcoming for injury. “They are often greater in intensity than weekday exercise sessions,” he explains. For example, many weekend warrior sports like soccer, basketball, golf and tennis tend to involve groups of players. “Playing a sport with a group of buddies or on a team can inspire a more competitive spirit than, say, walking or jogging alone,” says Dr. Plancher. “The more competitive the game, the more likely we are to push our bodies past their limits, increasing the risk of injuries,” he says.

According to Dr. Plancher the typical weekend warrior injuries are most likely to occur in the joints and muscles of the knees, shoulders and elbows. “That’s because they are the three key areas that receive the most shock and friction during these ‘Weekend Warrior’ activities.”

Ready, Set, Play

Dr. Plancher offers the following tips to prepare the body for a weekend of intense sports activity:

Sneak in some weekday activity. “’Weekend Warriors’ can take small steps during the week to prepare themselves for their weekend activities,” Dr. Plancher points out. For example, he suggests taking a quick 20-30 minute walk at lunch each day, or keeping a set of light weights in the office and fitting in a couple of sets of lifts during the day. Dr. Plancher also suggests using a resistance band to stretch the shoulders and back muscles while in the office. Lastly, where possible, core strengthening such as planks or sit-ups can help prevent back injury. In all, any movement that can keep the muscles engaged and the joints moving will help prepare the body for the more intense activity on the weekends.

Make sure to warm-up and stretch on game day. Dr. Plancher advises that it is critical to warm-up the body and muscles before getting out on the field or court. He suggests a short jog or brisk walk in advance of the game to get the blood flowing and increase joint flexibility. He also advocates for some gentle stretching work to prepare the muscles for a more intense workout.

Know when to rest “’Weekend Warriors’ should be mindful of when they are over doing it and should allow for reasonable resting during long games or physical activities,” Dr. Plancher advises. “It’s OK, in fact, imperative, to take regular rest breaks and to hydrate the body. If substitutes are available, take the opportunity for a rest. You don’t need to be the last guy down the mountain or play all 4 quarters of a Saturday basketball game to have some fun. The odds for injury increase when players are tired.” he adds.

Don’t over-do it. “Knowing when you’ve had enough is not always easy, but it’s particularly important for ‘Weekend Warriors’. Dr. Plancher advises to pay attention to signals from the body indicating that it is overworked, or injured, and immediately stop the activity.” Dr. Plancher warns that “some sports-related joint and muscle injuries require immediate medical attention to minimize further damage. If you feel that you might have injured your knee or shoulder during a game, take a rest and if pain persists, see a doctor sooner than later.

Most importantly. Make sure your health can allow for exercise. Check first with your internist before starting any new exercise regimen.

“Weekend sports are lots of fun and when played with a reasonable attitude and attention to safety, they can be a wonderful way to enjoy a Saturday or Sunday afternoon with friends or family,” adds Dr. Plancher.

Kevin D. Plancher, MD, is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon and the founder of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.

Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine is a general orthopaedics and sports medicine practice with offices in New York City and Greenwich, CT.

Dr. Plancher was published in WAG Magazine on Ski Injury Prevention

Posted in Blog, In the News, Injury Prevention | January 10, 2017




By Kevin Plancher

As the team physician for the United States’ men’s and women’s downhill teams, as well as the snowboarding and freestyle teams, I understand the needs of skiers and snowboarders perhaps better than most.

Together, their disciplines attract more than 28 million participants each year, with the athletes — both weekend and professional — pushing the envelope by adding challenging tricks and lengthy bump runs in both sports. At Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Greenwich’s Cos Cob and Manhattan, the ultimate goal is to keep even the novice injury-free while out on the slopes. Proper conditioning can prevent many of the associated downhill injuries by adding strength and flexibility to the muscles, tendons and ligaments that are used in the sport.

Common injuries for skiers are to the knee and shoulder, whereas snowboarders need to remain particularly aware of the ankle and wrist. By following some simple guidelines, you can greatly decrease the incidence of injury to any body part. Focus on the four areas below to ensure a great season:

  1. BALANCEBalance is the first step toward safe skiing. The better your balance, the less likely you are to fall. The ability to balance on one leg can be achieved with a few simple exercises. A single-leg dead lift while holding light weights works well, as does simply standing on one leg.
  2. FLEXIBILITY:Increasing your flexibility can protect your joints during a downhill run as well as during an unexpected fall. Flexibility decreases the chance of falling while also providing better and safer falling. Make stretching a part of your post-cardio exercise program to ensure all muscles are warm and ready to go.
  3. STRENGTHENING:Strengthening muscles, tendons and ligaments is imperative to good form. Squats and rotations on a Bosu ball, a device with a large flat surface on top and a soft ball-shaped underside, are excellent starting points. You can build strength in your lower legs with band work and strength-training machines, but we do caution you to avoid deep knee squats and weighted leg extension exercises as they can put unnecessary strain on the knees.
  4. CARDIO:There is no question that improved cardiovascular fitness can make a better skier and snowboarder by increasing stamina and decreasing fatigue. We recommend a fitness/aerobic program that includes at least 30 minutes of conditioning each day. You can choose biking, running, swimming or even walking. You can begin slowly with the end goal of achieving 60 minutes of cardiovascular training each day.
  5. CORE DEVELOPMENTA strong and stable core equates to better balance, better coordination and overall increased power on the hill. These are critical components to avoid injury. Core strength can easily be achieved with yoga, Pilates or dance classes. It can also be achieved with proper sit-ups, planks or oblique reaches.

Remember, skiing and snowboarding are fun group activities that are exhilarating for all of the senses. We, at Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, believe that with the above training program in place and with thoughtful preparation, enthusiasts can enjoy a healthier and safer season. So get out there, have fun and stay injury-free.

Kevin D. Plancher, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and the founder of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, a general orthopedics and sports medicine practice. For more, visit


Dr. Harvey was quoted in Energy Times on Avoiding Gym Injuries

Posted in Blog, In the News | January 6, 2017


January 6, 2017 as seen on the Energy Times Facebook page

Avoiding Gym Injuries

So…you’re nearly a week into that big New Year’s resolution to exercise every day when you bend over to pick up a weight–and throw out your back in the process. It’ll be a week, at least, before you can even think about walking around the block, never mind getting back to the gym.

Sound familiar? Injuries are not only problems in themselves but can stop a fitness plan dead in its tracks. If you want to avoid that fate, Margaret Harvey, DO, an orthopedic surgeon with Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine (, offers the following advice.

Start with a warmup. Run in place for a few minutes before stretching, then gently and slowly practice the motions of the exercise to follow.

Don’t skip the stretch. Start stretching slowly and carefully until reaching a point of tension. Hold each stretch for 20 seconds, and then slowly and carefully release it.

Don’t cling to machine handrails. Keep your hands resting lightly on them. The rail death-grip causes a hunched position that can lead to improper spine alignment.

Cross train. Switching from one activity to another prevents mental burnout and since different activities target slightly different muscle groups, the result is more comprehensive conditioning.

Focus on muscle groups. The best exercises are those that work several muscles at the same time–not just the biceps or the abs, let’s say–to build functional strength. Wait at least 48 hours before working the same muscle group again.

Pay attention to your shoes. If you play a sport more than three times a week, get the right shoes for that activity. Regular exercisers should replace their shoes every twelve months or at the first signs or wear (running shoes should be replaced every 480 to 800 kilometers).

Accept your limitations. The bodily changes of aging leaves people more vulnerable to injury. Keep going to the gym, but use more caution as you get older to protect your body.

Consider hiring a professional.Signing up with a personal trainer, even for just a couple of sessions, may pay off in fewer injuries through machine misuse down the road. And use the mirrors, if available, to monitor your form and technique.