Category: ‘In the News’

Dr. Plancher was published in Westchester Family Magazine: Prevent Baseball Shoulder Injury

Posted in In the News | April 4, 2017

Prevent Baseball Shoulder Injury

By Kevin Plancher, M.D., April 4, 2017

As the warm weather approaches young athletes will begin hitting the baseball fields for spring training. In the spirit of competition, it will be tempting for these young athletes to start throwing and swinging for the rafters. However, a little pre-season conditioning is vital to build strength and flexibility to prevent a shoulder injury that could take a young player out of the game.

It’s not just professional players who need to go slowly; young athletes should also take precautions before they get onto the fields. Although baseball is not a contact sport, many kids are injured each year with shoulder injuries leading the way. The shoulder is the area most prone to injury for baseball players whether you are pitching or playing the field. Throwing a baseball sends a great amount of twisting force, called torque, into the rotator cuff (a series of four small muscles that holds the shoulder in place and decelerates the arm).

We suggest the following eight pre-season conditioning and best practices for young athletes once the season is underway to hopefully stay injury free.

Always start with a gentle warm up. Players should warm up with some moderate aerobic activity to get the blood flowing to the muscles and joints, such as a short jog or jumping rope. This should be followed by 5-10 minutes of pre-game (and practice) stretching to keep stressed areas flexible and strong. A strong shoulder involves greater dynamic range of motion but should not create hyper-flexibility through improper static stretching techniques. Proper warm up techniques include forward and backward arm circles, external and internal rotations and arm pumps.

Take it slow. Whether you are practicing or playing a game, young ball players should take it slow to best prepare and protect the shoulder muscles. Rotator cuff muscles are smaller, weaker muscles, and they tend to fatigue at a faster rate when engaged in strenuous activity.

Make sure your technique is spot on. Hitting, throwing or pitching a ball incorrectly can further stress the shoulder. Get advice from a coach to make sure your technique is correct.

Get strong with weight training. Focus on exercises to strengthen the rotator cuff and the muscles that stabilize the shoulder. Repetitions should be performed with light weight with the goal of strengthening underused muscles that hold the shoulder together. Young baseball players should do simple exercises such as the forward dumbbell raise or the lateral fly and substitute an incline press for a military press to avoid injury.

Work on your cardio. A cardiovascular fitness routine is the foundation for injury prevention and resilient muscles; aim for 20 to 30 minutes a day before and during the baseball season.

Don’t overdo it. We caution young athletes (and their parents) against pitching in multiple leagues simultaneously because the body needs a break from the wear and tear of throwing. We agree with Little League Baseball’s official advice that pitching be limited to a maximum of six innings per week and include mandatory rest periods between starts (the ideal is four days off).

Don’t play through the pain. Most joint injuries only worsen with continued stress so pay attention to your body. Players need to know the difference between an overuse injury, which tends to be less severe and responsive to self-treatment, and a traumatic injury, which should be evaluated by an orthopaedist immediately. As a general rule, young athletes should call a doctor if a significant affliction fails to improve within 24 hours; if they have extreme pain, swelling or fever, if they have muscle weakness or if they hear a cracking or popping sound with the injury.

Rest. Most rotator cuff injuries will resolve themselves within 3-4 weeks with the RICE treatment – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Resting the joint immediately and slowly resuming activity with gentle stretches and strengthening exercises as it heals is far better than rushing the rehabilitation.

Kevin D. Plancher, M.D., 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, Conn.


Dr. Plancher was featured in Healthy Aging on Collagen Meniscus Implants

Posted in In the News | March 24, 2017

Dr. Plancher was published in Healthy Aging on collagen meniscus implants for the knee. Read more here.

Dr. Plancher was featured in Newsmax Health on a New Fix for Tennis Elbow

Posted in In the News | March 8, 2017

Tennis Elbow Fix: New Technique Eases Pain for Weekend Warriors

By Charlotte Libov   |   Wednesday, 08 Mar 2017

A new technique that relieves severe tennis elbow faster and more quickly than traditional surgery can provide relief for this painful condition, a top expert says.

“In the past, there have been types of surgical options available to relieve the pain of tennis elbow, but there is a new procedure becoming popular that requires less recuperation time,” Dr. Kevin Plancher tells Newsmax Health. (more…)

Energy Times featured Dr. Plancher in an article about Home Cycling

Posted in In the News | February 13, 2017

As seen on the Energy Times Facebook Page:

logo energy times v2

February 13, 2017

Getting the Most from Your Home Cycling Workout

Even as baseball spring training begins, winter is still in full force for many areas of the country–which means many people are working out indoors while waiting for that warm weather to arrive.

Home cycling is a popular option…at least until the bike turns into a pricey clothes rack or storage unit. Why does that happen?

“One reason is boredom,” says Kevin Plancher, MD, of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. “Even watching TV or listening to music or a podcast while on the bike doesn’t seem to be enough to keep a lot of people at it.” And spin classes at the gym may not fit your schedule. (more…)

Dr. Plancher featured in Westchester Magazine: Avoid Skiing and Snowboarding Injuries

Posted in In the News, Patient Education, Sports Injuries, Sports Injury | February 13, 2017

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4 Ways to Avoid Skiing and Snowboarding Injuries; We asked a doctor how to dodge a major mishap on the slopes.




Baseball might be America’s favorite pastime, but skiing and snowboarding are America’s gnarliest, attracting an estimated 30 million participants each year. A typical ski season in the United States lasts from late November through early April, which means five perfect months to hit the slopes and possibly rack up a few spills.

We talked to Kevin Plancher, MD, the official surgeon of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard teams, about some tips for preventing winter sport-related injuries.    (more…)

Dr. Plancher provided opinion in the New York Post on playground hazards for parents

Posted in In the News | January 28, 2017

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LIVING: When the playground is a dangerous place — for parents

By Anna Davies, August 16, 2016

Modal Trigger Sara Dimmick suffered multiple injuries due to chasing her son around the playground. She no longer shadows her 19-month-old at the park.

Pilar Scratch, a fashion blogger and mother of one, was looking forward to a day of fun at an indoor children’s play center with her then-3-year-old son, River. The 25-year-old and son played “follow the leader” up the foam stairs and through a tunnel, but as she squeezed into the small plastic tunnel slide, she heard a snap.

“I had broken my wrist!” the Newark, NJ, resident recalls of the subsequent trip to the emergency room.

Along with the expected bumps and bruises of the knee-high set, doctors are hearing more of their adult patients complain of injuries they suffered on the playground. “It used to be that parents would let their kids play, while they would hang back on a bench. Now, parents are much more hands-on, so they’re climbing up the play structures, they’re on the slide, and that can lead to problems for both parents and their kids,” says Dr. Kevin Plancher, a sports medicine doctor who has seen a rise in these incidents at his Upper East Side practice.

‘If you feel uncomfortable with your child climbing unassisted, that’s a sign your child may not be ready for that particular piece of equipment.’

And experts say being hands-on at the jungle gym may be dangerous to tots, too. One 2009 study published in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics found that tibial fractures in toddlers happened disproportionately more often when they rode down slides in grown-ups’ laps than when they went down on their own. Plus, when a parent is on the climbing structure, a child may be exposed to equipment too advanced for their development, which has been cited as a major injury risk factor in a 2012 study from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

“If you feel uncomfortable with your child climbing unassisted, that’s a sign your child may not be ready for that particular piece of equipment,” says Dr. Hansa Bhargava, a pediatrician and WebMD medical editor. “An adult on the play structure can get in the way of other kids. Plus, play structures aren’t made with adult sizing in mind, which can lead to adult injury.”

Sara Dimmick, 37, a personal trainer in Midtown East, learned that the hard way. She’s hit her head on the arch above the slide multiple times, and has gotten a few bloody lips from bumping into play equipment while chasing after her now-19-month-old son.

“You’re so busy paying attention to them, you’re not necessarily looking at where you’re going,” she says.

Dimmick now watches her toddler play while she has two feet firmly planted on the ground, but for some parents, letting go requires outside help. Krista Rizzo, founder of the Park Slope, Brooklyn, parent-coaching company Why Am I Yelling, spends many sessions teaching nervous parents how to hang back at the monkey bars.

“Just because you’re not on the slide with them doesn’t mean you’re not actively participating and being a part of their experience,” says Rizzo, who advises parents to not be so quick to swoop in if their children look like they’re having difficulty. “If [children are] wobbly on a step, don’t automatically pick them up. When you observe, you’ll see them reaching for a railing or taking a smaller step. These are the skills they come to the playground to master: They don’t get that mastery and sense of accomplishment if they’re always being rescued.”

And for some parents, stepping back means admitting to themselves that they’re no longer kids.

Frank Lee, a Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, father, couldn’t resist the lure of the metal, self-propelled merry-go-round while escorting his then-5-year-old son to the playground three years ago. He climbed on the structure, spinning it so fast that he got dizzy. When he stepped off, he threw up in front of an amused group of parents and kids. “It wasn’t my finest moment. I had to sit on a bench with my son for a long time before everything stopped spinning,” says Lee, 34.

Scratch, the mom who broke her wrist on the slide, can sympathize. “Now, I’ll sometimes try to join my son on the jungle gym, and he’s like, ‘Mom, no. Remember the time you busted your wrist?’ Point taken.”



New Options for Cycling at Home Offer Key Benefits

Posted in Fitness, In the News, Patient Education | January 26, 2017

Dr. Kevin Plancher with Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Provides Tips for Getting the Most Out of Indoor Cycling.

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

The benefits of regular physical exercise are well known: improved health, improved energy and mood, better sleep, and weight control. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every adult should aim for a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise. For decades, one of the most popular ways of exercising was on a stationary bike, either at home or at the gym. “A stationary bike offers many benefits,” says Dr. Kevin Plancher of Plancher Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. “It gets the heart pumping without putting undue stress on the joints. And an indoor bike can be used in any weather, by novice and experienced exercisers and at varying levels of time and intensity.”

But for all their benefits, many exercise bikes bought for home use wind up as expensive clothes racks or dust collectors in the basement or attic. Why does motivation seem to flag after just a few months? “One reason is boredom,” says Dr. Plancher. “Even watching TV or listening to music or a podcast while on the bike doesn’t seem to be enough to keep a lot of people at it.” One attempt to address this problem is with spin classes offered at gyms. These programs use bikes that evolved from the stationary bike to more closely resemble a road bike and offer the camaraderie and competition of working out with a group. But, as Dr. Plancher points out, what is sacrificed is the freedom and convenience of working out at home on your own schedule.

New options now make it possible to combine the comfort and convenience of working out at home with quality hardware, expert instruction, metrics, and more classes and instructors than any gym could offer. One of the companies in this new market, Peloton Interactive, Inc., manufactures a “smart bike,” which has a high-definition monitor attached to the handlebars. It uses home wi-fi to stream live classes from Peloton’s studio and to provide an archive of thousands of past classes of every type, letting you choose from a wide variety of rides, instructors, and soundtracks. The system tracks your performance and compares your current ride to your personal best so you can push yourself to set new personal records. You can also compete against others who have done the rides you choose and review user ratings of instructors and rides. If you participate in a live ride, the instructor sees your metrics and can address you as if you were in the room. “This system incorporates all the performance and motivation factors of indoor cycling in the gym with the convenience of working out at home,” says Dr. Plancher. “This is an important new trend that represents the next generation of exercise technology, one that can potentially transform the landscape for home fitness.”

Tips for getting the most from your cycling workout
However you ride – on an upright stationary bike, a recumbent bike, or a new smart bike – Dr. Plancher offers tips to help you get the most from your cycling workout:

Before you buy a bike, do your homework: Consider what kind of bike you want and factors like how much room you have and how much you want to spend.

Have an expert ensure that you’re buying a bike that fits you properly – seat height, distance from pedals and handlebars, etc.

Make sure you understand how to safely adjust intensity and other options. Start slowly and increase the intensity of your ride gradually.

The bike seat shouldn’t be uncomfortable. Try padded shorts or a gel seat to improve comfort. Sit lightly on the seat.

If you’re not using one of the newer smart bikes that provide streaming and archived classes, look into buying or renting cycling videos that have a variety of rides and changes of scenery.

Consider cross training with another activity once or twice a week to build up endurance in different muscles and prevent overuse injuries.

“The most important factor in a successful fitness program is finding the one that is right for you,” says Dr. Plancher. “Indoor cycling has worked for millions of people and new advances make it even more appealing. But the program that works for you will be the one that suits your personality, fitness level, and lifestyle and that you will enjoy and stick with.”

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.

Dr. Plancher provided commentary for an article in Health Radar

Posted in In the News | December 29, 2016


Dr. Plancher provided commentary for an article in Health Radar titled, “The Exercise Cure: Working Out Beats Drugs for Many Conditions.”

Click here for the full article.