Though the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute built its name through the treatment of elite athletes, the sports medicine care the team provides to all athletes—the 50-year-old businessowner training for a marathon after an injury, the stay-at-home dad who plays ball with his kids or the aspiring high school athlete—is no less exceptional. “Our program focuses on
Though the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute built its name through the treatment of elite athletes, the sports medicine care the team provides to all athletes—the 50-year-old businessowner training for a marathon after an injury, the stay-at-home dad who plays ball with his kids or the aspiring high school athlete—is no less exceptional.
“Our program focuses on joint preservation—avoiding or postponing joint replacement surgery for those patients who might not be ready for or in need of that solution just yet,” says Dr. Scott, a primary care sports medicine physician and team physician for the Los Angeles Galaxy. “This could be a younger athlete dealing with hip impingement or an older patient with arthritis trying to avoid further degeneration. The older population is becoming much more active than we’ve seen before—playing sports and running regularly—and we want to keep them doing what they want to do.”
One patient, a veteran and recreational skier, Scott Reathaford, sought treatment with Dr. Scott after retiring from active military duty. Years of intense training and physical challenges during his service caused irreparable damage to the cartilage in his knees: osteoarthritis of the knees and other, previously undiagnosed tears and damage were painful and limiting.
Reathaford describes the crepitus and popping in his knees when he ascends a staircase with a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Rice Krispies trio: “Snap, Crackle, Pop.” He has patellofemoral osteoarthritis, and after months of physical therapy didn’t resolve his pain, Reathaford moved to regular injections of hyaluronic acid—viscosupplementation or “gel” injections—at Dr. Scott’s recommendation.
“When I first met Dr. Scott, he asked, ‘What do you love to do? What are your hobbies?’” says Reathaford. “That was a big part of our plan—I’m a big skier, and we timed the injections around ski season.”
An intense love of downhill skiing and a young daughter at home, who counted on him for roughhousing and play, meant Reathaford was initially reluctant to pursue a surgical solution. “You hear nightmares about knee surgery,” he explained. “My daughter loves to ski, too, and it was important that I could keep up with her. I wasn’t ready to take that risk. Now she’s 15, a competitive gymnast and strong all-around athlete, and I’ve been able to keep up with her every step of the way.”
Dr. Scott and the multidisciplinary team at the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute don’t just provide care—they are partners in care—and they worked with Reathaford to identify his needs and priorities for improving his pain, functionality and overall quality of life while educating him along the way.
“I’ve learned so much about the knee structure,” says Reathaford. “After seeing Dr. Scott and the physical therapists, I know what stretches will help relieve pain. They’ve given me the tools to manage my own care. It’s a whole team approach, and I’m part of that team.”
Because of the team at the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute and the close, trusting relationship built over Reathaford’s course of care, if Dr. Scott recommends that it’s finally time for surgery, Reathaford feels he’ll be ready.
“Dr. Scott and the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute gave me almost 10 extra years on these knees. Ten years of running and playing with my daughter. Ten years of great skiing. That’s no small thing.”