Washington University Orthopedics provided medical care for players on the new Women’s Professional Soccer team, Saint Louis Athletica. The team just completed its first season, which ended last week with a first-round playoff loss.
St. Louis also hosts the league’s All-Star game Aug. 30.
The orthopedics group also cares for the St. Louis Blues, the St. Louis Rams and other sports teams.
Robert H. Brophy, M.D., assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and a former soccer player, is head team physician for the Athletica. Brophy, an all-conference soccer player while an undergraduate at Stanford University, said he relishes his new role.
“Soccer players are obviously at risk for lower extremity injuries, particularly to the knee and ankle,” Brophy said. “Female soccer players are at an elevated risk specifically for injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, in the knee, so in working with the Athletica, we will be looking to emphasize injury prevention. When injuries do occur, we want to get players back to peak performance as soon as possible.”
In addition to his collegiate experience at Stanford, Brophy played soccer for the California Jaguars professional team in 1995 and ’96 when it won the U.S. Inter-Regional Soccer League (USISL) title. He also was a member of the Palo Alto Firebirds, the USISL national champions in 1992.
“The team physicians also will work to prevent and treat neck problems and concussions that can occur when heading soccer balls and many other common injuries that can result from tackles and challenges during the course of a game,” said Richard H. Gelberman, M.D., the Fred C. Reynolds Professor and head of Orthopaedic Surgery. “Caring for professionals allows our physicians to work at the cutting edge of medical therapy, surgery and rehabilitation to return injured players to their full health and potential as rapidly as possible.”
Other Washington University physicians caring for the Athletica include Rick W. Wright, M.D., associate professor in orthopedics, head team physician for the Blues and assistant team physician for the Rams; assistant team physician Heidi Prather, D.O., associate professor of orthopaedic surgery; Devyani Hunt, M.D., assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and co-director of the Center for Women’s Wellness; Mark E. Halstead, M.D., assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and an assistant team physician for the Rams and the Blues; and Mary M. Kiehl, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine.