Kyle Karpiscak | Florida Orthopaedic Institute
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Kyle Karpiscak

Dr. Hassan Mir

Dr. Hassan Mir, Trauma Case – Sabrina Eldridge

By | Patient Stories

Sabrina Eldridge is a 25-year-old mother who lives for adventure, as if looking after a one-year-old son isn’t enough. She loves fishing, exploring nature, archery and even has her own photography business. Suffice to say if she isn’t busy, then something is wrong. Unfortunately, on March 5th, 2019, something did go wrong.

Six-weeks after giving birth, Sabrina was hit head-on by an oncoming vehicle, with her son in the backseat. Miraculously, her son was unscathed. Sabrina, however, got the full effect of the collision, breaking her right tibia (shinbone), right fibula (lower leg bone), right patella (kneecap), right ulna (little finger-side arm bone), right radius (thumb-side arm bone), left talus (lower part of the ankle joint) and left patella.

The next thing she remembers is waking up in the recovery room at Tampa General Hospital to the welcoming presence of Dr. Hassan Mir, trauma surgeon at Florida Orthopaedic Institute. Her injuries required two separate days of surgery.

“I was lucky enough that Dr. Mir was on shift for the days of my surgeries and that he specializes in trauma,” she said. “[After my surgeries], I couldn’t stand. I couldn’t hold my 6-week-old son like normal. I couldn’t do much of anything for a long time.”

Dr. Hassan Mir is the Director of Orthopaedic Trauma Research at Florida Orthopaedic Institute and focuses on the care of polytraumatized patients, pelvic and acetabular fractures and complex periarticular fractures.

“He enjoys his work and is fantastic with communication, explaining everything no matter the question,” Eldridge said of her doctor. “He is always upbeat at every appointment from the first time I met him.”

Dr. Hassan Mir is Director of Orthopaedic Trauma Research at Florida Orthopaedic Institute and Director of the Orthopaedic Residency Program at University of South Florida.

Sabrina was bedridden at TGH for two weeks as she slowly learned how to move again. She had to learn how to get comfortable, working with countless therapists on how to go about her daily life. Her muscles were tight, she couldn’t bend her knees without excruciating pain and her right hand could hardly function after the surgery required on her forearm.

“If it weren’t for my therapists at Florida Orthopaedic Institute pushing me and switching up my routine with a variety of exercises, I might not be doing as good as I am,” she said. “I learned a lot and after finishing therapy in early October 2019. I still continue my exercises almost regularly.”

Among all the activities that Sabrina enjoyed doing most before her accident, there was only one thing that she was looking forward to doing again.

“I just wanted to hold my son and walk around carrying him,” she said. “I wanted to take care of him myself without assistance like I did since he was born.”

After almost a year of rehabilitation, Sabrina was released from the care of Dr. Mir. The first thing she did was pick up her son.

Dr. Seth Gasser - acl-repair-stepping-back-on-the-field

Dr. Seth Gasser — ACL Repair — Stepping Back On the Field

By | Patient Stories

Zach Board tore his left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in May while playing soccer for Jesuit High School. As a senior who had been on the Varsity team since he was a freshman, being out of commission was something that Zach, and his father, Michael, weren’t all too prepared for.

“With the injury, he would miss his entire Senior season,” Zach’s father said. “He and I both cried when we left Dr. Gasser’s office that day in May.”

Dr. Seth Gasser is an orthopedic sports medicine surgeon and serves as the team physician for multiple Florida schools including the University of Tampa, Plant High School and Berkeley Preparatory School. He has also served for professional teams in the Tampa area including the Tampa Bay Lightning and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Dr. Seth Gasser is a Sports Medicine surgeon and serves as the Vice President of Florida Orthopaedic Institute, Director of its Sports Medicine Division and President and Medical Director of the Florida Orthopaedic Institute Surgery Center.

An ACL sprain or tear is one of the most common knee injuries. The more demanding a sport is, the higher the chance of an ACL tear. These injuries are commonly seen in sports like football, basketball and soccer. Young athletes involved in agility sports usually need surgery to safely return to them, as was the case with Zach.

“Dr. Gasser performed the ACL surgery on June 4,” Michael said. “Zach immediately began rehab and worked really hard to try to make it back in time for Playoffs. Although he progressed very rapidly, we began to feel like he would not be able to play at all, as a ‘return to play‘ is very heavily dependent on time.”

‘Return to play’ is the term used for the permission granted by the doctor to return an athlete back to his or her sport following an injury. Recovery time varies from athlete to athlete, with some needing extra time to recover and rehabilitate. As he went in to see Dr. Gasser’s nurse practitioner, Elio Hernandez, Zach found that he was progressing faster than initially expected.

“We saw Elio at the beginning of December, and he said Zach should continue and step up his workouts, strengthening his Quads and Hamstrings to protect the ACL,” the father said.

Through the rehabilitation process, tests were performed to measure Zach’s muscle strength and physical ability. With a scheduled test coinciding with the upcoming playoffs, Zach thought he was making great progress and wanted to miss as few games as possible as Jesuit hadn’t won States since 2001.

“Playoffs started at the beginning of February and the team was having a very good season, set to make a State Championship run,” Michael said. “Zach asked me if he could do the test early, so I scheduled it for January 31st. [When we followed up with Elio], to our amazement, he gave Zach his return to play clearance. This was eight months after surgery. Obviously, I was very concerned, but Zach said he felt like he was stronger than ever and did not want to miss out on a potential Championship run.”

When he stepped back onto the field, Zach was right at home once again. He’d been preparing for this moment since the injury happened. All the time spent rehabilitating his knee and strengthening the surrounding muscles were suddenly worth every second.

“Zach began training with the team and played limited minutes in the District and Regional Playoffs, making solid contributions to the wins,” he said. “His teammates were thrilled to have him back for the playoffs.”

With Zach back in action, Jesuit High School secured 5 wins to get into the State Championships. And the rest, as Michael says, is history.

“Zach played most of the game and Jesuit won the game 5-4 and the State 5A Championship,” he said. “Zach scored three goals including the game winning goal! It was a storybook ending for him after the long and difficult season. And the irony, he scored the winning goal on a blast from his left leg; his non-dominant, surgically repaired left leg.”

Physical Therapy Telemedicine

Physical Therapy Telemedicine Offered at Florida Orthopaedic Institute

By | Announcements

Seeking to implement new methods of care for patients during the developing COVID-19 situation, Florida Orthopaedic Institute has found a resolution through telemedicine. Offering the service for both clinical appointments and physical therapy, the orthopedic practice can now virtually treat and rehabilitate patients while they remain in the comfort of their homes.

“Telemedicine is extremely simple to set up,” said Paul Lopes, Director of Physical Therapy at Florida Orthopaedic Institute. “The patient receives an email and clicks a secure link which places them in direct audio and video connection with their Therapist. That’s it!”

Allowing patients to virtually meet with their physician or therapist and not having to come into the office, telemedicine greatly reduces the risk of potentially coming into contact with the coronavirus.

“Telemedicine is a great opportunity for patients to receive skilled Physical Therapy guidance when unable to take part in a more traditional, face-to-face experience,” said Jason Schoonover DPT, ATC at FOI Brandon.

Ensuring that quality of patient care remains at the highest of standards, telemedicine continues to develop the patient-physician relationship.

“They really like it. This is a very valuable service to our patients,” said Gavin Hawken, MPT, Therapy Supervisor at FOI Citrus Park.

Patients must see an FOI physician for an evaluation before being referred to Physical Therapy. To schedule an appointment with an FOI physician, please call our Scheduling Department at 813-978-9797.


Understanding Florida Orthopaedic Institute’s Preventative Measures with Coronavirus (COVID-19)

By | Announcements

There is no higher priority to our entire Florida Orthopaedic Institute family than the safety of our patients, staff, and physicians. As the situation surrounding novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to have an increased impact on our communities, we feel it’s essential to provide you with a detailed update of what we are doing to support you and your health. We are in close communication and have taken additional measures in accordance with the recommendations made by global and local public health authorities including, the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Florida Department of Health, and other medical authorities.

Rest assured that we are taking appropriate measures to ensure your health and safety at each Florida Orthopaedic Institute location. We have always taken great pride in maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness in our offices, including utilizing hospital-grade disinfectants approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as effective against Coronavirus. Over the past few weeks, we have expanded our cleaning protocols and increased the frequency and extent of our office, lobby and patient care theater sanitation. In addition, we’ve increased our supply of resources, including critical cleaning supplies. Finally, we’ve shared with our staff the guidance we’ve received from various health agencies to ensure that our offices continue to be a safe environment for all who visit.

We also want to take this opportunity to remind our patients of the important measures that they can take to ensure the continued health of those around them.

  1. Clean your hands often, using both soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  3. Avoid close contact with others who may be sick.
  4. If you are sick or are experiencing symptoms, stay at home and consult your primary healthcare provider.
  5. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

Finally, we want to provide our patients with the peace of mind to make appropriate scheduling adjustments, if needed. If you are experiencing symptoms, are currently sick, or have traveled to countries with widespread, sustained transmission such as China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy in the past 14 days, please contact your FOI office to reschedule any upcoming appointments or visits.

Thank you for your continued trust in Florida Orthopaedic Institute. As you know, this is a dynamic and evolving situation. Our commitment to your safety remains at the forefront of everything we do.


Lee Levanduski, Chief Operating Officer

Florida Orthopaedic Institute

Cambridge Christian

Cambridge Christian Lancer Leads Team Towards Success

By | Athlete of the Week

Tampa, Fl. – February 7, 2020 – Florida Orthopaedic Institute (FOI) is proud to announce James Porter from Cambridge Christian School as the ‘Athlete of the Week’ for the week ending February 7, 2020.

Porter was nominated by Assistant Athletic Director and Boys Varsity Soccer Coach, Kevin Hickinbotham, for his leadership on both the football field and the soccer pitch.

“James is a leader both on and off the field,” said Hickinbotham. “He leads by example, works hard, encourages his teammates and performs at a high level. He punted and kicked for the football team this year (his first year playing) and averaged just under 40 yards punting and almost 53 yards for kickoffs. He also added 40 PAT’s and was 2-2 in FG’s. During Soccer season, he was the engine that made the team work and scored 15 goals while adding 12 assists. He is an excellent student with a 4.0 GPA.”

Growing up as a student-athlete, Porter had been surrounded by positive influences and exceptional role models. Now, he’s finding ways to pay it forward through his own leadership.

“As an athlete, I’ve been playing soccer since I was 7,” said Porter. “I’ve had some great coaches and teammates. It’s been those coaches and teammates, who I’ve looked up to, that have motivated me to be the kind of leader who leaves an impact on their lives.”

Porter believes that success is found in personal victories. Setting goals for himself and being able to bring his team together helps him pave the way toward achievement.

“Success is achieving goals you have set,” he said. “Some of life’s greatest moments started with one small goal. I wanted to help lead my team to district finals this year. That means we, as a team, were willing to plan, work and train hard together to try and achieve that goal.”

At the end of the day, Porter reminds everyone to not take themselves too seriously and to see the lighter side of sports.

“Always have fun and enjoy your time playing high school sports,” said Porter. “It’s something that you get to do with all your friends and make unforgettable memories.”

Florida Orthopaedic Institute’s Athlete of the Week campaign is designed to focus on student-athletes, recognizing them for their hard work and dedication both on and off the field. The Athlete of the Week award can be earned by displaying one of the following characteristics:

Team Player: Athletes who are nominated for excellence in team play are chosen by a coach who feels the athlete does his or her best to put direction into action, makes a significant contribution to the team and continuously works to improve his or her skills, attitude and training.

Leadership: Athletes who earn the award in recognition of excellent leadership must exemplify strong relationship building skills, show excellent initiative and serve as role models for his or her peers.

To view previous award winners, please follow this link.

Florida Orthopaedic Institute

Founded in 1989, Florida Orthopaedic Institute is Florida’s largest orthopedic group and provides expertise and treatment of orthopedic-related injuries and conditions, including adult reconstruction and arthritis, chiropractic services, foot and ankle, general orthopedics, hand and wrist, interventional spine, musculoskeletal oncology, orthopedic trauma, physical medicine and rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy, sports medicine, shoulder and elbow, and spine services among others. The organization treats patients throughout its surgery centers in North Tampa and Citrus Park, two orthopedic urgent care centers in South Tampa and Brandon, and 9 office locations in Bloomingdale, Brandon, Citrus Park, North Tampa, Northdale, Palm Harbor, South Tampa, Sun City Center and Wesley Chapel. For more information, please visit: and ‘like’ us on Facebook:

Florida Orthopaedic Institute Adds Two New Orthopedists

By | Announcements, Our Physicians

Tampa, Fl. – February 7, 2019 – Florida Orthopaedic Institute (FOI) announces the recent hiring of Dr. Tara K. Bagen and Dr. Faisal A. Chaudhry to its practice of more than 40 fellowship-trained physicians. Dr. Bagen is a primary care orthopedist fellowship trained in sports medicine and Dr. Chaudhry is an interventional spine physician fellowship trained in pain management.

“Florida Orthopaedic Institute is proud to announce the addition of Tara Bagen, M.D. to our renowned Sports Medicine Division,” says Dr. Roy Sanders, president, chief medical officer and founding member of Florida Orthopaedic Institute. “Alongside our team of phenomenal sports medicine physicians, Dr. Bagen’s expertise will help our practice remain a pinnacle in the field of sports medicine.”  

After her residency at Louisiana State University, Dr. Bagen went on to complete her Sports Medicine fellowship at Baton Rouge General. Dr. Bagen is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. She has given many lectures on sports medicine topics including teaching proper physical exam techniques. She was involved in ongoing concussion research and is a credentialed ImPACT consultant for concussion treatment.

“We also are pleased to welcome Faisal Chaudhry, M.D.,” Dr. Sanders said. “Dr. Chaudhry joins us as an expert in Interventional Spine pain management. Dr. Chaudhry received his fellowship training in pain management at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, NY. Congruent to our vision, Dr. Chaudhry prides himself on delivering unique and individualized treatment plans for every patient according to their specific needs.”

Dr. Chaudhry is an Interventional Spine Specialist double board certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology with a subspecialty in Pain Medicine. He specializes in providing comprehensive pain management for a variety of pain conditions. Dr. Chaudhry takes a particular interest in neuromodulation for advanced pain conditions.

Dr. Bagen began seeing patients on February 3 at the Citrus Park, North Tampa and South Tampa locations.

Dr. Chaudhry began seeing patients on February 3 at the Citrus Park and North Tampa locations.

Florida Orthopaedic Institute

Founded in 1989, Florida Orthopaedic Institute is Florida’s largest orthopedic group and provides expertise and treatment of orthopedic-related injuries and conditions, including adult reconstruction and arthritis, chiropractic services, foot and ankle, general orthopedics, hand and wrist, interventional spine, musculoskeletal oncology, orthopedic trauma, physical medicine and rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy, sports medicine, shoulder and elbow, spine and chiropractic services, among others. The organization treats patients throughout its surgery centers in North Tampa and Citrus Park, two orthopaedic urgent care centers in South Tampa and Brandon, and 9 office locations in Bloomingdale, Brandon, Citrus Park, North Tampa, Northdale, Palm Harbor, South Tampa, Sun City Center and Wesley Chapel. For more information, please visit: and ‘like’ us on Facebook:

outpatient joint replacement surgery

Outpatient Joint Replacement Surgery

By | You Should Know...

Outpatient surgery is becoming increasingly more popular in terms of surgical care when it comes to joint replacements. The term ‘outpatient’ is derived from the patient’s ability to have surgery and return home all on the same day. In the past, joint replacement surgery would require overnight hospital stays.

“Outpatient joint replacement is in evolution at this time,” said Dr. Thomas Bernasek, arthritis and adult reconstruction surgeon at Florida Orthopaedic Institute. “It is estimated that within the next five years, roughly fifty percent of the joint replacements that we do will be as an outpatient.”

With advanced technologies, the advent of robotics and a highly skilled staff trained in same-day surgery, Florida Orthopaedic Institute’s surgery centers offer quick relief for qualified patients seeking hip or knee replacements.

The most common joint replacements done in an outpatient setting are hip replacements, partial knee replacements and total knee replacements. Outpatient Joint Replacement Surgery certainly offers several distinct advantages over the inpatient setting, however not all patients will qualify for the procedure, commonly due to factors such as overall health, age, weight and insurance

“I think the biggest benefit of outpatient surgery is the patient’s ability to return to activity more quickly,” said Dr. Bernasek. “Our intention is to not only provide the best patient care, but to improve care for everyone by the research we produce.”

Learn more about Outpatient Total Joint Surgery and overall Outpatient procedures.

Orthopedist or Podiatrist

Orthopedist or Podiatrist: Who to pick?

By | You Should Know...

Orthopedist or Podiatrist? When it comes to foot and ankle problems, many people are left wondering which kind of doctor they should see. With so many kinds of physicians out there, the decision can seem daunting. Two common types of foot and ankle doctors that patients come across are podiatrists and orthopedists. But what’s the difference?


A podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM). Podiatrists undergo specialized training to only treat disorders of the foot and ankle. They receive four years of medical training at an accredited podiatric medical school, gaining specific training on the foot, ankle and lower leg. Podiatrists also take three to four years of foot and ankle surgical residency training.


An orthopedist can be a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). These doctors are trained to treat the musculoskeletal system. They are not limited to just one part of the body. Our surgeons are all fellowship-trained meaning that, in addition to being experts in the musculoskeletal system, they have further experience in their subspecialties. Florida Orthopaedic Institute surgeons specializing in Foot and Ankle are fellowship-trained in the Foot and Ankle subspecialty.

The foot and ankle surgeons at Florida Orthopaedic Institute are well-respected fracture specialists, managing the most complex of these problems with a national and international reputation. Many of the devices used to treat these injuries (plates, screws and intramedullary nails) were developed by members of the team. This expertise is unique in the region and allows for managing problems with predictable outcomes, as well as teaching others through courses, lectures, and publications.

While each doctor is different, orthopedic surgeons have a better general medical background and more surgical expertise. Some podiatrists do not do surgery or are not trained in the latest surgical techniques, while others are well trained to perform complicated reconstructive surgeries.

To learn more, read our page dedicated to further explaining the difference between orthopedists and podiatrists!

Dupuytren's Contracture

Dupuytren’s Contracture — Terri Hall Patient Story

By | Patient Stories

Terri Hall is the CEO of Doubletake Marketing & PR by Design, a full-service marketing, advertising and public relations firm. When she isn’t helping her clients establish their brands, she divides her time between working with non-profit organizations and enjoying her hobbies like making jewelry, golfing and yoga.

More than 10 years ago, Terri began feeling painful ‘nodes’ in the palm of her hand.

It kept me from enjoying my hobbies where I use my hands – which is just about everything I do. Anything from computer work, intricate jewelry making, yoga (downward dogs were miserable and put a strain on my wrists) and even wearing gloves. These were all challenges with my bent fingers.

Terri, left, celebrates a round of golf!

Terri was diagnosed with Dupuytren’s Contracture. Known formally as palmar fibromatosis, Dupuytren’s affects the hand, causing the fingers to contract and “freeze up” over a span of several years. After some unsuccessful treatments with her family doctor, she started doing her own research. That’s when she found Dr. Alfred V. Hess at Florida Orthopaedic Institute. Dr. Hess is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand and upper extremity disorders.

I just felt that he had extensive knowledge about hands and after researching him online, I thought my case was pretty mundane compared to some of the incredibly technical surgeries he’s performed. He never made me feel that my case was not important. We worked together to come up with a way to take a disease with no cure and manage it in the best way possible.

While there are no known cures for Dupuytren’s, both non-surgical and surgical approaches are examined and discussed with the patient. More often than not, steroid injections and collagenase injections (like Xiaflex) prove to slow the progression of the disease. However, surgery is often sought when Dupuytren’s prevents one from completing daily tasks.

When my disease finally did reach the point where surgery was my best option, I was well informed by Dr. Hess and his physician assistant, Tony, about the procedure and what to expect.

Terri, right, enjoys making her own jewelry. Dupuytren’s made enjoying her hobbies a lot more difficult.

Terri underwent outpatient hand surgery. She was home recovering the very same day. Thanks to the instructions of her care team, Terri was on her way towards fast healing!

The best thing to do is listen and follow the post-op instructions. Get yourself moving and healing the best way possible. If they tell you to do exercises, do them. If you need to wear a splint to keep your fingers ‘trained’ to be straight – do it. Your outcome is only as good as your follow through.

After conducting her own research led her down the path towards recovery, Terri advises everyone to do the same. Find someone who knows about your condition and get yourself a doctor that specializes in it.

I would research who specifically knows your condition and get a good doctor that specializes in what you have. I feel so fortunate to get Dr. Hess with a team that knows what they’re doing and feel confident recommending them to anyone that would have a condition like mine or any hand issues that require a true professional.

Dr. Alfred V. Hess, hand and upper extremity orthopedic surgeon.
running tips

Running Tips: Racing into 2020

By | You Should Know...

With the New Year right around the corner, many are planning to start the new decade off running! Whether your goal is to run faster, further or to simply start running, it’s important to have a game plan to begin the year right.

Training Plan

You’ll need to determine how much you’ve run in the past and how much you plan to run moving forward. This is always the best place to start so that you can set sufficient goals for yourself. You’ll be able to see if you’re progressing too quickly, which may result in overexertion, or not progressing fast enough.

Decide how many days a week you want to run. You should run at least two days a week to maintain progress and at least three days to increase. You shouldn’t run more than six days a week, giving yourself at least one rest day. Plan according to your own schedule to ensure you have enough space to progress.

If you increase speed, don’t increase mileage. If you increase mileage, don’t increase speed.

Check out this video on the 10% Rule featuring Dr. Adam C. Morse! Dr. Morse is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine.

Rest and Recovery

Leave at least one day a week for recovery. The harder you work, the more you need to recover. You don’t necessarily have to stop working altogether, but you can substitute a particularly strenuous day of running with an easy walking or jogging day. Cross-training is also recommended to prevent overuse injuries.


The amount of water you should drink during a training session depends on a few variables that you should take into consideration. You should be aware of the temperature where you’ll be running, the humidity level and the time and distance of your run. Dr. Morse recommends drinking at least 16 ounces of water 2 hours before running. While you’re running be sure to drink between 4-8 ounces every 15 minutes.

Want to see more Running Tips? Watch our videos below with Dr. Morse as he stays Keeping You Active!