Kyle Karpiscak | Florida Orthopaedic Institute
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Kyle Karpiscak

Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR): Diane Pollock

By | Patient Stories

In 2002, Diane Pollock had her left leg amputated due to severe osteomyelitis at 32 years old. Osteomyelitis is a bacterial disease in the bone that affects about two in every 10,000 people and, if untreated, can lead to the deterioration of bone tissue. Diane sought the help of a care team at Duke University.

“My treatment choices were either a straight leg fusion through the knee or an above-knee amputation,” Diane said. “So I chose the amputation.”

Diane taking her first steps at Duke University in 2002.

Although she lost her lower leg, Diane gained a second wind. She immediately got to work, knowing what would be required of her in order to make a full recovery.

“I quickly became aware of the self-discipline needed to maintain a good level of fitness in order to optimize all of the advanced prosthetic components that are available,” she said. “[I wanted] and active ‘new normal’ life.”

Diane quickly immersed herself into the world of adaptive sports. For three years, she was a sponsored athlete as she competed in competitive rowing. Diane obtained her United States Coast Guard (USCG) Captain’s license in 2011 and even became a member of the USCG Auxiliary in 2012. In the years that followed, however, Diane began to experience pain in her residual limb that made it difficult for her to wear her prosthetics.

Despite certain obstacles, Pollock attained her USCG Captain’s license and joined the USCG Auxiliary.

“By 2014, it was confirmed that I had a substantial sciatic neuroma at the distal end of my amputated femur,” she said. “My prosthetist and I continued to make changes within the prosthetic socket, with a larger and more pronounced relief pocket for the neuroma to travel into during the weight bearing phase of my gait.”

Throughout all the changes with her prosthetics, Diane was able to live as normal as she could while fighting through the pain due to her neuroma. Five years later, the pain worsened to the point where she knew she had to put an end to it once and for all.

Diane learning some balance drills at the Amputee Coalition of America’s annual conference in Boston, 2003.

“After an exhaustive six month search for the best qualified medical provider, I found Dr. Jason Nydick with Florida Orthopaedic Institute,” Diane said. “I had read the story about Dr. Nydick assisting with the reattachment of a teenager’s hand and I knew that the skill level and confidence required for such a surgery is immense. I also felt like his experience as a surgeon in a field hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan was a good foundation.”

Dr. Jason Nydick is fellowship trained in hand and upper extremity surgery and is a member of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA). Within the last year, Dr. Nydick established the Reconstructive Limb Loss Clinic, a clinic that focuses a multi-specialty team approach on improving pain and function to patients who have upper or lower amputations.

Her new prosthetic socket! Saltwater proof with a gyroscope, accelerometer, computer processor and a hydraulic cylinder!

After a consultation with Dr. Nydick, Diane was recommended to undergo Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR). TMR is a procedure developed by doctors at Northwestern University that reroutes the nerves that once controlled the amputated limb, eliminating pain and giving the remaining limb freedom to control the prosthesis.

“The evaluation was very thorough, with Dr. Nydick answering all of our questions without us feeling rushed,” Diane said. “I feel like Dr. Nydick is a very capable surgeon and a much needed care provider for amputees struggling with neuromas and the pain caused by them. Neuroma pain can make it impossible for an amputee to use his or her prosthesis no matter how advanced the components may be.”

Diane’s post-surgical outcome has been nothing short of amazing. Thanks to Dr. Nydick, her neuroma pain has completely gone away. Each day she gets closer and closer to returning to her boating, conducting boat charters and getting back to her water sports.

Pollock will never stop climbing to reach her goals. She is on a mission to advocate TMR for anybody that may be a candidate.

“Do not give up,” Diane said. “Simply giving up and accepting that ‘there is nothing you can do’ is not acceptable. I could not be happier with my decision to consult with Dr. Nydick and the treatment plan that we executed.”

Florida Orthopaedic Institute Announces New Primary Care Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Physician

By | Announcements, Our Physicians

Tampa, FL. – December 3, 2019 – Florida Orthopaedic Institute (FOI) announces the recent hiring of Dr. Reza Alavi to its practice of more than 40 fellowship-trained physicians. Dr. Alavi is a primary care orthopedist fellowship-trained in sports medicine.

“We are pleased to announce the addition of Reza Alavi, M.D. to our expanding roster of extraordinary primary care physicians at Florida Orthopaedic Institute,” said Dr. Roy Sanders, M.D., president, chief medical officer and founding member of Florida Orthopaedic Institute. “Our Sports Medicine Division welcomes Dr. Alavi and we are eager to care for even more patients in the realm of sports medicine.”

Dr. Alavi earned his medical degree in Shahrekord, Iran before completing his residency at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton, NJ. He later gained his fellowship in Sports Medicine at Bayfront Health Sports Medicine in St. Petersburg, FL.

“I am really excited to join Florida Orthopaedic Institute,” Dr. Alavi said. “It’s the largest orthopedic institute in Florida and has been a point of reference in orthopedics for decades. I am very grateful that they are allowing me this wonderful opportunity to pursue my beloved passion.”

Dr. Alavi is a member of numerous organizations including the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Medical Society of Sports Medicine. He has also been the team physician for multiple schools in Tampa and St. Petersburg including Keswick High School, Northside Christian High School, Eckerd College and University of South Florida.

Dr. Alavi began seeing patients on December 2 at the North Tampa, Citrus Park and Palm Harbor locations.

Youth Sport Specialization: What is it and What are the Risks?

By | You Should Know...

What is Sport Specialization?

In general, most might say that in order for an athlete to be considered ‘elite’ in a sport, they must start young and focus on that sport and that sport alone. Recent students, however, are showing otherwise. Currently, there is an increasing trend in young athletes (youth and high school) participating in what professionals call ‘sport specialization’. George Eldayrie, M.D., primary care orthopedist and sports medicine specialist at Florida Orthopaedic Institute, weighed in on the definition.

“When we talk about it in a broad sense, in the sports medicine world, there are different aspects of sport specialization,” said Dr. Eldayrie. “The biggest issue is kids specializing a little too early. We define that as when a kid is pushed into doing, or chooses on their own to do, just one particular sport or one position. Usually before the age of 12 is when they are considered specialized.”

What are the dangers?

Doctors and medical professionals alike are now conducting studies that show that young athletes specializing in one sport may actually be hindering their own performance. Experts are attributing an increased risk of injury to the lack of diversity in movements. In sports like tennis, baseball and even cross-country, the repetitive motions tend to neglect beneficial stress on other muscles and often leads to overuse injuries.

“If a kid is doing one particular sport or activity too much, they are at risk for overuse injuries and certain types of issues related to how their bones are growing,” said Dr. Eldayrie. “Most kids do better when they are involved in multiple different sports. Those athletes end up doing better in the long run. They become a little more athletic. They develop skills. They stress other joints and parts of their body to help adapt for other types of athletic success.”

Why is it so prevalent?

Across the board, sports medicine specialists say that youth sport specialization comes down to two main factors: culture and parenting. With an increasing glorification of professional sports, both athletes and their parents are hoping to achieve those same levels of success.

“Sports are such a huge part of the American culture,” Dr. Eldayrie said. “Eighty percent of kids who reach an elite level of sports think that they are going to go professional. Realistically, less than one percent of athletes are going to go professional.”

He continued, “I think there’s a movement where we are really pushing our kids a little too much and starting them a little too early. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s great to put your kid in a sport; there’s so many benefits to that, but it’s worthwhile to spice it up [and experiment with different sports].”

How can it be prevented?

Dr. Eldayrie is confident that data and further research will decrease the amount of youth athletes specializing in sports which, in turn, will lead to a decrease in overuse injuries and related conditions.

“[Again,] specialization is not a huge problem when you reach the elite level, but it’s more so the developmental stage. It’s the ten-year old playing baseball twelve months out of the year. Show them the proof. Yes, these injuries are happening more frequently and there is data to support that athletes are doing better when they aren’t sport specialized so early. As we continue to gather data, hopefully mindsets will change.”

Dr. George E. Eldayrie
Primary Care Orthopedist and Sports Medicine Specialist

Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty: Richard Settle

By | Patient Stories

Richard Settle was a junior in high school when he injured his shoulder for the first time. During a wrestling match, his left shoulder tore out of its socket, rendering it dislocated. Every since then, Richard has been the unlucky host to a number of shoulder injuries with the surgeries to pair.

“In my early thirties, I had a Bankart procedure done,” Richard said. “[I had] a partial shoulder replacement roughly 15 years later. I would average a dislocation of the left shoulder at least four times yearly.”

His chronic shoulder pain eventually found him not being able to do simple tasks or even enjoy his hobbies. Without his full range of motion, Richard felt somewhat incomplete.

“I wasn’t able to lift my arm above my shoulder,” he said. “I couldn’t even hang a picture. As a guitar player, my left arm never had the strength to fully embrace the guitar neck. I always buried my elbow into my rib cage and that altered the way I play.”

After nearly 50 years, Richard was in desperate need of a doctor who could finally put an end to his shoulder pain, especially following the unexpected passing of his former surgeon.

“My only problem was that I knew I had the very best and now he is gone,” Richard said. “After all the time I had put in with this surgeon… How do I find another Dr. Oliver?”

With hope seemingly dwindling, Richard found relief in Dr. Christopher Baker, an orthopedic surgeon at Florida Orthopaedic Institute. Specializing in sports medicine, shoulder and knee repair, Dr. Baker was able to put Richard’s mind at ease with his experience and determined approach.

“[As a medical publications salesperson], I was aware of the reverse total shoulder surgery and knew I wanted this done,” Richard said. “But I really needed a crafts person behind the scalpel. Dr. Baker’s completely casual chat brought me in. He is honest with no surprises and no worries. He recommended the reversal and that’s when I knew I was home.”

Richard lived with shoulder injuries for over three decades. When he woke up from surgery, that familiar pain that traveled with him his entire life was gone. All of his aches, pains, worries and woes vanished. His surgery was a success.

With his mobility restored, Richard can now reach for the stars!

“Having experienced the intense pain of surgery many times, it was impossible to envision what Dr. Baker and his staff were telling me,” Richard said. “You do not need to rehabilitate as you did prior. You will not feel that level of pain and you will see wonderful improvement. I am not enjoying breaking my mind free of the image controlling a limited shoulder, now free to roam around as it sees fit.”

With a new lease on his shoulder mobility, Richard is forever thankful for the services provided by Dr. Baker and his staff.

“All the tools and advancements are wonderful however, in the hands of a master orthopedic surgeon such as Dr. Baker, the results are exponentially amplified.”

athlete of the week

Tampa Prep Swimmer Snags Two State Championships and Looks for More.

By | Athlete of the Week

Tampa, Fl. – November 18, 2019 – Florida Orthopaedic Institute (FOI) is proud to announce Logan Tirheimer from Tampa Preparatory School as the ‘Athlete of the Week’ for the week beginning November 18, 2019.

Tirheimer was nominated by the boys’ swim head coach, Jason Bowes, for his incredible achievements following his performance at the state championships.

“Logan had an incredible state championship meet this past Saturday,” Bowes said. “Florida swimming is notoriously known as one of the top swimming states in the country. Logan, this week, won the 50FR and 100FR at the Florida High School State Championships in Stuart, FL. He also broke two school records in the process. This is an amazing accomplishment.”

With two state championship wins under his belt, Tirheimer is still swimming for further success.

“I wasn’t always the most motivated swimmer as I am today,” Tirheimer said. “My life really turned around when I began swimming in high school. My goals now are to podium at Junior Nationals next month and to get the Olympic trial cut in the 50-yard freestyle.”

Tirheimer knows that these are not simple tasks and that the amount of effort and determination in order to achieve them is intense.

“There is no easy way to do it,” he said. “These goals are going to take hard work and dedication. Over the course of this season, my path was filled with many potholes, road bumps and hurdles. Most notably, I missed the full month of September with a back injury. However, I powered through the adversity and went on to win the 50 and 100-yard freestyles.”

Exuding success and recently committed to the University of Auburn, Tirheimer believes in the ideology of ‘the grind’. It does not stop.

“The clock resets,” Tirheimer said. “Now, I need to put in the work again to reach my new goals. Until then, I will not be satisfied.”

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: FloridaOrtho.com and ‘like’ us on Facebook: facebook.com/Florida.Orthopaedic.Institute

Common Conditions in Musicians

By | You Should Know...

Hand and Upper Extremity Injuries

Music has been around for quite some time. In fact, the first musical instrument is believed to be a flute carved from the bone of an extinct cave bear nearly forty-three thousand years ago. Since then, the art form has quickly expanded across the world, establishing itself as a staple of every culture. From children and adults to hobbyists and professionals, musicians have found an outlet into which their talent can flow. This talent, however, can often come with a price.

As with any activity, injuries can happen after a while. More specifically, overuse injuries happen, which are brought on by repetitive motion and actions. It’s important to understand the potential setbacks that a musician may face and the methods used towards preventing injury. Whether you’re a guitarist playing your favorite riff, a pianist gliding up and down the keyboard or a drummer bashing on the kit, most musicians end up experiencing some sort of injury from constant playing.

de Quervain’s Tendonitis

First dorsal compartment tendonitis, also known as de Quervain’s Tendonitis, is a condition caused by irritation or inflammation of the wrist tendons at the base of the thumb. The inflammation causes swelling to the tunnel or sheath surrounding the tendon, further causing pain to the thumb and wrist. Someone with de Quervain’s Tendonitis may not be able to make a fist or grasp objects without some form of pain. Treatment includes splints, anti-inflammatories, rest and corticosteroid injections. Surgery may also be recommended.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition caused by increased pressure on the median nerve at the wrist. The pressure eventually affects the nerve function, resulting in tingling, numbness and pain felt in the hand and fingers. Loss of strength, forearm tenderness and pain during the night may also be experienced. Guitarists and pianists are two types of musicians who commonly experience this condition. Treatment includes splints, anti-inflammatories, rest, corticosteroid injections and physical therapy. Surgery may also be recommended.

Bursitis

Musicians are also susceptible to bursitis, a condition that happens when there is swelling in the bursa. Bursae are thin, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bone from tendons and muscles. Usually caused by a formal injury, repetitive motions are also known to cause bursitis. While bursae are found all throughout the body, musicians commonly experience bursitis in their shoulders and elbows. Treatment includes splints, anti-inflammatories, rest, corticosteroid injections and physical therapy. Surgery may also be recommended, although rare.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome occurs when pressure is placed on the ulnar nerve. This pressure often causes pain, swelling or weakness in the hand. Tingling or numbness of the ring and pinky fingers are also noticed. If the nerve is compressed for prolonged periods of time, muscle wasting in the hand can occur. Treatment includes splints, anti-inflammatories and physical therapy. Surgery may also be recommended.  

These are just some of the conditions among a laundry list of injuries that musicians can be affected by. If you are experiencing pain similar to the above or think that you may have a similar condition, you should contact your hand and upper extremity physicians at Florida Orthopaedic Institute.

Dr. Mehrotra Physician Headshot

Florida Orthopaedic Institute Announces New Total Joint Physician as Company Continues Expansion.

By | Announcements, Our Physicians

Tampa, Fl. – November 11, 2019 – Florida Orthopaedic Institute (FOI) announces the recent hiring of Dr. Kapil G. Mehrotra to its practice of more than 40 fellowship-trained physicians. Dr. Mehrotra is an orthopedic surgeon fellowship trained in adult reconstruction and joint replacement.

“We are proud to announce the addition of Kapil Mehrotra, M.D. to our exemplary roster of physicians at Florida Orthopaedic Institute,” says Dr. Roy Sanders, president, chief medical officer and founding member of Florida Orthopaedic Institute. “With Dr. Mehrotra’s added expertise, our practice will be able to expand and continue to serve as the leader in adult reconstruction and joint replacement.”

Dr. Mehrotra completed his residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. From there, he went on to receive his fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, New York before establishing himself in Tampa, Florida.

“It is my honor to join the great surgeons at Florida Orthopaedic Institute,” Mehrotra said. “A great surgeon requires competence, compassion and commitment. My goal is to get patients back to their favorite activities and enjoy the time with their loved ones. I’m excited to join Florida Orthopaedic Institute’s family and provide quality care to the people of Florida.”

Dr. Mehrotra is a member of numerous organizations including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons (AAHKS) and Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Medical Society. He has also presented at numerous medical conferences, authored peer-reviewed journal articles and has shared his expertise in medical textbooks.

Dr. Mehrotra began seeing patients on November 5 at the Telecom and South 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, and spine 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: FloridaOrtho.com and ‘like’ us on Facebook: facebook.com/Florida.Orthopaedic.Institute

Athlete of the Week

Steinbrenner Athlete Sets and Breaks Own Records.

By | Athlete of the Week

Tampa, Fl. – November 11, 2019 – Florida Orthopaedic Institute (FOI) is proud to announce Josh King from Steinbrenner High School as the ‘Athlete of the Week’ for the week beginning November 11, 2019.

King was nominated by the boys’ cross-country head coach, Allison Szponar for his record-setting talent and his unwavering determination.

“Not only does Josh have our school’s 5K record of 15:50, but he has also solidified himself as our go-to athletic trainer,” Szponar said. “Josh, who has battled back from a number of injuries throughout his high school career, helps younger athletes with aqua jogging and icing and heating techniques for injury prevention and recovery. He plans to run in college and become a physical trainer specializing in athletes.”

Now that he is back from the injured reserve, King has his goals in sight. Looking to break the 5K record he previously set and break the school’s two-mile record, he is once again ready to compete.

“I always wanted to compete,” King said. “I joined track as a freshman and steadily climbed the ranks with the Boss Cross. Through many injury-plagued seasons, I am finally getting my chance to show my full potential.”

Additionally, King wants to help his team secure a state championship. Cross-country is a game of pure endurance and, in order to win, King knows that he has to stay in top physical and mental condition.

“Getting a state championship is no easy task,” King said. “I have to be consistent and work hard every day to push myself to try and be the best. In order to maintain, I have to eat right, get enough sleep and make sure I am mentally prepared for the obstacles that running presents.”

Driven by unrelenting willpower and work ethic, King is looking to go the distance and do whatever it takes to win that championship.

“You have to sacrifice for what you want,” King said. “Or what you want will be the sacrifice. Be the best you can be and always focus on the goals ahead of you. Also, listen to your body and be smart about how you train.”

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: FloridaOrtho.com and ‘like’ us on Facebook: facebook.com/Florida.Orthopaedic.Institute

Carpal Tunnel Release

Carpal Tunnel Release: Thomas Brown Patient Experience

By | Patient Stories

Thomas Brown, 71, is the CEO of Living Shorelines Solutions, Inc., an environmental company that serves to restore and protect shorelines. A twice-retired, regular gym goer, with a patent on technology that stops erosion, Brown never sleeps if there is work to do. Years ago, however, he noticed that his hands started taking the sleeping shifts.

Brown holding his granddaughter.

“I tried to exercise through it, squeezing a ball, but nothing seemed to help,” Brown said. “It didn’t prevent me from doing much, but it was very irritating at night. I always had to shake my hands to relieve the numbness.”

Brown was tired of restless sleeping, having to wake up in the middle of the night just to regain the feeling in his hands. Eager to find peace, he went online and tried to find answers. That is when he found Dr. Jason Nydick, hand and upper extremity surgeon at Florida Orthopaedic Institute. After seeing his experience in hand and wrist injuries, he knew he had to schedule an appointment.

“Dr. Nydick was extremely articulate,” Brown said. “He quickly confirmed my own thoughts that it was a carpal tunnel issue. After the consultation, I decided to have surgery. He explained to me the two surgical options and what I was to expect.”

One of the options was an open carpal tunnel release surgery using a technique called WALANT (Wide Awake Local Anesthesia No Tourniquet). WALANT is common among certain hand and wrist surgeries and eliminates the need for a tourniquet and sedation. Lidocaine, used to prevent pain, and Epinephrine, used to control bleeding, allows for WALANT to be a practical option for patients, costing them less money and decreasing the time spent at the surgery center.

“I chose the open procedure,” Brown said. “I didn’t want to be sedated unless it was absolutely necessary.”

After the surgery, Brown was able to make a fast recovery, as do all patients undergoing a carpal tunnel release.

Brown on a skiing trip with his family on Whistler Mountain, in British Columbia, Canada.

“I just continued to squeeze the ball and started lifting weights again quickly after my surgery,” he said. “I didn’t need any medications post-op. Dr. Nydick and his team were great!”

After years of numbness and overall discomfort, Brown was finally able to get that full night sleep he had longed for hopefully.

“Get it done sooner rather than later,” he said. “It’s simple and really a pain free process. I only wished I’d done it sooner.”

Bloomingdale Swimmer Makes Splashes, Focuses on Team Involvement and Inclusion

By | Athlete of the Week

Tampa, Fl – November 4, 2019 – Florida Orthopaedic Institute (FOI) is proud to announce Emma Reynolds from Bloomingdale High School as the ‘Athlete of the Week’ for the week beginning November 4, 2019.

Reynolds was nominated by swim coach Eva Applebee for her dedication to her team as she creates an atmosphere in which everyone can belong.

“Emma has been a dedicated Swim Team member during all her four years in high school,” Applebee said. “A quiet young lady, Emma always leads by example. She has outstanding work ethic. She helps and supports her teammates. She swims in any event we put her in and never complains. Emma also designed our team shirt last year, which we all wore proudly. I am very honored to nominate Emma Reynolds for this recognition.”

Exuding selflessness and commitment to fostering an environment in which everyone can feel included, Reynolds dedicates her time to building relationships with her teammates.

“I want to create a sense of community amongst my swim team where everyone feels as though they matter and belong,” Reynolds said. “By providing encouragement and demonstrating kindness and acceptance, I want each team member to have a place where they are accepted and can develop friendships and positive relationships.”

When it comes to swimming, the word ‘sport’ is one of the last things thought of for someone like Reynolds. Swimming is a lifestyle where likeminded people can come together and bond. It is a tool that helps with organization and reinforces the principles of hard work. Swimming is a mindset.

“Swimming has helped me to develop life-long friendships, a good work ethic and time management skills,” Reynolds said. “It has taught me how to be a good friend, teammate and team player. I want to share my experiences with my teammates in hopes that they, too, will find positive friendships and success while participating in a sport that has given me so much.”

A team cannot function without everyone being included, involved and engaged. As a natural leader, Reynolds stresses the importance of encouragement and team acceptance.

“My goal can be accomplished by making my teammates, regardless of their experience or level of performance, feel accepted,” Reynolds said. “By encouraging my teammates to always do their best, letting them know that they are needed and appreciated, modeling good sportsmanship and cultivating an environment of teamwork, it is my hope that my teammates feel a sense of belonging and leadership.”

With plans of attending the University of South Florida to become a pediatric physical therapist, Reynolds wants to make a lasting impression on the athletes that come after her upon graduation.

“Choose kindness,” she finished. “Make each person you come into contact with feel important, needed and special. Work with a sense of purpose and integrity. Always try your best no matter what you are doing. You never know how it will affect your future.”

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: FloridaOrtho.com and ‘like’ us on Facebook: facebook.com/Florida.Orthopaedic.Institute