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Star College Athlete Returns Home for Care - Dr Lellman gets him back in the game

November 11, 2010

Joshua Hawkins, of Amherst MA, Sophomore and Division1 lacrosse player for Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore



Joshua Hawkins, a talented and accomplished Division 1 lacrosse player for Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore spent much of his summer break doing what he loved most, playing the game of lacrosse.  After a fast paced demanding summer scrimmage, Hawkins came off the field with a sore left knee and knew something wasn't quite right.   Hawkins would play one more scrimmage before the nagging knee pain would command his attention.

In the midst of packing for his return to Loyola for his sophomore year, Hawkins would pay a visit to his primary care physician for a quick look at his knee.  After an MRI, he got the news any athlete would dread, he had torn the lateral meniscus in his left knee.   Hawkins would report to school and soon return to his home in Amherst, for a long weekend where he would join his parents Michael and Jeanie Hawkins to meet with Dr Joseph Lellman, Medical Director of Baystate Medical Practices -— Mary Lane Orthopedics.

“Although we had contemplated having Joshua’s knee repaired done in Baltimore,” said Mrs. Hawkins, “We decided that we wanted our son to be cared for by medical experts we knew and trusted close to home.”  

After a brief office visit and closer look at Hawkins injury, Dr. Lellman recommended arthroscopic repair to Hawkins and his family.  “Meniscus tears typically occur in sports that require fast starts, stops, cuts and pivots,” said Dr. Lellman.  “The meniscus, which is a shock-absorbing cartilage in the knee, can tear, and these painful injuries are best treated surgically by using a minimally-invasive procedure called arthroscopy. Using arthroscopy, I can repair or trim torn meniscus cartilages, which can relieve pain and often allow an athlete to return to a high level of athletic function in a short amount of time.  Without surgical repair, the tear will likely continue with activity and fragments of the torn meniscus may damage the smooth articular cartilage of the knee, resulting is not only pain, but possibly arthritis,” notes Lellman. 

“Personally knowing the challenges and risks for a serious injury that accompany any sports, has given me a greater understanding and compassion for my patients,” said Lellman who is also an avid cyclist and athlete himself with a long history and love for sports.   “Repair and recovery is a critical element of keeping athletes healthy and maximizing their performance on the field after an injury. In the short term, patients who have arthroscopic repair regain their range of motion more quickly,” said Dr. Lellman.  “This is the number-one benefit to all my patients, regardless if they are athletes or are patients who want to return to active lifestyle.”

Dr Lellman and Baystate Mary Lane Hospital Surgical Services Department staff worked quickly to accommodate Hawkins tight schedule, coordinating the surgical repair of his knee for the next day.  With years of experience, using the latest surgical technology, Dr Lellman would complete the necessary repair as a same-day procedure.  After only a few hours, Hawkins would soon be joined by his Mom and on his way home to recovery. 

Four weeks later, the accomplished athlete-business major is back at Loyola University and working under a watchful coach.  Hawkins is back on the field, playing short quarters with a knee that feels 100 %.   “It was a great first surgery for me,” notes Hawkins, who also hopes it will be his last. “I am grateful to Dr. Lellman and the nurses in Surgical Services at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital, who accommodated my busy academic schedule, made me laugh when I was nervous and most importantly put me back in the game!”

For more information, or to schedule an appointment with Joseph Lellman, Orthopedic Surgeon at Baystate Mary Lane Hospital call Baystate Medical Practices — Mary Lane Orthopedics at 413-967-2577.