Dr. Lyle Micheli


Dr. Lyle Micheli (R): The Godfather of Sports Medicine? Dr. Kevin Klingele (L) is inclined to agree


The undisputed ‘Godfather of Soul’: James Brown Picture: Dbking @ Flickr

If there is a ‘Godfather of Soul’ is there a ‘Godfather of Sports Medicine’?

I think there may be……..and I’m very lucky to have trained under him.

Speaking as an editor of a clinical journal, I am aware of the phenomenon of bias, and I would acknowledge at least one ‘limitation’ of this blog post is that I am guilty of selection bias.

In truth, however, there could be a very strong case made for Dr. Lyle J. Micheli‘s candidacy for that mythical title.  One argument for the (perhaps) uncanny resemblance between the two ‘Godfathers’ is Mr. James Brown’s nickname:  “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business.”  No doubt, if there were a “Hardest Working Man” in Sports Medicine, the award would be given to Dr. Lyle Micheli:  even still, at age 70+, it is rumored that he performs more surgeries than any other orthopedist in the New England region of USA.  This is a man who works six days a week, and on the seventh…..well, unlike God, Dr. Micheli doesn’t rest:  he writes. Research Manuscripts.

At CJSM, we have been the recipient of several of his studies that have made the peer review grade and been published.  They span a period from 1992 (Arthroscopic Evaluation and Treatment of Internal Derangements of the Knee in Patients Older than 60 Years) to 2015 (A Closer Look at Overuse Injuries in the Pediatric Athlete).  Recognize that CJSM itself is celebrating its 25th year, and so, in essence, Dr. Micheli has been publishing in our journal for as long as we have been in existence.

His career goes back farther, into those dim reaches of the sports medicine universe that precede the Big Bang, er, the birth of CJSM in 1990.  His career in sports medicine dates back to the 60’s.  He was treating athletes before Jim Fixx gave birth to a  running boom in the United States.  Put another way, he was Medical Director of the Boston Marathon when Americans were still winning the thing…..and he is still at the Finish Line: in 2015 and in the infamous 2013 Marathon about which I have written in this blog.

He is currently visiting here in Columbus, Ohio, ready to give Grand Rounds on ‘Spinal Injuries in Young Athletes,’ and it’s great to see him.  We’ll be doing a podcast together, and I plan on sharing a link to that on our CJSM Social Media.

For now, let me end this encomium with one last parallel between the two Godfathers.  Sure, James Brown was prolific:  over his career he produced how many hits? married how many times (4)? had how many children (6)?  Dr. Micheli?  Well, let’s just say he has ‘given birth’ to many sports medicine children, who continue to follow his path in the field of sports medicine practice and research:  Meehan, Stracciolini, d’Hemecourt, Luke, Loud.…even myself.  And so many, many more!   There are seemingly untold disciples spread across the globe continuing his example of hard work and research productivity. Micheli?  Prolific? Oh my, yes.

He’d be the first to say, however, that it’s all about evidence-based (not eminence-based medicine), and so I hear his voice in my conscience, telling me to stop this now!  And get to doing some real work:  run a regression, do those edits on the manuscript that is due, figure out the solution to a problem in the athletes you care for!

Besides, the day has passed, it’s the middle of the night, and I hear the Chimes of Midnight……Grand Rounds is less than 6 hours from now.  Good night!!!!!

The Marathon

It’s Patriots Day, a very special holiday celebrated in New England but revered throughout the world as Marathon Monday:  the running of the Boston Marathon.


The 2014 Boston Marathon is happening…..now!

There are few people today who won’t be remembering the events of the 2013 running. My hope, and strong sense, is that the 2014 version of the BAA Marathon will be known for great competition only, with Lelisa Desisa hoping to defend his title in the men’s event and Rita Jeptoo hoping for the same thing on the women’s side.  Right now, it looks to be a near perfect day for both the runners and spectators, with the only worry that afternoon temperatures may trend a little on the warm side.

We are, as sports medicine providers, used to dealing with the possibility of hypo- or hyperthermia in such events, dealing with hyponatremia and exercise-associated collapse….I commend to you a number of excellent studies we have published over the last decade about such medical events.  The illustrious Tim Noakes has written about fluid replacement in marathon running, Bill Roberts has published original research on risk factors for developing hyponatremia during marathon running, and last year Lawrence Hart wrote about marathon-related cardiac arrest. We all need to be up-to-date about such issues; they represent the typical challenges we will face in the medical tent at such events.

Last year the running of the Boston Marathon reminded us that we must also be prepared for mass casualty at such events.  The New England Journal of Medicine published a short piece by the medical providers on the scene, The Boston Marathon and Mass Casualty Events, which I encourage you to read.  Preparing for the worst, hoping for the best:  a mantra that can serve us well in medical coverage as well as life in general.

I know several of the doctors who are on the course and at the finish line this morning, and I know they are prepared for all eventualities.  But I hope the only trauma they have to deal with might be from a fall on the course, a twisted ankle…….

Here’s to the safety of the runners, the spectators, and the staff of today’s great sporting event!!!!!!!

NOT Sports Medicine

The 2014 Boston Marathon will be run in a little more than a week (Monday April 21). We look back on the events of last year while we look forward to a safe running in 2014. Good luck to all the clinicians and staff who will be taking care of a record number of runners!


Boston Strong!

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine Blog

I don’t think any of us in sports medicine got into the field expecting to be involved in an event like that which transpired in Boston yesterday.

Image Map of Boston Bombings

Like many people around the world, I became riveted to TV, internet newsfeeds, and Social Media yesterday as I tried to make sense of what was occurring in Boston:  at 2:50 p.m., a little over four hours after the start of the Boston Marathon, two bombs exploded near the finish line, creating a chaotic scene resulting at this moment in three deaths and over 100 casualties.  A scene of sporting joy and celebration had been turned into mayhem.

In the days ahead and as the investigation into this event unfolds, we will likely learn ‘who’ was behind this and for what supposed purpose.   It is my hope that ‘they’ become a footnote in history, and that instead…

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Public Health and Sports Medicine


San Diego at night

I am in the Columbus airport on my way to San Diego for the AMSSM Meeting and I’m excited. OK, truth:  I’m on the ground in Columbus and ‘weather’ is preventing our flight taking off to Chicago, where I will, in theory, get my connecting flight to San Diego. And that’s not too exciting.

But, the meeting:  the research abstracts to be presented at the meeting look great, and I’ll be blogging about the event more in the next several days (if I make it there………)

My mind is still thinking of the events that occurred at the Boston Marathon three days ago, and I am looking forward to the London Marathon this weekend, which I hope goes off without a hitch.  I continue to read stories of the heroism of the Boston medical community, from the professionals in the finish line medical tent to the nearby hospitals, where the trauma was nearly overwhelming.  And I have read sobering stories, from the litany of terrorist events that have impacted sport to the analyses that suggest planning for marathons, the ‘most democratic of sporting events,’ may be irrevocably changed.

Many of us in sports medicine are involved in on-site game coverage, including the coverage of mass events, and the roles we play in these venues are, indisputably, exceedingly important.  For some of us, this is our core professional mission.  For me, it is a secondary role.  Most of my days and evenings are spent in clinic, seeing patients referred to me, or teaching students and trainees, or in pursuing medical research.  Nights and weekends will then find me at times covering a basketball or American football game at Bexley High School or Ohio Dominican University.  Over the years I have found myself covering mass events in the medical tents at the Big Sur Marathon, San Jose Half Marathon, the Big Kahuna Triathlon, local wrestling tournaments, and the Boston Marathon.

The Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine has published articles in the recent past on mass event coverage and prevention of illness in athletes, and I commend them to you for your consideration. Read more of this post

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