Two brothers, two knee injuries, one doctor to fix them

Photo of two teenage brothers

Brothers Jordan and Kyle were both injured playing football and treated by Dr. Charles Popkin

Having a house full of athletic sons meant there was always a chance someone would end up getting hurt playing sports. Adrienne and Mark have three sons, and the two oldest, Jordan and Kyle, were each injured playing football and treated by Dr. Charles Popkin of Columbia Pediatric Orthopedics and NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital.

“My family and I are so grateful and blessed to have Dr. Popkin and his team come across our path when we were desperately seeking care for Jordan," said Adrienne. "It is like nothing happened for both boys. My advice for other parents is to seek other advice and meet with another doctor if you are not pleased with your initial consult. One of my sons was misdiagnosed by a doctor and was just put in a brace when he needed surgery. Go and see Dr. Popkin, he is approachable and not intimidating, personable and on my top list of doctors – there is the doctor that brought my boys into the world, and then the doctor – Dr. Popkin – who fixes them!"

Jordan's Story

“We found Dr. Popkin when our oldest son Jordan got injured during a football practice in 2015. We went to the local hospital by the football field that the team uses and got the standard x-rays and tests taken and met with the doctor. He ended up not taking our insurance, so we did old fashioned research online and saw Dr. Popkin was the team doctor for some local high schools, and reached out,” said Adrienne, Jordan's mom.

Jordan was diagnosed with a displaced tibial spine fracture. Located inside the structure of the knee joint, the tibial spine is where the the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) attaches to the top of the shin bone. These injuries are roughly equivalent to an ACL tear, but with damage to the bone rather than the soft tissue of the ligament. When these fractures are displaced – or, detached from the rest of the bone – surgical repair is required to restore function. Dr. Popkin performed arthroscopic surgery to close the fracture and placed sutures and an anchor to keep it in place while healing.

“Dr. Popkin was very pleased with the post operation results, and said it looks like nothing ever happened,” said parents Adrienne and Mark. “Thanks to Dr. Popkin’s expertise and precision, Jordan was able to play high school football and also run track. Now he's finishing up his freshman year in college as a Film Major.”

Kyle's Story

Several years later, Jordan’s younger brother Kyle also injured his knee playing football. His injury happened on a Saturday during practice and the team physical therapist was not available for an initial evaluation, so they went to a nearby urgent care facility for x-rays. Kyle’s knee was very swollen. “We called Dr. Popkin’s office and good thing we did, because when we were on the way to see Dr. Popkin the urgent care doctor called us with the diagnosis for recovery and it was not the same and Dr. Popkin’s was more detailed and thorough,” said Adrienne.

Kyle was diagnosed with a subchondral fracture of his knee. Unlike his brother, Kyle didn’t need surgery to get back on the field, but his parents appreciated Dr. Popkin's more conservative approach. “Dr. Popkin was more cautious with Kyle's recovery because he was a high school sophomore at the time, which was a good thing," said Mom. "After doing everything Dr. Popkin told him, Kyle was able to go ahead to play sooner than expected because of how quickly he healed.”

In addition to football, Kyle runs track and recently placed first in heats for the 100m and 200m dash, achieving personal best times for both distances. On the field, he started in the last football game of the season landing a tackle and critical interception that sealed a 21-20 win.