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From Hockey to Healthcare

Former Lake Catholic athlete now treats sports injuries in his hometown

UH Clinical Update - March 2018


Orthopaedic sports medicine specialist Michael Karns, MD, has deep ties to Northeast Ohio – and to University Hospitals. He grew up in Concord, playing hockey at Lake Catholic High School. Michael Karns, MDAfter traveling to the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine for medical school, he returned to the region to complete his orthopaedic surgery residency training at UH Case Medical Center, now UH Cleveland Medical Center. Fellowship training in orthopaedic sports medicine took him to University of Utah Hospital where he had the opportunity to take care of PAC12 and NBA athletes. But when that was complete and the opportunity came for Dr. Karns to return to Northeast Ohio and join the UH medical staff, he says he didn’t hesitate.

“I grew up in the area, so I wanted to come back and have a chance to take care of the community I grew up in,” he says. “Training with the people I trained with, I knew it was an awesome department to be a part of. My wife is from the area, all our family is here, and we have been blessed with two wonderful children. We’re really excited to be back and raising our family where we grew up.”

Dr. Karns serves patients in Cleveland’s Eastside communities, performing surgery at the UH Richmond Medical Center and UH Mentor Surgery Center and seeing patients at UH Cleveland Medical Center and the UH health centers in Mayfield Village, Mentor and his hometown of Concord. He says that one of the most important trends in orthopaedic sports medicine is the ability to provide patients with minimally invasive procedures.

“In the care of an athlete, whether it’s a high school athlete or a recreational athlete, there are lot of things we can do to get players back to where they want to be, non-surgically or sometimes even surgically,” he says.’’ Most surgeries can now be addressed from an arthroscopic approach and the recoveries aren’t quite what they used to be, so people can actually have a functional recovery much more quickly than in years past. There is a certain downtime that you have to have, but if you compare what we’re doing now to 15 or 20 years ago, I think we’ve learned a lot about the basic science of healing and recovery. We’ve streamlined it so recovery is what it needs to be, but no longer.”

One quality Dr. Karns says is especially important to patients suffering a sports injury is quick access to medical care. On that score, Dr. Karns endeavors to go above and beyond.

“Part of creating a good patient experience is making sure that patients have access,” he says. “I am willing to see a patient, right then and there, at any time, 24 hours a day.”

For more information about Dr. Karns or to make a referral, please call 216-844-3066.