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Back in the game

Thanks to the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Sports Medicine program, a college basketball player is performing better than ever after a serious injury. Pictured, Robby Beasley.

Division 1 college basketball player Robby Beasley, 18, tore his meniscus last year after an intense evening game in his senior year of high school. As a star player, with a scholarship to play at the University of Montana starting in fall 2020, this was serious. 

“Being able to compete at a high level is one of the most important things to me as a D-1 basketball player,” said Beasley, now a freshman at the university.  

A longtime patient of Steven Stappaerts, MD, a non-operative sports medicine and orthopedic physician at the Kaiser Permanente San Ramon Medical Offices, Beasley and his parents knew who to put their faith in. The day after his injury, the family was in Dr. Stappaerts’ office. After careful analysis and consultation among multiple sports medicine physicians, Beasley was referred to Jason Ho, MD, an orthopedic surgeon, also in the San Ramon medical offices.  

Dr. Ho was able to get Beasley in for meniscal repair surgery within 2 weeks of his injury. That speed, Dr. Ho said, is testament to Kaiser Permanente’s coordinated care.

“The teamwork I have with Dr. Stappaerts is second to none,” Dr. Ho said. “We are set up to take care of our patients quickly and efficiently. Ultimately, we all have the same mission, to deliver excellent care.”

Left, Dr. Stappaerts, orthopedic physician, right, Dr. Ho, orthopedic surgeon.

For Beasley’s parents, having a team of doctors they could trust who were attentive, professional, and caring was everything to them.

“I can’t image having a better surgeon than Dr. Ho and care from Dr. Stappaerts,” said Carolyn Beasley, Robby’s mom. “They were phenomenal. We couldn’t have been happier.”

Road to recovery

The first week after Beasley’s surgery was the most difficult, he recalled. But soon he was on the road to recovery with help from the program’s physical therapists. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Beasley participated in virtual physical therapy sessions for nearly 6 months, during which he was instructed in real-time and given exercises to do independently.  

“The physical therapy team at Kaiser Permanente was responsive to my concerns and made sure I was getting the rehab I needed,” Beasley said.

When Beasley started college last fall, Dr. Ho continued to care for him across states, working with his university physician in reviewing MRI scans when Beasley complained of knee pain after a few rigorous practices.

“I can’t imagine having a better surgeon than Dr. Ho and care from Dr. Stappaerts. They were phenomenal. We couldn’t have been happier.” 

A team effort

The Kaiser Permanente Northern California’s Sports Medicine program has more than 100 board-certified Sports Medicine physicians, orthopedic surgeons, and physical therapists who work collaboratively to deliver the most informed care to its patients.

“We all come from different backgrounds and have different experiences. We learn a great deal from one another,” Dr. Stappaerts said. “We go above and beyond for our patients to ensure they are getting the best care.”

The Beasley family knows they can directly message either physician, and expect a response, regardless of the time of day. “It doesn’t matter if it’s outside normal business hours. We are here to provide excellent care to Robby,” said Dr. Ho.

Beasley is now in his second semester in Division 1 basketball. During his last game he scored 18 points and won the game. Giving the young basketball player back his passion is why Dr. Stappaerts, Dr. Ho, and all the sports medicine team members do what they do.

“It’s the best part of my day when I get a message from my patient that they are doing well,” said Dr. Stappaerts. “And, as a doctor, it’s my goal to get our patients back to doing what they love.”

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COVID-19patientsphysical therapysports injuries

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