Gary Wexler, MD, believes in getting athletes and sports enthusiasts back out to the playing fields as quickly as possible.
Just when you thought your golf or tennis career was over, Dr. Gary Wexler swoops in to save the day.
Each of the 17 board-certified orthopedic physicians at Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute in Palm Beach Gardens subspecializes to provide patients with superior treatment, whether it be a hip replacement, spinal correction, or, in Wexler’s case, repairing a shoulder or knee injury. Known as “the sports guy,” he is motivated to get his patients, many of them athletes, back to the activities they enjoy as quickly as possible.
Wexler received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with his medical school degree and went on to train at Rush University in Chicago for his orthopedic residency. He also completed an extra year of training while finishing a fellowship in sports medicine at Cincinnati Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center. Like so many of us, Wexler followed the sun after years of training in the freezing cold—migrating to Florida and never looking back. It’s good news for everyone from high school quarterbacks to avid golfers, and Wexler loves delivering it. “A sports injury comes with a negative emotional response, where people are devastated, thinking they’ll never get better,” he says. “And I get to tell them it doesn’t need to be like that.”
Wexler encourages patients to think of orthopedic surgeons as “the frontline providers” for treatment of injuries to the musculoskeltal system. “There’s a misconception that we just do surgery, but, actually, we are the primary caregivers to joints, muscles, bones and ligaments,” the doctor says. Not one to sprint to the operating table, Wexler finds that conservative care such as anti-inflammatory medicines, injections, therapy, braces and topical gels can often yield effective results.
Still, surgery remains the only option for injuries that won’t heal on their own, but that doesn’t mean you’re in it for the long haul. With technological advancements, pain is lessened and recovery time is shortened. So, don’t be so quick to hang up your clubs and racquets—just set them aside for a while. You’ll be back out there in no time.
Photography by: Nick Mele