As a Board-certified orthopaedist who has lived in and served the Tampa Bay community for his entire career, Dr. Daniel Murphy is proud to offer his professional expertise to one of the nation’s leading professional baseball teams. In the following interview, he discusses his position as a team physician for the New York Yankees and the Tampa Yankees. Dr. Murphy also works with Head Team Physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad (who is based in New York).
Q: Dr. Murphy, what made you first want to get involved with professional athletic teams?
A: As an orthopaedist, I’m very interested in restoring the injured body to its healthy state. Professional athletes really epitomize that process because their livelihood depends on being free of pain and in peak physical condition, so working with the New York Yankees and the Tampa Yankees seemed like a natural choice.
Q: Do many major league players come to Tampa for rehabilitation during the regular season?
A: A lot of the players come down here to rehabilitate. Baseball has an extremely long regular season – 162 games between the beginning of April and October – so whether they’re down here for spring training in March or they need treatment throughout the rest of the year, there are always players in different phases of treatment. I also treat the minor league Tampa players and any recently drafted players that come down for training or sports injury rehabilitation.
Q: What challenges arise when you deal with professional baseball players?
A: Probably the fact that the off season is so short and there’s a lot of pressure to get these players healthy and back on the field as soon as possible. It’s kind of an accelerated rehabilitation program where the stakes are very high, but the players are also very driven and motivated, so it’s an exciting process to help them recover from their injuries.
Q: What are the most common orthopaedic injuries that affect your patients who are professional athletes?
A: Pitchers deal with a lot of chronic, degenerative injuries in their shoulders and elbows like tendonitis, labral tears, “dead arm,” UCL injuries, and rotator cuff tears. The position players tend to have more acute injuries like sprains, strains, hand or wrist fractures, and, in rare cases, ACL tears or meniscus tears.
Q: Are you more or less likely to suggest surgery when players are in their off-season training?
A: It can be a hard call. If orthopaedic surgery is necessary, it needs to get done quickly because players could take six months to a year before they’re ready for the field again. But treating an injury conservatively may just be putting off the inevitable, so there’s a lot less “wait and see” when dealing with treatment regimens for the professional players.
Q: You see a lot of younger patients and amateur athletes at your orthopaedic and sports medicine clinic in Tampa. Based on your experience with professional baseball players like the Yankees, what advice would you give up-and-coming athletes?
A: I would say they should talk to a trainer or a physical therapist early on in their careers to learn about the importance of warming up and proper stretching techniques to prevent future injuries. A good training program should consist of attainable goals and a gradual increase in intensity. Sometimes younger athletes push themselves too far physically and sustain injuries that follow them for years. Taking the time to pay attention to your body before, during, and after workouts is an important part of long-term athletic performance.
Dr. Murphy’s orthopaedic clinic, Tampa Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Group, is located at 602 South Howard Avenue. Consultations with Dr. Murphy or the clinic’s Board-certified sports medicine doctor, Arnold Ramirez, are available by appointment. Dr. Ramirez is proud to be a team physician for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In addition to our current professional team affiliations with the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, our physicians have a long history of working with other prestigious Tampa Bay area sports organizations:
Previous Team Affiliations
University of Tampa Spartans 1970-75
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1976-79
Tampa Bay Rowdies 1978-89
Tampa Bay Bandits 1983-85
Tampa Bay Lightning 2000-2004
Please feel free to contact us to learn more about the services we offer and schedule an evaluation.