Congratulations for revealing one aspect of athletics that has been neglected: medical care. William Oscar Johnson and the orthopedic surgeons whom he quoted provided us with a most informative article. Maybe now general managers, athletic directors and coaches will take notice and review the quality of medical care that they are responsible for providing their athletes.
One member of the medical team was not mentioned, namely, the physical therapist. No, we are not the people who just fit you for crutches after an operation. The American Physical Therapy Association has a section on sports medicine whose membership has grown impressively during the past four years.
I am a senior in high school who hasn't played football for the past two years because of five knee injuries and one knee operation. I sometimes wonder about the wisdom of my decision not to play any more football, but Johnson's article has removed all doubts.
I read William Oscar Johnson's article while stroking the full-length cast on my right leg (the result of a recent triple ligament tear that required surgery) and thinking about my future.
As far as the article goes, I learned almost as much from Johnson as I did from the orthopedist who put my knee back together. In fact, I found more useful information on the knee in the SI article than in any I had read while trying to research the subject in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Regarding my future, Johnson's article has given me another incentive to try to get my leg back to "normal." I'm not a professional athlete, but I intend to work every bit as hard as one to regain as much of my knee function as possible.
It is malpractice for William Oscar Johnson to write, and for you to publish, a comprehensive article on knees that dismisses arthroscopy in two paragraphs and ignores arthroscopic meniscectomy. Dr. Richard O'Connor of West Covina, Calif. is revolutionizing knee surgery by routinely taking out torn cartilages with an arthroscopy substantially reducing pain, disability time and expense, as compared to a conventional meniscectomy.
ROBERT W. CARSON, M.D.
Salt Lake City
?For an appreciation of Dr. O'Connor's work, see SCORECARD, NOV. 24, 1975.—ED.
Thank you very much for Kenny Moore's perceptive portrait of Bill Rodgers (A Gentle Radical Who Runs Scared, Oct. 24). Moore's story captured perfectly the mild, innocent quality of Rodgers' character. As I read the article, I recalled an incident at this year's Virginia 10-Miler road race. After receiving his winner's prize and acknowledging the applause of the lesser runners who followed him across the finish line. Rodgers moved quietly off to the side. A throng of admirers soon crowded around him, but in the midst of the tumult Rodgers spotted a young runner of perhaps 10 whom he apparently recognized. Inquiring as to how the boy had fared in the race, Rodgers showed genuine pleasure that the youngster had bettered his previous best time. Practically unnoticed, he also removed the number from his jersey and presented it to the boy. The gesture was made with little fanfare, yet it revealed Rodgers' character. One knew it was the highlight of the day not only for the boy, but also for anyone who glimpsed the exchange.
Bill Rodgers' current position as the top road racer-marathoner in the world was cemented with his big repeat victory in the New York City Marathon the next week (
Bill Rodgers Took Manhattan
..., Oct. 31).