University Orthopedics Doctor Explains Koepka’s Knee Surgery

Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka posted a two-over par 74 on Thursday in the first round of The Masters. 

Just 24 days ago, Koepka had knee surgery on a patella dislocation. 

“Recovery is typically somewhere near four months in terms of getting the motion back and strength back. It is impressive that he is back this soon. I don’t think you would find anyone doing this. Tells you how important the Masters is,” said Doctor Ramin Tabaddor of University Orthopedics in Providence. 

Brooks Koepka PHOTO: Getty Images/PGA Tour

Over the last month or so, there have not been a lot of details regarding the surgery. The only thing anyone had to read into was his Instagram post following the surgery. 

“It’s not totally clear whether they did a reconstruction or whether they repaired it. It is hard to tell because the incision would look the same, and the bandages look the same,” added Tabaddor in an interview with GolfNewsRI. 

During the round, Koepka grimaced a couple of times and had a slight limp on occasion. 

As Koepka mentioned earlier in the week, he can’t crouch down to read putts because his knee doesn’t bend that way, so watching him read putts on Thursday was interesting.

“There is no way this can’t affect his performance. He is going to have stiffness, knee is going to swell, especially after a full day. It’s going to alter his mechanics and his swing,” said Tabaddor.

Ramin Tabaddor, MD

He continues, “Depending on how he pivots off that leg with the swing, he could create some pain.”

The good news is, according to Koepka, he can’t hurt it any further by playing. 

“I can’t hurt it. What Doc did in the operation, he wouldn’t have cleared me. Heather wouldn’t have cleared me. Mark wouldn’t have let me go. So I’ve got three people saying you can’t hurt it any more. The problem is it’s just all the neurological stuff from your brain to there, firing different muscles. After surgery it takes some time, and it’s just — the legs are just not strong enough,” said Koepka in his post round press conference. 

Given Justin Rose’s seven-under par first round score, Koepka will need to make a few birdies on Friday to stay inside the cut line. 

“I just didn’t play good. Didn’t hit — birdie 13 to shoot even par on a tough day, you feel all right, but just a bad swing there, and then it’s blowing. You can get caught with — it can go from blowing 15 to 0 pretty quick out here, and I just got caught in some of the middle of those, and yeah, it can get pretty dicey out here if you put it in the wrong spot, the way these greens are,” said Koepka about his first round. 

Koepka goes off Friday afternoon.

About Dr. Ramin Tabaddor 

Dr. Tabaddor has been practicing orthopedic surgery since 2009. He is a fellowship trained, CAQ certified sports medicine orthopedist, with a special concentration in hip and pelvic-related disorders (including femoroacetabular impingement, gluteus medius tears, athletic pubalgia and iliopsoas tendon tears). Dr. Tabaddor treats a wide range of sports related injuries, both surgical and nonsurgical, and he has had specialized training in hip arthroscopy. He holds an undergraduate degree with honors from Boston University and an MD from Boston University School of Medicine.

Additionally, he completed his surgical internship at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and his orthopedic residency at Harvard Combined Orthopedic Residency Program, where he also served as Chief Administrative Resident. Dr. Tabaddor’s professional affiliations include: American Orthopedic Society of Sports Medicine; International Society of Hip Arthroscopy; American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons; Arthroscopy Association of North America; and RI Orthopedic Society. He is a member of the physician referral network for USA Gymnastics and the Team Physician for the US In-line Speed Skating Team.

Dr. Tabaddor sits on the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee of the Federation of International Rollersports and the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League. He has also provided coverage for Special Olympics, Boston Ballet, URI athletics and various high school sporting events in the state of Rhode Island. He is an avid runner and swimmer and enjoys participating in triathlons and paddle boarding. Dr. Tabaddor resides in Providence, RI.

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