Given how often the sports world crosses paths with the medical field, it is a sad day when an innovator in sports medicine passes away.
On Friday, T was told that Dr.J. Richard Steadman passed away recently in Colorado. He was 85 years old.
Steadman rose to prominence in the 1970s as the head physician of the United States Ski Team. With Olympic medalist Cindy Nelson as one of his first high-profile clients, he created a practice that would revolutionize knee surgery and knee rehabilitation treatment for athletes in nearly every sport.
Together with shoulder and arm specialist Richard Hawkins, he opened the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic. NFL legends Joe Montana, Dan Marino and John Elway all made visits there for their various injuries, as did Alex Rodriguez, Rod Woodson and the late great Kobe Bryant.
The worlds of both sports and medicine have come out to express condolences to Steadman:
Born in Texas, Dr. Steadman graduated from Texas A&M before earning his medical degree from UT-Southwestern Medical School. He spent two years in the US Army and worked at his residence in New Orleans before moving to California to practice orthopedics – specializing in knee injuries.
After he began working with athletes on rehab and recovery from injuries, he moved to Colorado in the 1990s to open the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic and later the Steadman-Hawkins Sports Medicine Foundation.
Steadman has been inducted into several Halls of Fame for his work in sports medicine.
Our hearts go out to Dr. Steadman’s family and loved ones.