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Dr. Justin Zenner Brings a Passion for Sports Medicine to Advanced Orthopaedics
By Nancy Kennedy

Justin Zenner, D.O.The home page for the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine declares that for its members, practicing sports medicine is more than a job – it’s a passion. That is clearly the case for Justin Zenner, D.O., an orthopaedic surgeon who is the newest member of the team at Advanced Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation (AOR).

At AOR, Zenner will practice general orthopaedic surgery - the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and problems - as well as sports medicine, a growing subspecialty that now attracts 30% of orthopaedic surgery residents. Zenner, a Washington County native, is a graduate of Washington and Jefferson College and Lake Erie College of Medicine. He completed a residency in orthopaedic surgery at Ohio University, followed by a fellowship in sports medicine at Allegheny General Hospital earlier this year. He joined AOR in August.

Zenner says that although the public perception may be that sports medicine is all about treating athletes, there is actually much more to it. The specialty deals with the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of injuries related to physical activity. It aims to restore people to their normal levels of activity, or to help them achieve higher levels in a way that is safe and appropriate for them. Zenner expects his patients to represent all walks of life. “Sports medicine is much broader than the care and treatment of athletes,” he explains. “My patients range from professional athletes and weekend warriors to mall walkers, and are people of all ages and both genders. They may be walkers, runners, swimmers, bikers, high school football players or adults who work out at the gym. It’s the operative and non-operative treatment of an injury to an active person, and it includes injury prevention. Many people are surprised to learn that sports medicine specialists treat a lot of seniors, but today’s older adults are often active people who want to remain healthy, fit and vibrant. Keeping them fit by treating injuries helps them to live longer, healthier lives.”

Zenner will be joining a team of nine surgeons at AOR, in a dynamic, progressive, clinically excellent practice that serves three counties: Washington, Allegheny and Greene. He will practice at Advanced Surgical Hospital, a hospital dedicated to orthopaedic specialty care, and at Washington Hospital, Southwest Regional, Mon Valley Hospital, and Sparta Surgical Center.

“I have known half of the members of the group for years, since my undergraduate and medical school days. I have a lot of respect for the members of the group and I look forward to working with them,” he says. “Dr. Gregory Christiansen and I will complement each other as sports medicine specialists. In my training, I did a lot of minimally invasive surgical procedures on shoulder and knees, such as ligament and tendon reconstruction and arthroscopic procedures. The knee and shoulder are the most vulnerable joints and as we age, there are often normal degenerative changes. Things begin to atrophy and it takes less trauma to cause an injury.”

In addition to treating sprains, strains, tears and fractures, Zenner will serve as a team doctor and will cover sporting events. “There is definitely an increase in sports related injuries among kids,” he says. “Kids are very driven and school sports are a big deal. It’s true for girls as well as boys; female athletes are now at as much risk as the boys for acute injuries and trauma.”

Zenner’s other passion is his family. He and his wife Valerie, who is also from Washington, have four children, ages 6, 4, 2 and three months. “We live in McMurray and my weekends are for family time. We all enjoy being outdoors and Valerie and I like to work out. I like to fish and I plan to take up fly fishing one of these days; I’ve heard great things about it.”

Zenner encourages his patients to make a strong commitment to living a healthy lifestyle. “People have hard time committing to their own health and fitness, in any way, but you can do a lot of simple things on your own to stay active, healthy and injury-free.”

To learn more about Advanced Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation or Advanced Surgical Hospital, visit www.advancedorthopaedics.net.

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