Dr. Spero Karas joined the Emory Orthopaedic & Spine Center in 2005 as Director of the Emory Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship Program. In addition to this role, he currently serves as the head team physician for the Atlanta Falcons, a consulting team physician for Georgia Tech University, Emory University, Oglethorpe University, Georgia Perimeter College, and Lakeside High School. Prior to this, he served as chief of the Shoulder Service, team physician, and director of the Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Orthopaedics.
Dr. Karas received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. After medical school, he completed a residency in Orthopedic Surgery at Duke University Medical Center. After residency, Dr. Karas completed a Knee, Shoulder, and Sports Medicine Fellowship at the prestigious Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colorado. While in Colorado, he served as an Associate Team physician for the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies professional sports teams.
He is the author of more than 150 publications, presentations, and demonstrational videos. He has trained over 100 residents, fellows, and graduate students in subspecialty care of the shoulder, knee and sports medicine. His research has been published in numerous journals, including the American Journal of Sports Medicine, the Journal of Arthroscopy, the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery and the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma. Dr. Karas is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and has held leadership positions in numerous societies, including the American Orthopaedic Association, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, the Arthroscopy Association of North America and the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.
Dr. Karas is a recognized expert in the field of shoulder surgery, knee surgery, and sports medicine, and has been awarded numerous grants for research and product development. A frequent speaker throughout the United States and internationally, his work has been featured in Ski Magazine, Men's Health, and on NBC, FOX, and CNN network television. He is also active in quality musculoskeletal research, and has been honored by his peers with nominations for numerous research awards. He actively collaborates with medical corporations by developing cutting-edge technology to improve the instruments and techniques in orthopedic surgery.
Dr. Karas was selected as one of America's "Top Sports Medicine Specialists" in Men's Health Magazine. He has also been named one of the "Top Sports Medicine Doctors for Women" by Women's Health magazine, "Best Orthopaedic Surgeons in America" by Castle Connoly, and “Atlanta’s Best Doctors” by Atlanta Magazine in each of the past 6 years.
Dr. Karas is an active member of the American Shoulder and Elbow Society (ASES), a prestigious group of 150 active members internationally. He serves on its Traveling Fellowship selection committee.
A former collegiate athlete himself, Dr. Karas was a varsity letterman in wrestling at the University of Notre Dame. He continues to participate in sports such as golf, skiing, snowboarding, and fitness training. He also coaches numerous youth sports teams, and is an active member of his church and community.
Dr. Karas and his wife, Johanna, are blessed with three very active children - Constantine, Elena, and Nicholas.
Bryce Gaunt, PT, SCS received his Physical Therapy degree from Saint Louis University in 1992. He became a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy in 1998. He has been a member of the American Society of Shoulder and Elbow Therapists (ASSET) since 2000 and has served in many capacities, including President. Bryce has been employed with HPRC since 1992 and is currently Clinical Director of Physical Therapy at The St. Francis Rehabilitation Center in Columbus, Georgia. For more than 12 years, more than 98% of his patient population has consisted of people with orthopaedic shoulder conditions. Bryce has presented over 150 scientific and profession presentation with the majority of these focused on shoulder rehabilitation and he has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals. Bryce is also co-editor of and a primary contributor to the reference book A Systematic Approach to Shoulder Rehabilitation.
Joseph Kostuch, PT, SCSgraduated with his Physical Therapy degree from the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse in 1997 and began working with HPRC, Inc. the next month. In 2004, he obtained his Sports Specialist Certification through the APTA. While with HPRC, Joe has focused his practice on extremity orthopedics and specifically disorders of the shoulder for the past 12 years. He has presented regionally and nationally on various shoulder rehabilitation topics along with authoring multiple rehab articles and book chapters. He is a member of the APTA Sports and Orthopedic Section and past District Chair for Physical Therapy Association of Georgia. Joe is very involved with the American Society of Shoulder and Elbow Therapists and is currently serving on the Communication and Education Committee along with being immediate Past-President of the Society.
Ellen Shanley, PT, PhD, OCS is a Clinical Research Scientist with Proaxis Therapy. Ellen was presented with the APTA Sports Section’s Excellence in Research Award at the Combined Sections Meeting in 2013. She completed her PhD in Sports and Orthopedic Physical Therapy from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in 2011. She has served as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Exercise Science from the University of South Carolina since 2010 and Clemson University Department of Bioengineering since 2012. She has presented at the national and state level teaching upper extremity injury prevention and rehabilitation of shoulder and elbow injuries. She has specialized clinically in the treatment of shoulder and elbow disorders for 15 years. Shanley teaches in an APTA credentialed sports residency and an UE sports fellowship program. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association’s Sports Physical Therapy and Orthopedic Special Interest Groups and the American Society of Shoulder and Elbow Therapists. She is currently leading a task force writing guidelines for treating patients with TSA for the American Society of Shoulder and Elbow Therapists.
Lane Bailey, PT, DPT, CSCS is a Clinical Researcher and practicing Physical Therapist with Proaxis Therapy in Greenville, SC. Lane earned his PhD from the University of South Carolina, holds a Clinical PT degree and BS in Exercise Physiology. Emphasis of his doctoral work was directed towards advancing physical therapy practice by expanding the available body of knowledge of shoulder injury prevention and treatment. His research agenda includes developing the clinical use of musculoskeletal ultrasound imaging as a rehabilitative modality in the upper extremity. Bailey has published in peer-reviewed journals, presented at national conferences and currently serves on various research committees. He teaches within an accredited sports residency program and works with major league baseball to develop programs designed to reduce injury risk. Lane is currently involved in funded studies observing the treatment of the athletic throwing shoulder as well as those individuals with rotator cuff disease.
Elizabeth Kovack, PT, MTC (Lisa)holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science at Miami University and a degree in Physical Therapy from Georgia State. She began her career in Columbus, Georgia working at both the Hughston Clinic and St. Francis Rehabilitation. After five years in Columbus, Lisa moved to Atlanta where she worked as a manager for Physiotherapy Associates, as well as becoming the Director of Physical Therapy for Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic. In addition to overseeing three clinics for POC, Lisa helped develop protocols for numerous operative and non-operative shoulder diagnoses. She gave presentations on shoulder issues at employer conferences while at POC. She earned her manual therapy certification from St. Augustine University in 2009. Lisa has been a member of ASSET since 2012. Currently, she is working at Emory Orthopaedics and Spine Center.
Chuck Thigpen PhD, PT, ATC is a Clinical Research Scientist with Proaxis Physical Therapy also holding adjunct appointments with Duke University Division of Physical Therapy, University of South Carolina Department of Physical Therapy, and Clemson University Bioengineering. He completed his PhD in Human Movement Science from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2006. He has multiple peer-reviewed publications and book chapters related to prevention and treatment of shoulder pain. Thigpen has presented topics related to shoulder dysfunction at the national and international conferences. He has led funded clinical trials examining the treatment of shoulder and knee pain as well as the injuries in the pitching shoulder.
Thigpen is a NATABOC certified athletic trainer and a member of the National Athletic Trainer’s Association, as well as the American Physical Therapy Association’s Sports Physical Therapy and Orthopedic Sections. He is currently on the NATA Free Communications Research and Pronouncements Committees. He is also serving on the writing panel for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Appropriate Use Criteria for the treatment of rotator cuff tears. He is currently the research chair for the Sports Section. He was the 2011 President of the American Society of Shoulder and Elbow Therapists and in 2012, he was awarded the APTA Sports Section’s “Lynn Wallace Award for Clinical Education and Mentoring” in recognition of his contributions to sports physical therapy in the areas of teaching and mentoring. Thigpen was a co-author for the 2013 APTA Sports Sections Excellence in Research Award for “Preseason Shoulder Rom Screening As A Predictor Of Injury Among Youth, Adolescent, And Professional Baseball Pitchers”.