Mark Sprague, MD
"I like to help people using the least invasive procedures possible."
"I'm up-to-date on the latest techniques," says Mark Sprague, MD, who arrived at Berkshire Health Systems in the fall of 2006. "I pride myself on being a conservative guy. I like to help people using the least invasive procedures possible. I want to get them to a pain-free existence and a level of function that they're happy with."
"I do primarily shoulders and knees," Dr. Sprague explains. "I use essentially all arthroscopic techniques and specialize in arthroscopic shoulder surgery." Another of his specialties is cartilage restoration procedures. "It's really cartilage transplantation," he explains. Healthy cells are harvested from the patient and sent to a laboratory, where over a period of approximately six weeks they are propagated. Then the new, larger population of cartilage cells are injected into the knee. Dr. Sprague also performs partial (unicondylar) knee replacements, in which only one portion of the knee (thus the procedure's other name, unicompartmental) is replaced. Less invasive than total knee arthroplasties, partial knee replacements have reduced rehabilitation times, remove less bone, and allow patients to be more active.
Dr. Sprague earned his medical degree at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York and completed his residency at Mount Sinai Hospital. As the recipient of a sports fellowship at the New England Baptist Hospitalin 2005-2006, he provided sideline medical expertise to the Boston Celtics and athletic teams at Tufts, Harvard, and Northeastern universities. "I learned about on-the-field management of injuries, and about determining when to return after an injury." He finds that such back-to-play issues relate not only to young athletes in top form, but also to so-called weekend warriors. "A lot of people out there are suffering from ‘Boomeritis' - they're older, but they want to perform like they used to. I tell them about stretching, strengthening, cross-training, and off-season exercise protocols so they can stay fit and not go back too soon after an injury."
Although he is a Long Islander by birth and resided in New York and Boston while getting his medical training, he finds the Berkshires to his liking, with the area's varied arts and cultural opportunities. He enjoys the outdoor life, too, as a hiker, mountain biker, skier, and the father of four children, including a pair of pre-school twins.