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OrthoConnecticut News

March 30, 2020

Be safe while hiking and enjoying the great outdoors

Father and daughter walking on a pathPublished in Ridgefield's HamletHub, 3/30/2020

Cancelled. Closed. We’ve been hearing those words a lot lately. One thing that’s still open? The Great Outdoors. The team at OrthoConnecticut believes it’s important to get out and enjoy fresh air for your physical and mental well-being. Whether you choose to hike on one of our beautiful local trails or simply rediscover the nature around you in your own neighborhood, follow these simple guidelines to stay safe and injury free:

  • Always check the weather to avoid surprise conditions
  • When possible, go with a partner… but these days, make sure it’s a family member
  • Practice physical distancing. Be sure to give fellow runners, walkers and hikers a wide berth – at least six feet
  • Wear supportive shoes and comfortable socks to avoid blisters
  • Bring a small backpack with water, first aid supplies, and a map or compass if exploring an unfamiliar area
  • Don’t forget to apply sunscreen and bug spray, and as the weather warms, check for ticks when you get home
  • Look before you step – keeping your eyes wide open and alert will help avoid accidents

Enjoying the outdoors is a great way to get exercise, fresh air, and to connect with your family.  “In times of stress and uncertainty, one of the best things you can do is spend time outside and get some exercise,” says Dr. Michael Brand, Sports Medicine Specialist and President of OrthoConnecticut. “We are fortunate to have a wealth of resources around us and I encourage all patients to keep moving and enjoy the fresh air while practicing physical distancing.”

Take your mind off your newsfeed and soak up some natural vitamin D. Here are some additional tips for longer hikes: Hiking Tips. If you run into trouble and experience a fall, twist, break or sprain, and need medical attention, there’s no need to stress about going to the emergency room. You can visit OrthoCare Express, our orthopedic urgent care service, in Danbury (2 Riverview Drive) or New Milford (131 Kent Rd), or schedule a virtual telemedicine appointment. Our orthopedic specialists will promptly evaluate your injury and get you started on your path to recovery as quickly as possible. For emergencies, click HERE. For a telemedicine appointment, click HERE. Stay safe and be well.  
March 18, 2020

OrthoConnecticut once again received top honors in 2020 from Castle Connolly Medical Ltd, Vitals, and Healthgrades in the field of Orthopedic Surgery and Interventional Pain Management. Congratulations to our physicians for individual recognitions as Castle Connolly’s 2020 Top Doctors for Fairfield County and New York Metro areas, Vitals 2020 Patients’ Choice and On-Time Physician awards, and Healthgrades Honor Roll designation.

Every year for almost a decade Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors honors have been given to OrthoConnecticut physicians Dr. Brian A. Bast, Dr. Michael Brand, Dr. Jeffrey V. DeLucaDr. Joseph DiGiovanni, Dr. Joshua B. FrankDr. Ross Henshaw, Dr. John G. Lunt, and Dr. Robert Yaghoubian. These physician's specialties include sports medicine, treatment and surgery for elbow, foot, hand, hip, knee, shoulder, upper extremity issues, total joint and reconstructive surgery, and interventional pain management.

Every January Moffly Media also publishes Castle Connolly’s Regional Top Doctors from in Greenwich Magazine, Stamford Magazine and New Canaan/Darien Magazine.

In more good news, the physicians at OrthoConnecticut were also among the winners of the 2020 Vitals Patients’ Choice Awards and 2020 Vitals On-Time Physician Awards. Vitals Patients’ Choice winners are chosen annually according to the overall rating a doctor receives from his or her patients for the calendar year. Awards are given for Compassionate Doctor, On-Time Physician, and Patient’s Choice. At OrthoConnecticut, Dr. Brian A. Bast, Dr. Angelo Ciminiello, Dr. Mark J. Fletcher, Dr. Aaron N. Insel and Dr. Paul D. Protomastro have been recognized by Vitals with both Patients’ Choice and On-Time Physicians awards. Dr. Michael M. Lynch and Dr. Robert Yaghoubian won a Vitals Patient’s Choice award.

The physicians at OrthoConnecticut were also named to the Healthgrades Honor Roll. Awards were given to Dr. Brian A. Bast, Dr. Michael Brand, Dr. Angelo Ciminiello, Dr. Jeffrey V. Deluca, Dr. James Depuy, Dr. Robert T. Deveney, Dr. Joseph DiGiovanni, Dr. John Dunleavy, Dr. Mark Fletcher, Dr. Joshua B. Frank, Dr. Edton Ganal, Dr. Ross Henshaw, Dr. Jesse T. Hochkeppel, Dr. Aaron N. Insel, Dr. John G. Lunt, Dr. Michael Lynch, Dr. John Mullen, Dr. Paul Protomastro, Dr. Randolph Sealey, Dr. Michael G. Soojian and Dr. Robert Yaghoubian.

These awards and recognition clearly speak to the very high quality of training and experience held by the practice. OrthoConnecticut’s team includes specialists in every orthopedic discipline, providing the finest orthopedic diagnostic and treatment and the most modern technique available today.

For more information, or to make an appointment with any of the award-winning OrthoConnecticut physicians, please visit or call 1.833.ORTHOCT.

About OrthoConnecticut

OrthoConnecticut is the regional leader in non-surgical and surgical orthopedic care. Experienced, and highly trained orthopedic surgeons and physician assistants help patients regain mobility, lead active lives, and attain optimal well-being. 29 fellowship-trained, board-certified and board-eligible physicians see patients at conveniently accessible offices in Danbury, Darien, New Milford, Litchfield, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Sharon, Southbury, and Westport. The practice also offers orthopedic urgent care, 7 days a week, at locations in Danbury, Darien, New Milford, Norwalk and Westport. More info at or call 1.833.ORTHOCT.The Top Doctors award is only given to leaders nominated by their peers and extensively screened by the Castle Connolly physician-led research team for their medical educations, training, hospital appointments, professional achievements, reputation, disciplinary histories, and much more. Only then do the very best physicians in their specialties and in their communities get selected for this accolade. Physicians do not and cannot pay to be included in any Castle Connolly Guide or online directory.

March 02, 2020

When your knee goes POP: OrthoConnecticut Talks ACL Injury

From Hamlet Hub

“POP” – You Tore Your ACL! Now what?

active man in park displays knee painImagine this … you’re out for a walk, or playing sports, and quickly pivot changing direction, maybe misstep or fall and hit your knee – and then you feel or hear a popping sound.

It’s likely you tore or sprained your ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). It’s a very common injury, especially in females, because the ACL is the major stabilizing ligament of the knee connecting the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shin).

Here are a few common symptoms of an ACL tear or sprain.

  • Popping sound or feel, often when pivoting direction
  • Pain – no pain – both are possible symptoms. Did you know that the ACL ligament has no nerves ending at it? Counterintuitively, a partial ACL tear that has ligament tension may have severe pain, whereas a full ACL tear with no ligament tension may not hurt.
  • Rapid and acute knee swelling
  • Stiff knee and reduced range of motion
  • Feeling of instability when bearing weight, and maybe a grinding sensation

Next steps?

  • Ice
  • Compress
  • Elevate swollen knee
  • See a doctor!

Don’t wait to be evaluated. With an ACL injury, it’s important to be examined by a skilled, board-certified Sports Medicine Specialist, who is also an Orthopedic Surgeon. Due to lack of blood supply to the ligament, a torn ACL cannot heal on its own. An ACL injury may also require surgery whereas a sprained (or stretched) ACL ligament may have additional healing options and protocols.

During your visit, an Orthopedist will compare your knees, review your symptoms, and manually test the integrity and stability of the ACL. To confirm diagnosis, an x-ray will be taken, but also an ultrasound and/or MRI may be needed to check for additional injury to bone, cartilage or menisci. Should your injury occurs after hours, go to an Orthopedic Urgent Care walk in center, such as OrthoCare Express, staffed by experienced Orthopedic professionals.

You’ve been diagnosed: 3 Approaches to Consider

Treatment recommendations depend on patient need, age, activity level, general health, and assessed stability of the knee. The goal is to get patients properly walking again.

Nonsurgical options. Good for ACL sprains and smaller ACL tears, depending on lifestyle. These could include a brace to stabilize the knee, physical rehabilitation, and pain relief advice. Consider this if you don’t participate in knee-straining sports, are less active, or want to wait-and-see if you can avoid surgery.

Surgery. Often advised earlier for younger, physically active, and elite athlete patients with a complete (or partial) ACL tear, and additional knee damage. ACL reconstruction involves replacing or repairing the ACL, followed by physical rehabilitation, and can take up to a year to fully recover. An additional benefit is it can also help avoid or delay osteoarthritic complications arising from additional meniscus or cartilage damage that may occur over time.

Age is not the determining factor in ACL surgery anymore. Active people in their 40s, 50s, and beyond, with minimal arthritis, are having ACL reconstruction because of improved surgical techniques and increased activity during aging. ACL surgery will not be helpful if you have extensive arthritis.

Wait-and-see approach. If your specialist recommends a wait-and-see approach instead of early surgery, a scientific study published in The New England Journal of Medicine backs that up. After following 121 young, active adults randomized to surgical or nonsurgical treatments and followed for two years, they concluded nonsurgical treatment with rehab substantially reduced frequency of surgical reconstructions.

OrthoConnecticut Can Help

OrthoConnecticut is the region’s leading orthopedic practice. Our physicians and physician assistants are available to help if you’ve injured your ACL. We will help you understand all your options to you get moving again. Contact us today for an appointment and #getmovingCT.

December 25, 2019

Dr. Brady In The News: Woman injured by falling branch in New Canaan

By John Kovach, New Canaan Advertiser

A prominent therapist and longtime New Canaan resident is recovering after suffering serious injuries when an ice-laden branch snapped off a tree and struck her Tuesday, Dec. 17.

“It’s a miracle she’s alive,” her son, Lane Coder, said.

woman-who-was-hit-by-branchNew Canaan Advertiser: Contributed Photo / Lane Coder

Dr. Rachel Coder Matthews, shown in an ad campaign photographed by her son, Lane, was injured when a falling branch landed on her Tuesday, Dec. 17.


Dr. Rachel Coder Matthews, LCSW, was with her son, a professional photographer, while he took shots along Lapham Road and Waveny Park around 7 p.m. The trees were still iced over from the previous day’s freezing rain. Former New Canaan residents, they now live in Riverside.

“We were conscious of the conditions and did not enter the wooded area of the park and mainly stood in the street or along the edge of the road where the shoulder/designated area was,” Coder, 43, later wrote in an email. “I took portraits of my mother and landscapes of the park from afar. We were only there for a short period of time and while I was in the street taking photos, my mother was standing in the shoulder next to my car, (which was on with the headlights and rear lights illuminated) watching for cars to alert me. There was not any wind and it was whisper silent in that area and at that point I did not hear any branches fall. All of the sudden it sounded like a bomb went off and I quickly turned to the sound, which was directly above my mother’s head about twenty feet up. I saw a branch as large as my Audi sedan break off a tree and I watched it come down on her head. She disappeared and it was silent again.”

Coder said he repeatedly screamed “No” as he ran to his mother’s aid.

“I barely remember this, but I removed the branch that was on top of her. She was able to speak and she said, ‘I’m OK, I’m OK.” but I knew differently after witnessing the event,” Coder wrote in an email. “She had blood around her mouth but no other visible injuries in the darkness. She complained of pain in her chest and that was all.

“This was the worst single event I have ever seen in my entire life,” he added.

Adding to his trauma, Coder said, was the fact that several cars were driven around him as he tried to help his mother, not stopping to help.

Despite the impact, “It looks like she is going to make a full recovery, and based on what happened it’s hard to believe,” Coder said.


For that, he credits responders from the New Canaan Volunteer Amblance Corps, (also known as New Canaan Emergency Medical Services, NCEMS), and Norwalk Hospital Paramedics.

“I want to shine a light on those whom I consider to be heroes in this situation and saved my mother’s life, and those are the volunteer paramedics of NCEMS,” Coder wrote. “One responder in particular is a family friend, Wendy Hilboldt, along with Troy Haynie, Peter Mason and Kyle from Norwalk Hospital. I am beyond grateful for their professionalism and the training, which Wendy later described to me as being something they are always prepared for but very rarely have to implement.

“I remember my mother mentioning to me several times how gentle and cautious they were with her as they brought her to the ambulance on the board and in a neck brace,” Coder continued. “When she got into the ambulance and out of the darkness, it became very apparent how severe her injuries were and I was told to go to Norwalk Hospital immediately. I waited and followed the ambulance because I could not leave her. Upon arrival at the hospital I was greeted by Wendy, in the waiting room who continued to comfort me and told me that my mother had been and was still in good hands. Wendy later described the event as a ‘bizarre and frightening ordeal.’”

Coder said a CAT scan revealed that his mother suffered a brain hemorrhage, as well as an eight-inch gash on her head which was held together with 20 staples, a broken back with three vertebrate shattered through all three columns, and a broken rib.

“I was told she was lucky to not be paralyzed and ultimately to be alive,” Coder wrote. “We were told brain and spinal cord surgery were probably going to happen the following day. We found out Wednesday morning that she did not need brain surgery and the bleeding had stopped, but she needed reconstructive spinal cord surgery immediately.”

He praised orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert L. Brady and his team for their work.

“His PA, (physician assistant), Gabriella, promised to call me every hour during the procedure and did so to make sure I knew everything was OK,” Coder wrote. “I am again beyond grateful to Dr. Brady, Gabriella and all of the other doctors, PAs, nurses, occupational therapists and everyone in general at Norwalk Hospital for their kindness and for saving my mother’s life.”

Coder Matthews is now recovering in a rehabilitation facilty closer to her Greenwich home.

November 06, 2019

OrthoConnecticut Welcomes Orthopedic Hand & Upper Extremity Specialist, Aaron N. Insel, M.D.


Danbury, CT (November 6, 2019)

OrthoConnecticut is pleased to welcome Orthopedic Hand & Upper Extremity Surgeon, Aaron N. Insel, M.D., to the practice. Dr. Insel will work in both the Danbury and Southbury office locations.

Aaron N. Insel M.D. headshotDr. Insel is board certified and fellowship-trained in hand & upper extremity surgery and specializes in both conservative and operative treatment of the hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder. He completed his orthopedic surgery training at the prestigious University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and went on to complete his fellowship at SUNY Stony Brook where he learned from several world-renowned faculty and leaders in the field of upper extremity surgery.

Dr. Insel is skilled in several of the most advanced and minimally invasive procedures including Xiaflex® injections to treat Dupuytren’s disease, endoscopic carpal tunnel release as well as wrist arthroscopy. He also specializes in microsurgical reconstruction of injured nerves and blood vessels in the hand and upper extremity.

Dr. Insel treats patients of all ages from children with congenital trigger thumb to elderly individuals with arthritic joints. His particular interests include treating fractures, reconstructing arthritic joints of the shoulder, elbow and fingers, peripheral nerve disorders and tendinopathies. However, his orthopedic surgery training makes him well equipped to treat a wide range of orthopedic injuries apart from those affecting the upper extremity.

Dr. Insel is the former Section Chief of Hand Surgery at Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH), and American Association for Hand Surgery (AAHS). Dr. Insel will be operating out of Danbury Hospital and Western Connecticut Orthopedic Surgical Center (WCOSC).

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Insel to our OrthoConnecticut team. Adding his expertise to the hand center demonstrates our continued commitment to provide the highest level of comprehensive and specialized care to our patients and local community,” stated Dr. Michael Brand, President of OrthoConnecticut.

To arrange an appointment with Dr. Insel, contact his assistant, JoAnn at (203) 797-1500‬‬‬ ext. 6654, or go to

About OrthoConnecticut

OrthoConnecticut is the region’s premier, multi-specialty orthopedic practice, helping patients regain mobility, lead active lives, and attain optimal well-being. It is the combined practice of Danbury Orthopedics, New Milford Orthopedics, Coastal Orthopedics and CT Pain Care. 27 fellowship-trained, board-certified physicians offer patient care at 9 offices in Danbury, Darien, Litchfield, New Milford, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Sharon, Southbury and Westport. The practice’s urgent care service, OrthoCare Express, is open 7 days a week for emergencies and is available in Danbury, Darien, Norwalk and Westport. To make an appointment with any of the practice’s specialists, or to learn more visit or call 1.833.ORTHOCT (1.833.678.4628).