Dr. Robert F. LaPrade awarded the prestigious 2021 Hughston Sports Physician Award

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Dr. LaPrade, MD, PhD, a complex knee specialist known worldwide for offering innovative treatments in sports medicine, receives the academy’s highest individual honor for his work in partnering with sports physical therapists.

Robert LaPrade, MD, PhD consulting with a physical therapist

Robert LaPrade, MD, PhD consulting with a physical therapist on their mutual patient's rehabilitation progress.

This award means a lot to me because I was one of the last to train under Dr. Hughston, considered the ‘Father of Sports Medicine.’ In addition, the previous award winners are recognized as many of the leaders in sports medicine.

American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy (AASPT) have announced Dr. Robert F. LaPrade is the recipient of the 2021 Jack C. Hughston Sports Physician Award.

According to AASPT officials, this is the academy’s highest individual honor for a physician and has been awarded annually since 2001. Candidates must exhibit a willingness to partner with sports physical therapists by jointly publishing and lecturing, showing public support, and promoting the practice of sports physical therapy.

Dr. LaPrade said after receiving the news, “I am very humbled to have been provided this award.” He added, “This award means a lot to me because I was one of the last to train under Dr. Hughston, considered the ‘Father of Sports Medicine.’ In addition, the previous award winners are recognized as many of the leaders in sports medicine.”

Milwaukee Bucks Physical Therapist Luke O’Brien said of the announcement, “I can't think of a more deserving winner than Dr. LaPrade. From patient care and return to sport decision making, to research and education, I have witnessed and benefited from Dr. LaPrade's willingness to collaborate with and value the perspectives of physical therapists.”

“It is an incredible privilege to work alongside Dr. LaPrade. He personifies the term “clinician-scientist,” is a pioneer in the field of sports medicine, and toils tirelessly to ensure that his patients succeed while medicine progresses. His commitment to collaboration with rehabilitation professionals is second-to-none and he truly is a champion for our profession. We are fortunate to partner with Dr. LaPrade in serving the patients of the Twin Cities metro and beyond,” said Twin Cities Orthopedics Sports Physical Therapist Jake R. Foley, PT, DPT.

Laurie Griffith, PT, DPT, OCS said of Dr. LaPrade, “I have worked with Dr. LaPrade since 2010 and it has been an honor, as it would be for any physical therapist. He offers endless support toward working as a team to provide excellence to his patients. His dedication to his work is motivating to everyone around him.”

Michael S. Wahoff, PT, SCS, OCS of Howard Head Sports Medicine said, “Known to many as a Doctor’s Doctor, Dr. Robert LaPrade was both a colleague and a mentor to our group of physical therapists. His respect for and influence on our physical therapy team encouraged our professional growth, knowledge, and competence for treating the complicated knee. His skills, expertise, and passion for the surgical techniques as well as the complete rehabilitation process inspired us to provide the best evidence-based, scientifically proven and patient driven rehabilitation. It was refreshing to work with a surgeon who truly had mutual respect for our work while motivating us to be better through our evaluation, rehabilitation, and available scientific research. With his patients, it was also reassuring to know we could have confidence that, if it could be repaired, he was capable of doing it, and we would be rehabilitating the most stable knee possible with great healing potential. Surgeons will often say that the rehabilitation process is the key to a patient’s success; Dr. LaPrade’s surgical skills made our work easy, and he is an inspiration for all the rest!"

This year’s virtual award ceremony took place on Thursday, February 18th. Due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, there we will not be an in-person ceremony.


Dr. Robert LaPrade, in practice at Twin Cities Orthopedics, Edina, MN, is internationally recognized for his dedication to providing state-of-the-art procedures to treat complex knee injuries. He continuously seeks to improve diagnostic tests, surgical techniques and patient outcomes for knee injuries. He was previously awarded the OREF Clinical Research Award, considered a Nobel Prize of Orthopaedics and selected as one the of four best Orthopedic Knee Surgeons practicing in ambulatory surgery centers by Becker’s ASC Review. He is also a recipient of the 2015 Alumni Career Award from The University of Maine Alumni Association and has published over 525 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts and 125 book chapters.

American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy is the second-largest specialty section of the American Physical Therapy Association with nearly 8,000 members.

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Kristin Mapstone
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