Orthopedics

Sports Medicine + Shoulder Program

A doctor works on a patient's leg at Tufts Medical Center in downtown Boston, MA. Whether you’re a high-school, college or elite athlete — or just like to stay physically active — the Sports Medicine Program at Tufts Medical Center in downtown Boston can help you return to action following an injury. Our specialists are not only experienced orthopedic surgeons, they’re also team physicians and former college athletes.

Matthew Salzler, MD, our program chief, worked with professional athletes as a team physician for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Penguins and is currently a team physician for Tufts University, Emerson College, Fisher College, the Quincy Militia semi-pro football team, as well as Cathedral, Quincy, and North Quincy High Schools. A former collegiate rower and recent triathlete, he understands the mindset of athletes. He is actively engaged in advancing the field of sports medicine through research, teaching, and his involvement with the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. He frequently teaches advanced arthroscopic techniques to surgeons from all over the globe through the Arthroscopy Association of North America. He specializes in sports medicine, including arthroscopy and reconstructive procedures of the knee, shoulder, and hip.

Justin Drager, MD is a dual fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist. He has extensive experience in treating athletes of all levels and has served as an assistant team physician to the Chicago Bulls, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Steel USHL hockey club. He specializes in the advanced arthroscopic and minimally invasive surgical interventions to treat shoulder, elbow and knee conditions including rotator cuff tears, shoulder instability, throwing injuries, knee ligament and meniscus tears and cartilage preservation. In addition, he focuses on caring for patients with degenerative shoulder conditions and performs complex shoulder reconstruction (shoulder replacement). Unique to his profile, Dr. Drager has undergone advanced training in complex fracture surgery and joint preservation allowing him to offer solutions for active patients with challenging injuries.

When you come to our program, you’ll get to know your sports medicine physicians well. Drs. Salzler and Drager will manage your care, and if you need surgery, perform your procedure personally.

We treat the complete range of athletic injuries

Our team has years of experience in diagnosing and treating the full range of injuries and chronic conditions affecting athletes and the physically active. Additionally, we help many people hurt at work return to their jobs, including firefighters, police officers and construction workers.

Drs. Salzler's and Drager's extensive experience and training covers advanced surgical and non-surgical treatment, and every year we perform hundreds of minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery for knees, shoulders and ankles.

The spectrum of care we cover includes:

  • Knee ligament injuries (ACL, LCL, MCL and PCL )
  • Meniscus surgery, such as repairs
  • Patellofemoral disorders, such as “runner’s knee”
  • Achilles and other lower extremity tendon repairs
  • Cartilage restoration and joint preservation
  • Osteotomy for early  onset of arthritis
  • Rotator cuff repairs
  • Shoulder dislocations and instability
  • Shoulder arthritis and shoulder replacements
  • Throwing injuries

We’ll help you to get back in the game — and stay there

Here is where our experience as athletes and team physicians comes into play: we’ll not only treat your injury but develop a personalized care plan to cover every aspect of your health needed to return to peak performance. Your plan will include rehabilitation at our nearby Physical Therapy Department, or we can contact your local physical therapist so you can follow your plan close to home.

Physical therapy at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA. Additionally, we’ll advise you about preventing injury and design a specialized program to help increase your performance in the sports you’re passionate about.

Best of all, it doesn't take weeks to make an appointment to see the same doctors who treat professional and Olympic athletes. For all sports-related problems, we see most patients within a week.

To learn about sports injuries and other topics related to sports medicine, visit:

StopSportsInjuries.org, a national campaign to prevent youth sports injuries and keep kids in the game for life!

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Justin Drager, MD

Justin Drager, MD

Title(s): Orthopedic Surgeon, Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Orthopedics, Sports Medicine
Appt. Phone: 617-636-3369
Fax #: 617-636-5178

Shoulder instability and dislocation, rotator cuff repair, labral repair, frozen shoulder, shoulder arthritis, total shoulder and reverse shoulder replacement, complex and revision shoulder surgery, throwing injuries, minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery for shoulder, knee and elbow, cartilage repair and joint preservation, meniscus repair, meniscal transplant, joint realignment, management of knee ligament injures (ACL, MCL and multi-ligament), Tommy Johns surgery, overuse injuries in athletes, adult and adolescent sports medicine, women's sports injuries, fractures of the extremities, workers' compensation.

View Full Profile for Justin Drager, MD

Matthew Salzler, MD

Matthew Salzler, MD

Accepting New Patients

Virtual Appointments Available

Title(s): Chief, Division of Sports Medicine; Orthopaedic Surgeon; Director of Orthopaedic Research; Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Orthopedics
Appt. Phone: 617-636-3369
Fax #: 617-636-5178

Shoulder instability and dislocation, rotator cuff repair, labral repair, minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery for shoulder, knee, hip and ankle, cartilage injuries and joint preservation, meniscus repair, management of knee ligament injures (ACL, MCL, multi-ligament), overuse injuries in athletes, adult and adolescent sports medicine, women's sports injuries and preservation, workers' compensation

View Full Profile for Matthew Salzler, MD