LOA Surgeon Treated Pro Athletes in the LA Area

Dr. Peter Kung
Sports medicine specialist Peter Kung, M.D.

When Dr. Peter Kung arrived at the renowned Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles in 2008 to begin a sports medicine fellowship, it took some getting used to.

Kung – who now works at Longview Orthopedic Associates – found himself treating athletes who are regularly featured on ESPNS’s Sports Center.

“The first few weeks I was in Los Angles, I thought I was going to get whiplash,” he said. “Every time some big-name athlete walked by, I’d jerk my head around and say to myself, Wow! That was Kobe (Bryant) or (Andrew) Bynum or Manny (Ramirez).”

But the novelty eventually wore off. “It takes a little while to get acclimated,” he said, “but then you start focusing on treating injuries and don’t think much about the fact the person is famous.”

Kerlan-Jobe offers one of the top sports medicine fellowships in the U.S. The group was founded by Frank Jobe and Robert Kerlan in 1965. Kerlan became the Dodgers’ team physician in 1958 when they moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. He diagnosed Sandy Koufax with traumatic arthritic in his left elbow, which ultimately led Koufax to retire.

Jobe performed the first UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) reconstruction on Dodgers’ pitcher Tommy John in 1974. Now known as “Tommy John surgery,” the career-saving procedure is used widely in the baseball world.

Kerlan-Jobe employs ten sports medicine physicians. They are supported by eight “fellows” – physicians who are completing advanced training in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery after an orthopedic internship and residency. In addition to providing orthopedic services to the general public, the group is contracted to serve as team physicians for every Los Angeles sports franchise – the L.A. Dodgers, L.A. Lakers, L.A. Kings, L.A. Sparks, Anaheim Angels, and Anaheim Ducks – except the L.A. Clippers. Kerlan-Jobe also covers USC football and all sports at Loyola-Marymount University.

The eight fellows are assigned to at least one event a week, so Kung saw plenty of games during his year in Los Angeles.

He learned that professional athletes are a different breed.

“I really enjoyed covering the Kings and Ducks,” he said. “Hockey players are amazing athletes, and there was plenty of action. Someone was always breaking something or getting hurt.”

He recalls a play-off game between the Ducks and Red Wings when a player took a puck to the chest. He was coughing up blood and having trouble breathing. “We were worried that he might have a punctured lung or broken rib,” Kung said. “But he didn’t want to come out.”

Kung said that getting back in the game is a huge concern for professional athletes. “A lot of guys live for the moment. Return-to-play is what it’s all about. Part of it is ego, but the game is their livelihood and they are very aware of that.”

So why would a physician who worked with some of the nation’s best-known athletes leave Los Angeles for Longview?

“Longview Orthopedic Associates is a well-established group and has a great record for serving the community,” Kung said. “The partners and staff are dedicated to providing state-of-the-art care, and the facilities are amazing.”

Many orthopedic patients require MRIs, and Kung has been impressed with the imaging services provided by Pacific Imaging Center, which is located just downstairs from LOA in the Pacific Surgical Institute complex.

“The scans at PIC are just as good as what we saw at Kerlan-Jobe,” he said. “And PIC has their reads done by NOIA (National Orthopedic Imaging Associates). The radiologists there are world-class.”

Not only does Kung enjoy taking care of professional athletes, he also enjoys treating recreational athletes, weekend warriors, and laborers. He considers his specialties to be sports medicine and minimally invasive surgery using the very latest techniques.

2 Mentions of “LOA Surgeon Treated Pro Athletes in the LA Area”

  1. josh sizemore
    February 9th, 2011 at 9:47 am

    sounds like ur the one i want to do my knee .

  2. Steve Gross
    July 13th, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Kung said that getting back in the game is a huge concern for professional athletes. “A lot of guys live for the moment. Return-to-play is what it’s all about. Part of it is ego, but the game is their livelihood and they are very aware of that.”
    Dr. Kung realizes that we all, professional or not, feel this way and want to get back in the game!
    His training is state of the art, individual concern for each patient is real and one of the most conscientious surgeons I have met!