Medicine: How Surgery Won Gold Medals

Putting the spring back into Benoit's and Retton 's knees

Like all top athletes, Joan Benoit is accustomed to pain. But one day last March, more than halfway through a routine 20-mile run in Maine in preparation for the Olympic marathon, she felt a sharp stab on the outside of her right knee. Within the next mile, she recalls, "the knee completely prevented me from running another step." Her doctor, Orthopedic Surgeon Robert Leach of Boston University Medical Center, gave her an injection of cortisone. After a week's rest Benoit resumed training, but in...

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