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Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

St. Lawrence Health's orthopedic services, with office consultation locations in Canton, Gouverneur, Massena, and Potsdam, and surgical services in Potsdam, is proud to deliver the highest quality personalized care to our patients. Our team of surgeons, doctors, physician assistants, nurses, and therapists works to restore your mobility, increase your vitality, and help you return to an active and pain-free life. We tailor each patient's course of orthopedic treatment to their condition, their life, and their goals. Our mission: getting you back to where you want to be.

Whether a problem with joints, bones, muscles, and tendons keeps you from peak performance, or just keeps you from lifting your grandchildren, our team of orthopedic and sports medicine specialists can help. We are the only orthopedics and sports medicine program in St. Lawrence County with a specialist in hand surgery and pediatric orthopedic surgery. Our surgeons are skilled in evaluating and treating a wide range of disorders of the musculoskeletal system. The Orthopedics' suite has on-site imaging capability, a casting room, and hand therapy. Consultations with specialists in pain medicine, podiatry, and rehabilitation medicine specialists are also available as part of the team approach to keeping you in the game.  

Personalized Orthopedic Care

Maybe you’re a college athlete. Maybe you’re an active senior. Maybe you do manual, repetitive work – or maybe you spend your days hunched at a computer or sitting at a desk.  We know that no two patients are exactly alike, and that is why we tailor your course of treatment to your health, your life, and your goals. Because getting better can mean running a marathon, playing with your grandchildren, or anything in between – and we will work to get you there.


Sports Medicine

Our sports medicine team specializes in helping patients return to an active life as quickly as possible. While we work with athletes, as our specialty suggests, we also treat a wide variety of patients of all ages and athletic abilities.

We specialize in joint repair for both knee and shoulder injuries, and work closely with physical therapy providers and other members of our team to deliver the highest quality orthopedic care. We always keep our patients’ lifestyle goals in mind as we work to restore your function and mobility and get you on your feet as soon as possible. 


Physiatry, also called physical medicine and rehabilitation, is a branch of medicine focused on restoring functionality to people with disabilities and/or injuries related to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. Our physiatrist works closely with the orthopedic practices, and collaborate with our physical therapy providers to ensure patients receive comprehensive rehabilitation services. 

When to See a Provider

You should see your provider if you have any of the these symptoms/issues:

  • Your injury is preventing you from completing daily activities 
  • You’re experiencing pain that has not lessened over several days
  • You have swelling or bruising around a joint
  • You do not have a normal range of motion
  • Your pain is worse at night
  • You show signs of infection like fever, redness, or inflammation

If you have a serious injury, go to the emergency room immediately. 

Patient Forms

Patients are asked to print out and complete the following form prior to their appointment.

Health History Form for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Our Approach to Orthopedic Care - video

Questions and Concerns

Orthopedic treatment, particularly orthopedic surgery, can be daunting. Your doctor will provide you with specific information regarding your diagnosis, procedure, recovery time, and pain management.

  • I’m getting surgery. How long will it take me to recover? - Your recovery time will depend on the nature of your injury or condition, your age, and the effort you put in to physical therapy. While the initial recovery phase for many operations takes approximately 6 weeks, it may take up to a year for you to fully regain your strength. 
  • Will I be able to resume my daily activities? - Our goal is to return our patients to their previous level of activity, pain free. While it may take time for you to recover, we will do our best to restore you to full functionality so you can work, live, and play without pain. 
  • I’m getting a joint replaced. Will I still be able to be active after I recover? -  You will likely be able to resume most of your usual activities. Your doctor may suggest that you avoid contact sports, such as running, after a knee or hip replacement.
  • Will I need physical therapy? - Physical therapy can be very effective in treating certain orthopedic conditions. Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist either within the St. Lawrence Health or at a location that is convenient for you. 



Bedros Bakirtzian MD, FRCS
Bedros Bakirtzian
Andrew Crapser MD
Andrew Crapser, MD
Richard Finch PA-C
Richard Finch, PA-C - Canton, NY Orthopedics Physician's Assistant - St Lawrence Health
Jeffrey Haasbeek MD, FRCSC
Jeffrey Haasbeek, MD
Howard Katz MD, FACS, FAAOS
Howard Katz, MD
Thomas W Kneifel MD, FRCS
Thomas W. Kneifel, MD, FRCS - Canton, NY Orthopedic Surgeon - St Lawrence Health
Lisa T McDonald NP
Lisa McDonald, NP-C - Potsdam, NY Nurse Practitioner - St Lawrence Health
Kristin M Miller NP
Kristin M. Miller, NP - Canton, NY Nurse Practitioner - St Lawrence Health
Christin Powers PA
Christin Powers, PA - Potsdam, NY Physician Assistant - St Lawrence Health