Dean Kleinschmidt, left, the Detroit Lions’ coordinator of athletic medicine/athletic trainer and 1998 Distinguished Service Award winner, presented the Dr. Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award to Dr. Andrew Cappuccino.

Dr. Andrew Cappuccino, the team orthopedist for the Buffalo Bills, accepted the United States Sports Academy’s Dr. Ernst Jokl Sports Medicine Award at the 2010 National Football League (NFL) Combine in Indianapolis.

Dean Kleinschmidt, the Detroit Lions’ coordinator of athletic medicine/athletic trainer and a Distinguished Service Award winner in 1998, presented the Academy’s Order of the Eagle Exemplar medal and Academy Rosette to Cappuccino.

Cappuccino is best known for treating Bills tight end Kevin Everett when he suffered a potentially paralyzing injury to his cervical spine during the opening week of the 2007 NFL season.

To minimize the inflammation in Everett’s spine occurring immediately after the trauma, Dr. Cappuccino induced hypothermia. The treatment, administered en route to the hospital, involved flushing Everett’s body with injected ice-cold saline solution. It was the first time a doctor had induced therapeutic hypothermia so quickly in order to prevent permanent paralysis, and it was an unqualified success. The revolutionary approach garnered national headlines and restored Everett to health. Cappuccino now heads a team of professionals at Buffalo Spine Surgery. He has done more disk replacement procedures than any other surgeon in the nation.

Dr. Ernst Jokl is a former Olympic athlete, international sports medicine scholar and Director of the University of Kentucky rehabilitation center. The Sports Medicine Award is given annually to an individual for contributions to the growth and development of sports medicine through practice and/or scholarly activity. The individual should exhibit a mastery of some aspect of sports medicine through practice or research, be well known in the sports medicine field and have an abiding belief and practice of ethical behavior in pursuit of knowledge.