Sports Medicine

Dr. Robert Royalty, Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Surgeon, of Highlands Orthopaedics, offers sports medicine evaluation and treatment.


Dr. Royalty is able to treat all sports medicine needs, arthroscopy, cartilage repair, fracture treatment, joint replacement, labrum/shoulder instability, ligament reconstruction, meniscus repair, and rotator cuff repair. His sports medicine reach is vast and serves all student athletes including baseball, cheerleading, dance, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, swimming, tennis, track, volleyball, wrestling, and is not limited solely to football.

Dr. Royalty and his team strive to address athletic injuries within 24 hours of the incident in order to begin the assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation process.

He works with other specialists and departments to ensure patients are receiving continuum of care.

The sports medicine team is equipped with various treatment options to help reduce pain as well as a variety of exercise and wellness equipment. They also offers a variety of testing procedures that aid in diagnosis and monitor patient progress. The orthopaedic surgeon and physical therapists work closely to design an individualized treatment plan based on evidence-based rehabilitation techniques ensuring a safe and speedy return to athletic activity.

  • Custom Home Rehabilitation Programs / Therapeutic Exercises
  • Manual Therapy (soft and deep tissue massage/mobilization)
  • Therapeutic Modalities (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), ultrasound)
  • Cryotherapy
  • Kinesio Taping

About the Team

About Dr. Royalty
A native of Kentucky, Dr. Royalty attended Pikeville College, graduating Summa Cum Laude. He earned his Medical Doctorate and completed his orthopaedic residency from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Royalty underwent an additional year of specialty training in sports medicine and arthroscopy at The American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI) in Birmingham, AL under the guidance of world-renowned orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, and his partners. As a fellow, Dr. Royalty served as an associate physician for Huntingdon College, University of Alabama, Auburn University, Troy University, and the Birmingham Barons (AA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox major league club).

During his time at ASMI, Dr. Royalty assisted in the diagnosis and treatment of college and professional athletes from the NCAA, NFL, NBA, PGA, MLB, NHL, MLS, WWE, MMA, professional tennis, softball, gymnastics, ballet, and the Olympics. He is also a member of multiple academic societies including The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, and The Arthroscopy Association of North America.

Dr. Royalty specializes in sports related disorders of the shoulder, elbow, and knee; offering minimally invasive procedures of the knee, including ACL reconstruction and meniscus surgery. Dr. Royalty holds certification in the treatment of cartilage injuries in the knee with articular cartilage implantation. His special interests include throwing injuries and treatment of shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff tears and shoulder instability. Dr. Royalty has expertise in both shoulder and knee replacement surgery as well.

About Dr. Owens

Dr. Owens completed his residency at the University of Kentucky, Department of Neurology, his doctorate at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, and undergraduate at the University of Kentucky, where he completed two undergraduate degrees in Biology and Psychology, graduating Summa Cum Laude.

His honors and awards include Neurology Chief Resident, graduate of J. Kiffin Penry Epilepsy mini-fellowship, Resident Chair for Commonwealth Neurology Society, Abraham Flexnor Teaching Award, member of Kentucky Medical Association, and member of American Medical Association, to name a few.

Dr. Owens’ work has been published in medical journals, he has participated in numerous research projects, and presented at multiple professional conferences, including the Annual Epilepsy Symposium and the American Academy of Neurology Annual Conference.
Dr. Owens is now accepting new patients at Highlands Neurology, located behind Archer Clinic at 93 Dewey Street in Prestonsburg. To schedule an appointment, call (606) 889-3640.

About Highlands Physical Therapy
Ernest Brewer, MS, PT
Originally from south Texas, Brewer graduated Cum Laude from Stephen F. Austin State University and was student athletic trainer for the Lumberjacks. He then earned his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from Texas Women’s University.
Brewer specializes in sports injuries and has extensive expertise in rehabilitation techniques for return to active sports participation. As an athletic trainer and physical therapist he has over 24 years of experience working with high school, college, and professional sports teams, including rodeo and ballet.

Rick O’Bryan, II, MS, PT
A native of Eastern Kentucky and graduate of Johnson Central High School, O’Bryan received his undergraduate degree from Eastern Kentucky University while playing defensive end for the Colonels. At the University of Kentucky, O’Byran graduated Cum Laude from the College of Health Sciences earning his Physical Therapy degree. O’Bryan continued his sports specialty training with world renowned physical therapist Dr. Kevin Wilkes from The American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, AL. O’Bryan specializes in sports injury, spinal derangements, and advanced manual treatment.

Brandon Zeller, DPT
Brandon Zeller, a Pike County native, is a graduate of Morehead State University and received his doctorate in Physical Therapy from East Tennessee State University. While at ETSU, Zeller developed and re ned treatment strategies and therapeutic protocols enabling college athletes to return to play. Zeller specializes in evidence-based care infusing new and innovative ideas to the physical rehabilitation process providing the most optimal experience for patients and families.