RUMSON — (August 3, 2018) – “He goes above and beyond!” “He’s amazing!” “A man of few words with an abundance of skill.”
Those are just some of the comments patients of Rumson resident Dr. Marshall Allegra make when talking about the orthopedic surgeon with an office on Poole Avenue in Hazlet. The remarks give an indication into both the cutting edge of his surgical technology and his old-fashioned practice of taking the time to sit down and talk with his patients to ensure he answers all their questions.
He comes to both from education and experience and plans on passing the home spun lessons on to another generation. The son of the late Dr. Edward C. Allegra — who was also an orthopedic surgeon with a practice in Red Bank — Dr. Marshall Allegra, 62, is also the father of an orthopedic surgeon. His son, Paul, 27, also a medical doctor, is currently completing his residency in orthopedic surgery in Miami and will one day take over the Poole Avenue office, making him the third generation of Allegras offering orthopedic care to Monmouth County residents.
Dr. Marshall Allegra has been in the field for 30 years and estimates he has done about 10,000 surgeries in his career to date, averaging roughly 300-plus a year. Like his father, he chose to come back to Monmouth County after completing his studies and now has his office in Hazlet, with surgical privileges in several local hospitals and surgical centers.
Although he has treated patients of all ages with all varieties of injuries, sprains, fractures, hip replacements, hand surgeries, arthritis and more, Dr. Allegra said his patients now seem to be adults with a variety of problems, including sports issues requiring joint replacements or ligament reconstruction. Knees and shoulders seem to be areas most people come to an orthopedic surgeon for, he said, with dislocations and rotator tears fairly common.
Sports injuries can come from any number of sources, he said, ranging from trauma to repetitive use which results in wear and tear on a particular bone or joint. “Runner’s Knee” is a common overuse injury, he said, and can result from cartilage wearing down, creating serious pain. Ligament damage is also fairly common, he said, explaining that surgery is sometimes the best solution when those bands of connective tissue around a joint limit the movement of a joint, especially the knee, making it impossible or difficult to turn or twist the leg.
The surgeon, who earned his undergraduate degree at Bucknell University before studying at the University Autonomous at Guadalajara and completing his residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, said it is important to take care of problem joints and bones at early and middle age since ignoring it then only leads to arthritis and other problems in later years.
Patient knees and shoulders make up most of the surgeries and medical cures Allegra sees on a regular basis, with dislocations and rotator tears high on the list of serious injuries he has had to treat. He prefers to take the time to sit and talk with his patients, gather all their medical history and get to know them before recommending the best type of treatment. He tends to be conservative in his choices, preferring to try all medical measures before the more intense surgical procedures that can be used.
The physician and surgeon said he opted to specialize in orthopedic surgery after seeing how satisfying it was for his father, and learning he could make a difference in someone’s life through his ability as a surgeon.
“It’s rewarding and gives you a great sense of being able to help someone when you see how you can do something life-changing.”
He said he likes to talk with his patients and “explain things to make sure they know what’s going on.” As for the patient who said he’s a man of few words, Dr. Allegra laughed and said, “I like to listen, then I like to cut to the chase.”
Married for 30 years, Dr. and Maryanne Allegra have four sons and one daughter: Marshall, 29; twins Andrew and Dr. Paul, 27; Edward, 24 and Helena, 19, who works part-time in the Hazlet office.
The family lives in Rumson, the same town where Dr. Allegra was raised after his parents moved from Brooklyn when he was a child. Proximity to the water also enables him to pursue his two favorite hobbies — boating and fishing. He concedes that he, too has been the patient of an orthopedic doctor, once when he had knee orthoscopy six years ago.
He is on the staff of both Riverview Medical Center and Bayshore Hospital and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons.