The Evolution of Sports Medicine

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The evolution of this is amazing. In the last 10 years, we have gone from making a big institution like that to a little pin hole like that and having people being on the golf course two weeks rather than two years. Sports medicine is now a discipline based on micro surgery, arthroscopic surgery of now any joint practically, and it's mostly for athletes but the same techniques can be used for recreation, I think older people etc, the surgical techniques are the same.

I don't all of a sudden, put on my supper man cap and become a different surgeon when I operate on professional athletes. So the same shoulder surgery that I'm going to do on a 20 years old volleyball player is the same surgery I'm going to do on a lead athlete, playing in the MBA.

That being said the stake is a bit higher and you're talking about a person's livelihood and you are integral to whether that person actually performs again at the same level. If I get a professional athlete and he's not 100% the way he was, if he's 6% less, he ain't playing in the NHL anymore, he's done.

So, dancers and professional athletes, and people who have to stop on a dime and do things that as humans, mere mortals can't do, they have to be perfect. So, you may do something that maybe you wouldn't do on a normal person, stretch it a little bit, maybe indicate something a little bit more.

The outcomes being is good, momentarily they might be, but you may in a certain way rid and rob Peter to pay Paul. So, you might do something to extend a career anywhere from three to five years or whatever, but the flip side is the liability of that in the future may come and it may be not so good.

A lot of 35 year old recreational athletes if you explain to them those terms, they'll take that short as well. So, it's not just reserved for the elite athlete, but when I approach somebody, and I make sure that I educate them in such a way, in layman's terms, so that the decision that they make is one from knowledge rather than from being pushed or bullied, and I would never let anybody leave my office or enter an operating suite without that knowledge.

Three things excite me, stem cells, stem cells and stem cells. Did I say stem cells? I think I did. The reason is because that is the future, it's actually kind of the here and now we're knocking on the door, the door is slightly opening. I would have liked to have had a little more traction so to speak because I've been involved with these for 20 years.

If, to give an example, I see a person that has what we call a congeal defect, the congeal defect for all intents and purposes is like a rotten spot on an apple, okay? The apple is smooth and there's one spot that's rotten, when you have that on a bone, and it's in a weight bearing position, it causes pain.

Not only does it cause pain but, eventually that area starts from small and gets big and then very big, and that's what arthritis is, and that's why you need a new replacement. What if you could arrest? What if you could somehow take a core from a nice fresh apple and put it in the place of the one that has a spot? Or what if you could actually somehow take some cells that are billions of your own cells, or the patient's cells, program them and have them grow a new cartilage.

Well, you might have made that person not need a new replacement, and not only does it help the patient, but in terms of where the health dollars go, it's again ounce of prevention pound of cure, that's where the future is.