Dr. James Andrews on the arthroscope, biologics & more

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James Andrews, MD, founding partner of Gulf Breeze, Fla.-based Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, is a renowned sports medicine specialist.

In his newly created video series, he talks about the pressing topics in orthopedics today. Here, he talks about the importance of the arthroscope and how biologics could be the next big thing in sports medicine.

Note: Transcript was edited for style.

Dr. James Andrews: During my training, we didn't even know what the arthroscope was. That really came along from Dr. Bob Jackson, who's from Toronto. He went to Japan and picked up what was being done over there with the arthroscope. It was first being done by Dr. [Masaki] Watanabe in Japan, and [Dr. Jackson] brought it back to North America — that was during the middle to early 1970s. For me, looking back on it, that was the major milestone in sports medicine. That was what revolutionized sports medicine.

We're still looking for what's going to be next with that. And obviously, the arthroscope is still being used and lots of new things are coming out with it. It's taken over not only orthopedic surgery, but general surgery and other surgeries alike. The new revelation, I think, in sports medicine that has the same status as the arthroscope is what we call biologics, and that includes stem cells and platelet-rich plasma. We are just at the tip of the iceberg now with biologics, but as we develop that — that to me is going to be the next major revelation in sports medicine.

The major focus of our research we do through the Andrews Research & Education Foundation in Gulf Breeze, Fla., has been in biologics. We have a regenerative medicine center that is here specifically for research in biologics. That is the most important aspect of what we are doing through AREF.

To view the entire video series, click here.

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