Why Dr Tyler Collins chose private practice in 2019 and future sports medicine trends

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Tyler Collins, MD, a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine, joined The Orthopedic Clinic Association in Phoenix. 

Dr. Collins specializes in arthroscopic and reconstructive surgery of the shoulder, hip, knee and elbow. 

Here, he discusses why he joined TOCA, how 3D printing will develop in orthopedics and future trends in the field.

Question: Why did you join The Orthopedic Clinic Association?

Dr. Tyler Collins: I have wanted to join TOCA since moving to Phoenix. Their reputation is outstanding and I am excited to work alongside outstanding physicians. In addition, TOCA has ample opportunities for me to create the type of practice I always wanted in sports medicine.

Q: How do you see 3D printing developing in orthopedics?

TC: Right now, 3D printing is primarily used to create anatomic models of a patient's joint. These can be used to aid in surgical planning or to create custom implants. This is generally only necessary in very difficult cases with altered anatomy such as revision surgery. As the technology evolves, 3D printing could potentially be very helpful for biologically recreating a patient's native joint as a donor to replace diseased tissue. 

Currently we use allograft, or donor tissue from another person, in many cases, which is not always readily available. Some patients needing cartilage restoration wait 6 months or more for an acceptable graft. 3D biologic printing could potentially create perfectly matched tissue that would be available more readily.

Q: What do you see as the next big trend in orthopedic sports medicine?

TC: In my mind, the biggest challenges we face currently are perfecting methods of treating cartilage disease in the active population, as well as improving biologic treatments such as platelet rich plasma and stem cells to aid in healing. There are currently many methods of cartilage restoration, and it is unclear which are best and most cost effective. Results of biologic treatments such as stem cells are also quite variable. Some patients experience great relief while others receive little to no benefit. This is a problem because these treatments are generally not covered by insurance. We need more research to elucidate how to make biologics more predictable as well as affordable.

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