Orthopedic & Spine Industry Leader to Know: Dr. James Andrews

Rachel Fields -   Print  |
Of the 40,000 surgeries James Andrews, MD, has performed in his career, around 30 percent have been for college or professional athletes. As one of the founding members of Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, Ala., an orthopedic consultant for the Washington Redskins professional football team and medical director for the Tampa Bay Rays professional baseball team, Dr. Andrews has seen more than his fair share of season-endangering injuries.

In 2005, he operated on then-San Diego Chargers player Drew Brees after a hoard of football players landed on his exposed right shoulder, causing a particularly nasty dislocation. When Mr. Brees led the New Orleans Saints football team to the NFC championship game the next year, he had Dr. Andrews — a Louisiana native himself — to thank.

After the operation, Dr. Andrews only had a few words for Mr. Brees' agent, Tom Condon: "I did it about as well as it can be done." According to Dr. Condon in an interview with ESPN, that is about the closest the surgeon ever comes to boasting.

In an interview with CNBC, Dr. Andrews attributed his enthusiasm to seeing an athlete improve and succeed. "It makes me feel great when someone I worked on wins a championship or wins an Olympic gold medal," he said. "But I always come back to the fact that it wasn’t about me. There's a reason these guys became superstar athletes to begin with."

As well as his work with professional athletes, Dr. Andrews runs the successful American Sports Medicine Institute, a non-profit dedicated to injury prevention, education and research in orthopedics and sports medicine. He has served on various organizations and boards, including holding the position of president-elect of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and serving as a member of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Dr. Andrews earned his MD from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in 1967 and completed his orthopedic residency at Tulane Medical School in 1972. He also had surgical fellowships in sports medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and at the University of Lyon in France.
Read more coverage of Dr. James Andrews:

25 of the Best Knee Surgeons in the United States

Former Olympian Turned Orthopedic Surgeon Featured in the New York Times

Read the ESPN story on Dr. James Andrews.

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