10 Orthopedic and Spine Industry Leaders

Written by Laura Dyrda | September 03, 2010 | Print  |
Here are 10 orthopedic and spine physician leaders.

1. Alexander Vaccaro, MD, of Rothman Institute in Philadelphia. Alexander Vaccaro, MD, a leading spine physician with Philadelphia's Rothman Institute, recently corrected a patient's spinal curve using morphogenic protein to stimulate bone growth, according to a local KVOA news report.

Dr. Vaccaro straightened the curve and then stabilized the spine with a morphogenic protein-infused cadaver bone. "It allows the stem cells in the body to turn from an undifferentiated cell to a bone cell," Dr. Vaccaro said in the report. The protein helps decrease long term pain, reduce revision rates and promote faster healing.

Read more about Dr. Alexander Vaccaro.

2. Bob Waskowitz, MD, of New Britain, Conn. After serving as a sports medicine consultant with ESPN and the X Games, Bob Waskowitz, MD, of New Britain, Conn., has gathered a great deal of knowledge about treating athletes in non-traditional sports, according to an article published by the Foothills Media Group.

Dr. Waskowitz has been present for nearly 25 X Games and action sport competitions, which include skateboarding, free skating and BMX racing. He has worked onsite with athletic trainers and staff evaluating 20 to 40 athletes daily. Like more traditional professional athletes, these athletes have a physical and psychological commitment to their sport.

Read more about Dr. Bob Waskowitz.

3. Allan Mishra, MD, of Total Tendon in Stanford, Calif. Since Allan Mishra, MD, of Total Tendon in Stanford, Calif., is the first physician to publish an article supporting the use of platelet rich plasma for chronic tendonitis, which has become an increasingly popular treatment method for patients with tendonitis. Additional studies Dr. Mishra has published include supporting the use of PRP for tennis elbow, Achilles tendon repair and arthroscopic rotator cuff repair.

Among other news outlets, Dr. Mishra's research has been feature on the New York Times front page, Fox News, CBS Evening News, ESPN andTime magazine.

Read more about Dr. Allan Mishra.

4. Christopher T. Donaldson, MD, of Western Pennsylvania Orthopedic & Sports Medicine in Johnstown. After committing years to researching and practicing shoulder arthroscopy, Christopher T. Donaldson, a physician with Western Pennsylvania Orthopedic & Sports Medicine, located in Johnstown, recently shared his expertise as an associate instructor to the Arthroscopy Association of North America shoulder arthroscopy master's course at the Orthopaedic Learning Center in Chicago.

"Returning people to the lifestyle they love and restoring their function is very rewarding, whether it's a serious athlete or a leisurely sportsman," said Dr. Donaldson in a Western Pennsylvania Orthopedic & Sports Medicine news release. "My training has given me experience in treating both, using the latest surgical techniques."

Read more about Dr. Christopher Donaldson.

5. Austin Yeargan, MD, of North Carolina Shoulder and Elbow Surgery in Southport.
As physicians continue to explore biologic approaches to treating orthopedic patients, Austin Yeargan, MD, a physician with North Carolina Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, is at the cutting-edge of this technology. Dr. Yeargan recently harvested adult stem cells from bone marrow from a patient's hip to repair the patient's rotator cuff, according to a Star News report.

Dr. Yeargan combined the stem cell treatment with platelet-rich plasma to stimulate growth factors. "What I'm most excited about is using [stem cell treatment] for rotator cuff procedures. There are 15 percent of people who still do not do well after the surgery," said Dr. Yeargan in the article. He hopes this type of procedure will prove helpful in treating older patients with poor tissue in their shoulders.

Read more about Dr. Austin Yeargan.

6. Christofer Catterson, MD, of Haywood Sports Medicine in Clyde, N.C. As the team physician for Tuscola High School, Franklin High School and Haywood Christian Academy, Christofer Catterson, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and medical director for Haywood Sports Medicine in Clyde, N.C., is a proven leader in youth sports medicine. Recently, Haywood Sports Medicine offered a free pre-participation comprehensive sports medical physical for middle and high school athletes in order to best advise the athletes on how to prevent injuries during their upcoming seasons.

"Every year we find a few health problems dealing with the heart, blood pressure, orthopedics or other issues for these athletes. If a medical problem is detected, the student will be referred to their physician of choice for follow-up care to resolve the problem," said Doug Scarborough, a doctor of physical therapy and coordinator for the sports medicine program, in a Haywood Regional Medical Center news release.

Read more about Dr. Christofer Catterson.

7. Gary Alegre, MD, of Alpine Orthopaedic Group in Stockton, Calif. After performing over 200 minimally invasive spinal fusion procedures in the past few years, Gary Alegre, MD, of Alpine Orthopaedic Group in St. Stockton, Calif., instructs experienced physicians around the world on minimally invasive spinal fusion techniques. Most recently, two physicians from Australia traveled to view and learn from Dr. Alegre.

"He's got the knowledge and tricks of the trade. A video doesn't tell you all the pitfalls and pearls. He understands the risks and avoidance techniques in this procedure," said Andrew Kam, MD, a neurosurgeon from Syndey, Australia, in an article from The Record.

Read more about Dr. Gary Alegre.

8. David Geier, MD, of Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. As the director of the Medical University of South Carolina's sports medicine program and spokesman for the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, David Geier, MD, has invested a great deal of time and energy into youth sports medicine and injury prevention.

This past year, AOSSM launched support for the STOP Sports Injuries campaign to educate coaches, parents and young athletes about injury prevention, a topic Dr. Geier feels is important for physicians to understand.

Read more about Dr. David Geier.

9. Spero Karas, MD, of Emory Orthopaedic & Spine Center. For an opinion on Spero Karas, MD, look no further than his local community. In 2009, Atlanta Magazine named Dr. Karas one of the city's "most trusted physicians," a provider that Atlanta residents said they would recommend if a family member needed medical attention.

Dr. Karas joined the Emory Orthopaedic & Spine Center in Atlanta, Ga., in 2005 as director of the Emory Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship Program. He also serves as consulting team physician for Georgia Tech University, Emory University Athletics and Mount Vernon Presbyterian High School. A recognized authority in the fields of shoulder and knee surgery and sports medicine, Dr. Karas has authored more than 150 publications, presentations and videos and has trained over 50 residents, fellows and graduate students in his subspecialties.

Read more about Dr. Spero Karas.

10. John Diez, MD, of Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital in Indianapolis. John Dietz, MD, chairman of Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital in Indianapolis, is an integral part of his hospital's efforts to cut costs and achieve superior results in the march towards healthcare reform. In a July interview with Becker's Orthopedic & Spine Review, he discussed cost-reduction strategies that save hospitals money without sacrificing quality care.

Dr. Dietz recommended hospitals cross-train employees to perform several jobs so staff members can shift from pre-op to post-op or from PACU to pre-op with ease. If you can use one staff member to perform several jobs, you can achieve savings and produce extremely valuable employees with a diverse skill set. "Staff are capable of [making these transitions] because they have been around so long," Dr. Dietz said.

Read more about Dr. John Diez.

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