Brian Cole, MD, professor of orthopedics in the department of anatomy and cell biology at Rush University Medical Center and section head of the Cartilage Restoration Center at Rush, was named among the top 28 shoulder surgeons in the United States by Orthopedics This Week.
Dr. Cole, who is also chairman of surgery at Rush Oak Park Hospital, has received the honor as a top sports medicine specialist from the publication as well. Here are five things to know about Dr. Cole and his recent recognition.
1. Dr. Cole is the team physician for the Chicago Bulls NBA basketball team and co-team physician for the Chicago White Sox. He also serves as a team physician for DePaul University in Chicago and has treated several elite athletes. He performed both knee surgeries for Bulls superstar Derrick Rose and more recently performed a minor arthroscopic knee surgery on Bulls Center Joakim Noah.
In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Cole also co-hosts Sports Medicine Weekly on ESPN Radio along with Steve Kashul, host for the Chicago Bulls on the Chicago Bulls Radio Network. Dr. Cole is a GridIron Greats NFL Foundation Orthopedic Consultant and Provider.
2. Dr. Cole also spends his time with research. His areas of interest include cartilage transplantation, rotator cuff healing and shoulder instability. "Finding a biological solution for cartilage regeneration in orthopedics is one of the fastest-growing areas of research and development in our specialty," said Dr. Cole in a News-Medical report. "Rush is spearheading this field of research with the ultimate goal of safely improving outcomes and sparing patients from having more complicated surgery at a relatively young age."
Throughout his career, Dr. Cole has published several articles based on his research and served on the editorial board for professional journals such as the Open Access Journal for Orthopedic Sports Medicine. He has also been a reviewer for the American Journal of Sports Medicine and Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.
3. Another one of Dr. Cole's areas of interest includes shoulder injuries for pitchers. He has seen fatigue set in for young pitchers, even at the high school level, and worked with several youth who have overuse injuries. He advocates pitch counts and avoiding complex pitches for young athletes. He was part of a team that published research on return-to-play after UCL reconstruction.
The study concluded, "There is a high rate of [return to play] in professional baseball after UCL reconstruction. Performance declined before surgery and improved after surgery. When compared with demographic-matched controls, patients who underwent UCL reconstruction had better results in multiple performance measures. Reconstruction of the UCL allows for a predictable and successful return to the MLB."
4. Dr. Cole has made the trip to Kenya to educate sports medicine physicians about treating injured athletes. While there, he also performed surgery on injured athletes during the 10-day mission trip. Dr. Cole took the trip in collaboration with Cure International.
"The root of what we do as orthopedic surgeons is to help people regain an active, pain-free lifestyle," said Dr. Cole in an MOR news release. "We are lucky to live in a country that provides quality healthcare to everyone. I look forward to providing care to those who aren't so lucky and to make a difference in their lives. I hope to leave behind a legacy of sports medicine trained physicians who will continue to change lives."
5. Dr. Cole performs several special procedures, including arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, arthroscopic shoulder stabilization, meniscal allograft transplantation, cartilage cell transplantation, fresh osteochondral allograft transplantation and shoulder replacement. He earned his medical degree at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and completed his residency at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. His additional training includes a fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh in sports medicine.
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