A love for sports and building leads to orthopaedic career

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Dr. Wilson is a team physician for the U.S. Snowboard Cross Team.

The orthopaedic surgeons at Steamboat Orthopaedics and Spine Institute (SOSI) seem to have the same passion that is common among most Steamboat residents: a love for sports and the outdoors.

Dr. Adam Wilson, who joined the SOSI practice in 2018, got a couple of injuries while playing sports in high school, marking the first occasion he ever really spent time around orthopaedic surgeons or, for that matter, any doctors.

“For me, it seemed like the most fun and interesting part of medicine,” Dr. Wilson said. “I always liked building things. Using power tools is kind of a similar thing to orthopaedic medicine — you’re just working on people. It’s kind of like carpentry.”

Kind of like carpentry, that is, with a ton of years of education and training.

Dr. Wilson finished medical school at Georgetown University, his orthopaedic-surgery residency at the University of Virginia, a sports-medicine fellowship in Taos, N.M., and a complex shoulder-surgery fellowship in Nice, France.

Knees and shoulders

Dr. Adam Wilson tries to ski or mountain bike multiple times per week, depending on the season.

Dr. Wilson has honed his experience and expertise on knees and complex shoulder procedures. During his sports-medicine fellowship in Taos, he saw many shoulder and knee injuries since they’re so common in mountain-sports trauma.

“I picked up a different way of doing ACLs compared to what I had previously seen and been trained to do,” Dr. Wilson said. “You hear more about hamstring and patellar tendon grafts for ACLs, but I found I can get a better graft with the quadricep tendon. It’s a little less invasive, so there’s less pain and discomfort.”

Late into his orthopaedic residency, he also met renowned French professor Pascal Boileau at a medical conference, which sealed his fate as a shoulder specialist.

“The French have a different approach and thoughts about treating shoulders,” Dr. Wilson said. “I contacted his secretary to see if I could train with him.”

Initially, Dr. Wilson planned to spend about three months in France after his sports-medicine fellowship ended in Taos. But he ended up training in France for nearly a year.

“I was presented with an opportunity to get paid to live and learn on the French Riviera,” Dr. Wilson said. “And I learned how to enhance how I do shoulder replacements in a way that’s smoother and more consistent.”

Getting patients back in action

Dr. Wilson’s favorite outdoor activities include skiing, mountain biking, fishing, hiking, watersports and camping.

Dr. Wilson’s overall philosophy for patients is to get them moving and back to their desired activities as quickly as possible. In Steamboat, he sees a lot of meniscus tears, ACL tears and cartilage injuries.

“And then there are specific ways people break bones skiing and snowboarding that we see frequently,” he said.

The surgeons at SOSI have developed great techniques, always…



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