Dr. Andreas Sauerbrey: The right orthopaedic diagnosis is essential to proper care
Specializing in shoulder, elbow and hand surgery, sports medicine and joint restoration
Brought to you by Steamboat Orthopaedic and Spine Institute
Dr. Sauerbrey practices at Steamboat Orthopaedic and Spine Institute’s locations in Steamboat Springs and Craig, in addition to practicing in Lander and Rock Springs, Wyo., and Holdrege, Neb.
He has been a team physician for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association and the U.S. Ski Team since 2001. Dr. Sauerbrey has traveled the world with the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team annually since 2002 and was chosen to be the Freestyle Ski Team Physician in 2009 for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and the 2009 and 2011 Freestyle World Championships.
Dr. Sauerbrey’s specialty training in conditions that affect the upper extremity provides an extra level of expertise in those areas, but he is well trained to manage all aspects of orthopaedic care, including joint replacement, sports and trauma. He also has his Sports Medicine Specialty Certificate. He annually attends orthopaedic courses and instructor meetings to provide the latest technologies available in his specialty. He has extensive experience and interest in PRP therapy.
Dr. Andreas Sauerbrey believes the most important factor in getting efficient and correct orthopaedic treatment is having the right diagnosis.
“You need to come to a specialist who can give you the options for that diagnosis,” he said.
Dr. Sauerbrey, who specializes in shoulder and upper-extremity surgery, sports medicine, and joint restoration at Steamboat Orthopaedic and Spine Institute (SOSI), is proud of the access the institute provides to so many fellowship-trained surgeons. This extra level of training and experience provides the community with orthopaedic care that is truly world class.
“When you come to see us, you’ll get the right diagnosis, but it doesn’t mean you have to have surgery,” he said.
Shoulder, elbow and hand
Dr. Sauerbrey is fellowship trained in shoulder and elbow surgery from the University of Pennsylvania and in hand surgery from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He also holds a Sports Medicine Specialty Certificate.
Dr. Sauerbrey is particularly skilled in shoulder arthroscopy and reconstruction, and biologic treatments such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and growth factors.
For the past 20 years, Dr. Sauerbrey has performed 300 to 400 shoulder surgeries annually. He does just about every orthopaedic procedure, including knee and hip replacements, but about 60% of his work focuses on shoulders.
“People have options within our practice,” he said. “If they don’t come see me, they should see one of my partners. There’s really no reason to go out of town.”
A progressive approach
Dr. Sauerbrey has been performing PRP injections since 2008. He’s particularly enthusiastic about how biomedicine has evolved in orthopaedic medicine during that time.
“The biggest changes in orthopaedic medicine have been in biologics — it’s just blown up in the last 10 years,” he said.
Dr. Sauerbrey works with some of the most advanced orthopaedic companies to deliver the latest methods and treatments, which include PRP and stem cells.
“The companies we use are very progressive, surgeon-driven, constantly innovating,” he says. “It’s remarkable how much is out there, and SOSI offers it all.”
PRP, the most popular injection, releases growth factors that trick the body into creating a healing response. Dr. Sauerbrey says he frequently does PRP injections in knees, shoulders and elbows. While it’s not going to fix mechanical injuries (such as an ACL tear), PRP, when used in the right context, can relieve pain and improve mobility.
“My intention is to bring state-of-the-art medicine to Steamboat in an efficient and affordable way,” he said. “Together, we ensure the latest, most innovative technology available for both operative and non-operative procedures. We believe patients and their families should have the best care possible at all times.”
Destined for orthopaedics
Dr. Sauerbrey’s brain was always mechanically oriented, so it’s no surprise he chose a medical field that would allow him to practice that skill on the human body.
“Being good with your hands — you either have it or you don’t,” he said. “For me, it probably goes back to the days of wrenching on cars with my dad.”
One of the first major decisions that medical students make about their future careers is whether they will become surgeons. For Sauerbrey, that happened by his second year of medical school. Having a mother who worked as an orthopaedic nurse for 20 years and getting the mechanical practice he did while working with his father, Sauerbrey was practically destined to become an orthopaedic surgeon.
“I knew I had to do procedures,” he said. “Once you decide that, it eliminates half the field of potential specialties.”
With a belief that good health care should never be hard to find, Dr. Sauerbrey has committed himself to building an orthopaedic practice that puts the community first. Most of the SOSI physicians have been practicing in Yampa Valley for many years, and that’s a testament to their high quality of care.
“You cannot survive in a community like this if you’re not doing a good job — it’s not going to happen,” he says. “You’re operating on your friends and neighbors, and you have to be comfortable with that.”
With an extremely active and motivated population that demands to be fixed back up so that they can return to their beloved outdoor activities, there’s a real motivation to help patients get through their injuries and come out stronger on the other side.
“We fix people so they can go back to what they love,” Dr. Sauerbrey said. “We’re accountable socially here in Steamboat.”
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Members of the Ute tribe from the Uintah and Ouray Reservation will return to Steamboat Springs to perform a series of powwow dance performances and share the history of these dances and their culture.