Steadman Clinic Dr. Peter Millett earns Orthopedic Technology & Innovation Research Award | VailDaily.com

Steadman Clinic Dr. Peter Millett earns Orthopedic Technology & Innovation Research Award

Laura Bell
Special to the Daily

Dr. Peter Millett, an orthopedic shoulder, elbow and knee specialist, and partner at the Steadman Clinic, was recently awarded he Orthopedic Technology & Innovation Research Award from Arthrex, an orthopedic medical device company.

His research focused on joint preservation, complex rotator cuff repairs, shoulder stabilization and throwing injuries in athletes. Millett directs the shoulder division at the Clinic. He is also a member of the scientific advisory board for the Steadman Philippon Research Institute.

"I developed some of the surgical techniques, including techniques for arthroscopic rotator cuff repair and for the treatment of shoulder osteoarthritis, to help patients recover more quickly and in a more predictable manner," Millett said.

Last week, for example, Millett used this type of repair technique on an NFL player. Alas, due to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act — aka the privacy act — the player cannot be named, but Millett also uses these techniques on weekend warriors.

"The lessons we learn in the elite athletes can then be applied to recreational athletes to help them recover more quickly and have better outcomes," he said.

Dr. Chris Adams, Arthrex vice president of global medical education said, "We were honored to present this prestigious award to Dr. Millett, who has proven to be at the forefront of orthopedic surgery. His passion for helping surgeons treat their patients better is undeniable and evident in all that he does."

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Quite simply

In layman's terms, Millett explained the complicated procedure.

"The award was presented for my research into shoulder disorders, particularly rotator cuff repairs," he said. "It was specifically awarded for the ways we have innovated using new surgical techniques and devices to not only make repairs stronger, allowing patients to heal more reliably and faster, but also providing new solutions for previously un-repairable situations, such as with massive rotator cuff tendon tears."

Millett's academic work also has been recognized by several domestic and international societies. In 2017, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons honored Millett with an Achievement Award for his contributions to sports medicine. He was also honored with the 2016 Outstanding Teacher Award from the fellows of the Steadman Clinic and Steadman Philippon Research Institute.

Millett pioneered an advanced arthroscopic shoulder preservation procedure known as the Comprehensive Arthroscopic Management (CAM) procedure, an advanced surgery for treating osteoarthritis that has been clinically shown to decrease pain and improve joint function.

CAM was designed in stages over the course of five years, with a specific focus on alleviating pain along the back and side of the shoulder. While this shoulder joint preservation technique requires advanced skill to perform, preliminary clinical studies have shown significant benefits to patients with cartilage regeneration, joint improvement, alleviation of pain and dramatic improvements in function.

Worth the wait

Tom Petty may have said, "The waiting is the hardest part," but for Millett, it is all part of the process. The doctor takes it in stride and said, "Advancements in medicine rarely occur by the 'eureka' moment but more commonly by slow and steady focus with progressive advancements. We also stand on the shoulders of the giants who came before us."

So how does he balance surgery and research?

"Research and academics are a frame of mind and a way of thinking. Asking questions, constantly analyzing results and striving to improve outcomes. It is impossible to separate my clinical work from my research because the two are so synchronistically intertwined," he said.

Seeing advancements in cartilage regeneration is of particular interest to Millett, as well as other surgeons around the world.

"It is one of the holy grails of medicine," he said. "We are constantly working to improve our techniques for joint preservation. I am very excited by our regenerative medicine and stem cell program and am hopeful and confident that we will be able to find innovative solutions to help keep people active."

The Arthrex award included a $50,000 grant for orthopedic research. The awarding committee's goal was to recognize an outstanding individual who has conducted independent research activities that aligned with Arthrex strategic objectives in order to "help surgeons treat their patients better.

The Orthopedic Technology & Innovation Research Award criteria included interpretation of findings, methodological approach, conceptual framework, writing quality and clinically significant contribution to the field.

Learn more

Dr. Peter Millett has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed, scientific articles, numerous book chapters and four books on orthopedics, sports medicine and shoulder surgery. For more information on Millett, visit drmillett.com.