A shoulder and elbow surgeon, as well as an accomplished violinist, Dr. Aaron Chamberlain understands the importance of staying healthy in order to do what you love.
Chamberlain, along with Drs. Ken Yamaguchi, Jay Keener and Leesa Galatz, make up the shoulder and elbow group of Washington University Orthopedics, located at Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s Center for Advanced Medicine and in Chesterfield.
The practice uses the latest research and technology to focus on treatment of any shoulder and elbow issue, from injuries and arthritis to instability. The specialists perform minimally invasive surgeries such as arthroscopy of the shoulder to treat rotator cuff tears and arthroscopy of the elbow, as well as procedures to repair injuries in the athlete and performing artist and those with shoulder and elbow fractures, arthritis or instability. In addition, the physicians offer reconstructive procedures, including shoulder and elbow replacements and prosthetics. “We are one of the largest and busiest centers for shoulder replacement, as well as treatment of rotator cuff tears, in the country,” Chamberlain notes.
A leader of the group's Medicine for the Performing Artist program, Chamberlain also reaches out to community music, dance and arts organizations to provide specialized education and treatment for musicians, dancers and other artists. “We see members of arts groups, including the symphony, opera and ballet, and treat their injuries, and we also educate them about how to prevent injuries.”
As a lifelong musician who has performed in Europe and the U.S., including at the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics, Chamberlain has overcome injuries and knows the vital role health plays in continuing your craft. And while he always has enjoyed being a performer, he says his true career calling is medicine. “Music is something I enjoy myself, but medicine is where I can make a difference in the lives of others.”
Whether a patient is a young performer or an older person looking to retain mobility, the orthopedics practice has the expertise they need, Chamberlain says. “Patients benefit from having specialists who have a lot of experience in treating shoulder and elbow injuries—from the simple to the complex. And because we’re doing a lot of research in the field, we are driving treatment forward and providing patients with the best available care out there.”
The group leads the nation in research regarding rotator cuff disease, as well as healing and management of tears. Additionally, the specialists complete ongoing research on surgical treatment of shoulder arthritis and shoulder replacement. “Due to these technological advancements, it gives patients better outcomes,” Chamberlain notes.
And throughout the treatment process, patients are like family, Chamberlain says. “I want patients to be happy with their care and ensure they understand the process, so we focus a lot on making sure they have all of the information they need.” Being a part of patients’ healing journey is the best part of the job, he continues. “When I see patients back in the clinic, and I have helped them get back to the sport they love or just take care of themselves on a daily basis, that’s what brings me joy and keeps me happily coming back to work each day.”