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A Reflection on Enjoying the Journey

    • Traveling Fellows

Follow Claude T. Moorman III, MD (Godfather), Aaron Krych, MD, Lance LeClere, MD and Robert Magnussen, MD, MPH on their tour through the Asia Pacific.

Chengdu — APKASS Meeting

We arrived with our SLARD travel mates for our final stop in Chengdu, China. Chengdu, the gateway to Tibet, is well-known for its spicy food, giant pandas, and as the business hub of western China. We were greeted enthusiastically by Professor Jian Li and his team.

We toured the Sichuan University West China Hospital Sports Medicine Center with Dr. Qi Li and learned how the large earthquake of 2008 affected this region, which included building a new hospital in 2011. Here we had the opportunity to participate in a case conference, including a very challenging example of extra-pulmonary tuberculosis of the knee. We toured the vast rehabilitation units, which including 40 plinth stations. We harnessed up for a first-hand experience with neuromuscular rehabilitation, and also had the opportunity to discuss early open and closed chain strengthening following knee surgery.

We spent time discussing their center’s philosophy on knee, shoulder, and ankle surgery. We were stunned to hear they treat more than 100 knee dislocations per year due to motorized scooter accidents! One of the students presented his biomechanical work on the killer turn in PCL reconstruction, which allowed debate on PCL tunnel position. We also learned about the resourceful use of peroneus autograft for posterolateral corner reconstructions. We discovered the cost of an all-inside meniscus repair device is approximately $1,000 US dollars here in China, so Professor Jian Li has cleverly developed a less costly meniscus repair called “one needle, one suture.” In this procedure, he performs an outside in shuttling technique with a simple spinal needle, PDS shuttle, and number 2 Ethibond – for an anatomic result.

That evening, Professor Li invited us to his home and very graciously hosted us for “hot pot” dinner. Throughout the trip, we were informed of the piquant cuisine in Chengdu, and we can absolutely confirm it is remarkably spicy and delicious!

The next day was for touring. We learned about the wushu fighters’ mastery of martial arts, and attempted our own skill — needless to say, we confirmed our lack of proficiency with the heavy weaponry.

We spent time learning why Chengdu has 1,500 of the world’s 2,000 giant pandas. Predators, challenged reproduction, and bamboo deforestation due to farming have all contributed to the demise of the giant panda population. Fortunately, substantial efforts have saved this global treasure. We also toured Dujiangyan irrigation system, which is a 2,200-year-old man-made project to control flooding during monsoon season. It also brings needed water to the Chengdu region during dry season. This vision and planning led to Chengdu’s flourishment over the past two millennia.

The APKASS meeting was an excellent opportunity to capture the previous sites and institutions we visited. Participating in great talks and discussions with the surgeons we visited provided a deeper understanding of their expertise and contribution to sports medicine.

Our Godfather T. Moorman presented on tib-fib instability of the knee during the Hot Topics Section. Later, we presented at the SLARD and AOSSM Traveling Scholars Conference in a special section of the meeting. Overall, it confirmed our decision to participate in the scientific exchange of the Traveling Fellowship.

We also benefitted from spending time with Drs. Bruce Reider and David Parker, the immediate past APKASS President from Sydney.


When we applied for the AOSSM Traveling Fellowship, our goals were to share technical expertise, scientific innovation, and develop lasting alliances across the Asian sports medicine community. We not only accomplished these goals but also learned about life, the importance of friendship and collaboration, and the meaning of enjoying the journey. This fellowship was just what we were after: an international exchange to deepen and expand our personal and professional horizons.

It is with humbling gratitude that we thank those individuals that helped us along the journey, from the application process and committee (Dr. Daniel Wascher calling us with the great news!), to Jeff Boyle at AOSSM and Jun Li at APKASS for their tremendous organization. We thank our sponsor DJO for their continued commitment to this experience, and also Michael McBrayer from DJO for his guidance and meeting us in Chengdu. We cannot possibly thank our incredibly thoughtful hosts enough at each site –we learned a great deal about overwhelming Asian hospitality.

We are especially grateful for our time with our Godfather, Claude “T” Moorman, III. From him, we learned about leadership and doing the right thing, always believing in yourself and trusting your instincts, and above all, keeping your family and friends at the center of your life. Finally, we thank our families for allowing us the opportunity of a lifetime — indeed, absence does make the heart grow fonder.

Pearl S. Buck, an American Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose parents were missionaries in China and shaped her writing, wrote: “The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being. His heart withers if it does not answer another heart. His mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no other inspiration.” We've now experienced the truth Buck writes about, thanks to the AOSSM-APKASS Traveling Fellowship. Our hearts and minds are changed, and we are forever grateful for this tremendous experience.

AOSSM gratefully acknowledges DJO Global for their support of the Traveling Fellowship program.

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