For every physician, there is a moment, a person, or a characteristic that initially sparked their interest in medicine. For Dr. Joseph “Jeb” Broyles, it was a naturally inquisitive nature, a curiosity that drove him to want to better understand the world around him. From a young age, he had a fascination with the way things work, how they are constructed and function. As an adult, these same traits propelled him toward a degree in medicine and set the foundation for his success and reputation as a leader in cartilage regeneration and repair.
When Dr. Broyles initially began his undergraduate studies at Tulane University, he had his sights set on becoming an engineer, a career path that seemed a logical fit for his personality and interests. As fortune would have it, however, it was during this same time that Dr. Broyles decided to take a course called Orthopedic Bioengineering. The class dug into the materials used in orthopedic surgery, the effects of friction and lubrication, and the wear characteristics of biological and synthetic materials. It opened the floodgates to a world of possibilities in the field of orthopedics and transformed Dr. Broyles' curiosity from a flicker to a flame. Soon, his planned career path diverted from engineering to medicine.
Joint Replacement: The Marriage Between Engineering and Medicine
Becoming a doctor is no easy task. The journey through medical school and residency is a slow, long burn; one that can extinguish the ambition of many. Fortunately, Dr. Broyles is not like many, and instead of fading, his thirst for learning only intensified over his years of study. Upon completing medical school and his residency, he eagerly pushed onward, beginning a Fellowship in total joint replacement in St. Louis, Missouri under Dr. Leo Whiteside, an internationally recognized expert in hip and knee replacement surgery. Quickly, Dr. Broyles realized just how great an affinity he had for joint replacement and its perfect marriage between elements of both engineering and medicine.
Cartilage Regeneration: A Physician's Quest to Learn from the Best
With his deepening passion for orthopedics and joint replacement, Dr. Broyles excitedly joined the team at the Bone & Joint Clinic of Baton Rouge following his Fellowship training. As a visionary, he became fascinated by regenerative medicine, which is the process of creating living, functional tissues to repair or replace tissue or organ function lost due to age, disease, damage, or congenital defects. Specifically, he began studying Dr. Khay Yong Saw of Malaysia and his revolutionary work in stem cell cartilage regeneration.
Dr. Saw and his research team in Kuala Lumpur had been following a protocol that used microdrilling surgery followed by weekly post-operative injections of autologous peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPC's) and hyaluronic acid (HA). Once again, Dr. Broyles’ curiosity was sparked, leading him to take several trips to Malaysia to study the technique and eventually giving him the opportunity to operate alongside Dr. Saw at the Kuala Lumpur Sports Medicine Center.
A Center of Excellence for Cartilage Regeneration is Born
Upon his return to Baton Rouge, Dr. Broyles began building off of Dr. Saw's methods and his own cartilage regeneration research. He collaborated with local hematologist/oncologist Dr. Patrick Stagg to design and execute a stem cell cartilage clinical trial in 2009 at the Bone and Joint Clinic of Baton Rouge. This trial subsequently led to the opening of the Cartilage Regeneration Center in April of 2010. While the center is located in Baton Rouge, patients travel from across the nation to participate in the cartilage regeneration procedures conducted by Dr. Broyles.
A New Path in Hip Replacement
Today, Dr. Jeb Broyles continues to stay curious. His relentless commitment to staying ahead of the curve in the field of joint replacement has led him to the SuperPath hip replacement procedure. SuperPath is a special technique used to perform total hip replacements that causes minimal disruption to the hip capsule and surrounding soft tissues and offers many benefits over traditional hip replacements.
Dr. Faith T. Fitzgerald, former dean of students at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, once wrote an insightful article that pinpointed the single most important trait of a medical student: curiosity. Sure, isolating the qualities of a good doctor down to a single element is debatable. What is not debatable, however, is the fact that the curiosity of Dr. Broyles is behind every one of his new surgery techniques, every new research project, and every patient success story. And, by the look of things, Dr. Broyles is just beginning.