Dr. Christopher Williams is originally from Jacksonville, Florida. He enlisted in the United States Air Force right out of high school and after four years of service in the Air Force, he enrolled in medical school and completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. During his residency, Dr Williams was awarded resident of the year, three years in a row, and was the Academic Chief Resident in his senior year.
Dr. Williams completed his interventional orthopedic fellowship at the Centeno-Schultz Clinic, and is now the founder and medical director of Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta, as well as one of Regenexx Cayman’s thirteen visiting physicians. He travels to Grand Cayman once a month, to facilitate patients access to the world’s most advanced orthopedic stem cell procedures.
After watching the physician spotlight video of Dr. Williams, we caught up with him for a brief Q&A.
Q: How has your military background influenced your clinical practice?
Dr. Williams: The military was great because it allowed me to form relationships with great people from many different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. This really has allowed me to be able to connect meaningfully with anyone I meet. I think that we all grow up in our bubbles, but we actually have several things in common with each other. Also, learning how to disarm tension with a positive attitude has served me well during my medical training and career as well.
Q: As a big believer in physical activity for structure, what is your current fitness routine?
Dr. Williams: This is something that is continually evolving for me. I think the one constant is that I am a firm believer in doing some form of physical activity daily. Currently, I am trying to work out in the morning since things are a little hectic in the evening with having young children. I usually combine one day of weight lifting with body weight exercises followed by one to two days of cardio and core work. Every four weeks, I try and do a one-week period of no weight lifting and body weight exercises only to allow some recovery as well. Also, I am very conscious about what I eat daily.
Q: In your physician spotlight video you describe the body as the greatest piece of equipment we have. What common daily activities or societal norms do you see as harmful influencers on our orthopedic health?
Dr. Williams: I think the biggest harm is probably approaching health from the ego versus from the perspective of a personal journey that is continually evolving. Ego workouts and fitness choices commonly lead to repetitive injury, fad diets, high and low weight fluctuations, and negative effects on body identity and mood. We are all on a journey and should realize we all will travel at our own pace. There is no magic bullet, or one-size-fits-all remedy for health and fitness.
Q: You have described your discovery of regenerative medicine as a Cinderella moment in your medical career. Can you detail your journey with regenerative medicine; from your first encounter with the specialty, to your fellowship, to running your own regenerative medicine clinic?
Dr. Williams: I had my first exposure with regenerative medicine from a friend that became one of the all-star doctors of Regenexx, Dr. John Pitts. I met Dr. Pitts while I was in medical school at Emory University and he was a resident at Emory at that time. He finished residency and went to do a fellowship at the Centeno-Schultz Clinic in Regenerative Medicine and Orthopedics. At that point, he was the second fellow to ever complete that fellowship. Over the years, he would tell me about the cutting-edge things that Regenexx was doing and how happy he was that he decided to do the fellowship. These early conversations peaked my interest in the field and, while in residency, I had the opportunity to work and do research with Dr. Ken Mautner, who is one of the leaders in the field of regenerative orthopedics. After my residency, I knew that completing the fellowship at the Centeno-Schultz clinic was going to provide me with the best skill set and knowledge in the country. After I completed the fellowship, I continued to work at the Centeno-Schultz clinic for an additional year which allowed me to work with and teach new fellows, finish research publications, and begin the process of opening a medical practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Fast forward to the present and now I have a fully functional 100% regenerative medicine concierge orthopedic practice in Atlanta, Georgia.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of running your own practice?
Dr. Williams: I consider myself a very laid-back person so I would have to say the thing I enjoy the most is being able to dictate the culture of the practice from the top down. I think it is critical for everyone to know and feel like they are respected and valued as a team member.
Q: Practitioners often mention a cyclical occurrence of injuries (i.e. – in one week it will seem like every patient is presenting with shoulder injuries, next month it might be knees). Is there an area of injury or specific condition you find yourself treating a lot lately?
Dr. Williams: I do think that I am seeing more patients with lumbar spine issues over the last two months.
Q: Are you involved in any research projects currently?
Dr. Williams: Over the past two years, I have had the pleasure of working on and publishing five research articles with Dr. Centeno in peer reviewed journals. We currently have four randomized clinical trials ongoing at the Colorado headquarters on rotator cuff tears, ACL tears, upper cervical spinal instability, and lumbar spinal muscle atrophy and lower back pain. Currently, I am also in the process of publishing a paper on spinal treatments with platelet rich plasma and writing a textbook on the field of Interventional Orthopedics as well.
Q: What is the most interesting patient treatment or research project you have been involved in?
Dr. Williams: My mind is continually blown by the things that we do. Seeing complete ACL tears heal with the precise placement of bone marrow stem cells is remarkable.
Q: What do you think is the next step or future for regenerative medicine?
Dr. Williams: As the field of regenerative medicine and orthobiologics continues to evolve, I think we will see the creation of several new minimally invasive medical devices to help augment the accurate placement of platelet rich plasma, stem cells, and scaffolding agents.
Q: What is the one thing you would say to someone considering Regenexx treatment for their orthopedic condition?
Dr. Williams: Regenexx procedures are one of the many key pieces of the puzzle to longevity. The journey to wellness and improved function is a lifelong process involving other key things such as nutrition, biomechanics and alignment, physical therapy, and exercise.
If you are interested in booking a consultation with Dr. Williams, please contact us and the Regenexx Cayman patient care coordinators will be happy to assist you.