Welcome to Bettendorf: Q&A with Dr. Bries

Dr. Andrew Bries

ORA Orthopedics Sports Medicine Surgeon: Dr. Andrew Bries

ORA is very proud to be the team physicians for all the area high schools and colleges – now including the Bettendorf Bulldogs. Sports Medicine Surgeon, Dr. Andrew Bries, is looking forward to building connections on the sidelines and in the training room this season as the official BHS Team Physician.

Years in Practice: 11 years

Specialty: Sports Medicine and Shoulder Reconstruction

Hometown: Zwingle, IA; I attended high school at Dubuque Hempstead.

Team Physician: Bettendorf High School, Assumption High School, St. Ambrose University, Quad City Steam Wheelers

Tell us about your role on the Bettendorf Football team.

Starting in January 2021, I took over as the head team physician at Bettendorf High School. I plan to provide the same Sports Medicine expertise I bring to every team I have the opportunity to help out. It’s great to team up with our local Athletic Trainers and Physical Therapists to keep high school athletes in the game.

Whether it’s taking care of injuries in the training room or even during the rare cases when surgical treatment is needed, our job as team physicians is to do our best to get them back to the same level or better than before their injury. I’m looking forward to a great fall season with the Bettendorf Bulldogs.

As this is your first football season as their team physician, what are you looking forward to the most this season?

For me, it is all about building personal connections and relationships on the sidelines with the athletes and coaches. It is the relationships with members of the team that makes my work in Sports Medicine so rewarding. 

Dr. Andrew Bries, ORA Orthopedics
Dr. Andrew Bries, ORA Orthopedics

What should parents keep in mind to prevent injury?

Unfortunately, overtraining has become a big problem in youth sports. Parents and coaches are trying to do the right thing by helping young athletes develop. However, too much training can do more harm than good in youth sports.

All the evidence at this point supports diversity in training. Participating in multiple sports at a younger level promotes a healthier musculoskeletal system, which improves performance and helps prevent burnout. We should try to avoid sports specialization until high school, or even later if at all possible. 

What is one of the most common injuries you see in young athletes? 

I see many young athletes every week who have overuse or repetitive type of injuries that are preventable. Generally, the type of injury varies by sport. A few of the most common things I see are knee and ankle sprains, which – for the most part – we can successfully treat in the training room.

Dr Bries Bettendorf Team Physician

When you are not on the sidelines, how do you spend your weekends?

I like to watch my kids at their sporting activities. I also enjoy dabbling in some woodworking. It’s funny, the tools aren’t all that different than the tools we use in an orthopedic OR. A relatively new hobby would be beekeeping. I started about three years ago.

In addition to these activities, we know you are at the Bettendorf clinic on Saturdays in the fall. Tell us a little more about the Sports Medicine clinic.

We run our Saturday morning clinic during football season to assist our local Athletic Trainers in triaging acute injuries. Most ATCs do an injury check after the Friday night game or on Saturday morning, but sometimes they may find that an athlete has an injury outside their comfort zone to manage.

This clinic allows us to get a quick X-Ray and hopefully start the rehab process quickly to get everyone back in the game. It is great to offer this opportunity to athletes in addition to our Urgent OrthoCARE walk-in clinics.

What is your favorite part about working with high school athletes?

Sports Medicine Specialist, Dr. Andrew Bries, ORA Orthopedics, says the COVID-19 pandemic provides opportunities for athletes to pivot in training regimens for stronger performance.

My favorite part is seeing young people succeed as a team despite adversity they may encounter. 
What made you decide to become a Sports Medicine Surgeon?

Sports Medicine is great, because you get to work with all age groups and activity levels. I’ve treated everything from professional athletes to weekend warriors and everyday people who want to take their dogs for walks. I also end up treating a large variety of joints, so every day is different. It’s a lot of fun.

What do you like best about practicing medicine?

I love that we are able to treat people from all walks of life and that our goals are the same, which is to maximize their outcome. I also have to admit, it’s pretty cool that people come to you when they are broken and we get to help put them back together again.