International Arthroscopy Association (IAA)
At the 1968 academy meeting in Las Vegas, a small group gathered in Dr. Robert W. Jackson's hotel room and talked about forming an arthroscopic association. However, it was not until 1973, when John Joyce, M.D., arranged the first private course in arthroscopy to be held in Philadelphia, that plans were made to form the IAA at a second course to be held the following year.
The founding fathers included Masaki Watanabe, M.D.; Robert Jackson, M.D.; Ward Casscells, M.D.; John Joyce, M.D.; Ralph Lidge, M.D.; Allan Bass, M.D.; James Guhl, M.D.; and Maurice Aignan, M.D. These men met in a restaurant on April 25, 1974, and along with 2 solicitors, named Seabring and Cline, formally established the IAA. Masaki Watanabe, M.D., was elected president; Robert Jackson, M.D., became vice president; Dr. Casscells was secretary; and Dr. O'Connor became treasurer. The original Board of Directors included Drs. Jack McGinty, Ralph Lidge, Ken DeHaven, Lanny Johnson, Alan Bass, and Michele Aignan.
The objective of the association was “to foster by means of arthroscopy, the development and dissemination of knowledge in the fields of orthopaedics and medicine in order to improve the diagnosis and treatment of joint disorders.” The original concept of the IAA was to have “chapters” in every developed country, each running its own organization and holding its own meetings. Every 3 years, the best papers from around the world would be presented at an IAA meeting held jointly with SICOT.
The logo for the IAA was based on a concept put forth by Robert Bechtol, M.D., from California and designed by a Canadian graphics designer named Peter Robinson. It included the 2 hemispheres of the world, the Watanabe number 21 arthroscope, and the orthopaedic tree used by Nicholas Andre.
Originally, there were only 2 chapters of the IAA, Japan and North America, but any country that had 10 or more practicing arthroscopists could form a “chapter” of the IAA. Soon, other chapters were developed in Brazil, India, and Australia. The next meeting of the IAA was in Kyoto in 1978 with Dr. Watanabe as president and 70 members present. It was a magnificent meeting both scientifically and socially.
An executive meeting was held in 1980 to “fine tune” the bylaws of the association. This meeting was memorable because it was conducted under the intense surveillance of several Secret Service agents who were suspicious of a group of young men gathered in a room in the same Philadelphia hotel that President Jimmy Carter was visiting on official business. The group was locked in the room for approximately 6 hours until the President departed.
The third meeting was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1981, with Dr. Jackson as president. By this time, the IAA membership had grown to more than 200. It was rapidly becoming apparent that this radical new concept called “endoscopic surgery” or “minimally invasive surgery,” which had been introduced by the private sector of medicine and largely shunned as “unlikely to succeed” by the academic community, was actually something significant. Arthroscopy was now becoming accepted, and new techniques of arthroscopic surgery were being rapidly developed.
The fourth meeting was held in 1984 in London, in association with SICOT and with Isao Abe as president. The fifth meeting, in 1987, was a trial “combined meeting” with the International Society of the Knee (ISK) and was held in Sydney, Australia. Jack McGinty was president. Subsequently, “combined meetings” of both the IAA and the ISK were held every 2 years. The president for the following combined meeting in Rome (1989) was Jan Gillquist, and the next meeting in Toronto (1991) had David Dandy as president. In 1993 the combined meeting was in Copenhagen with David Marshall as president.
The last president of the IAA was Harold Eikelaar, who presided at the final combined meeting in Hong Kong in 1995. ISAKOS then became the official English-speaking international organization to represent arthroscopy, knee surgery, and sports medicine.