Blog

Congratulations to Our SA Doctors: Best of 2015!

Posted on

TSAOG is so pleased to announce that 24 of our physicians (all of our M.D.s and D.O.s) have been named to San Antonio Scene‘s list of S.A. Doctors: Best of 2015! This issue is on newsstands now and features the best doctors and dentists in San Antonio, TX as nominated by their peers.

Most, but not all, of our winners are pictured above. Without further ado, your S.A. Doctors: Best of 2015 are:

  • B. Christian Balldin, M.D., is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement and sports medicine for patients aged 3 years and up.
  • S. Josh Bell, M.D., is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement and sports medicine for patients aged 11 years and up. 
  • Ephraim K. Brenman, D.O., is a board certified doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitation specializing in non-surgical treatment of neck and back pain for patients aged 12 years and up. 
  • Marvin R. Brown, M.D., is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in conditions of the foot, ankle, and lower leg for patients 1 year and up.
  • Stephen S. Burkhart, M.D., is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in conditions of the shoulder for patients aged 16 years and up.
  • Ronald W. Connor, M.D., is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement and conditions of the shoulder and knee for patients aged 14 years and up.
  • Stephen C. Drukker, M.D., is a board certified surgeon specializing in conditions of the hand, wrist, and elbow for patients of all ages.
  • Frank J. Garcia, M.D., is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement and conditions of the knee and shoulder for patients aged 14 years and up.
  • David M. Gonzalez, M.D., is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and conditions of the knee and shoulder for patients aged 16 years and up.
  • Robert U. Hartzler, M.D., is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and conditions of the shoulder and elbow for patients aged 6 years and up.
  • Alan E. Hibberd, M.D., is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement and conditions of the hip and knee for patients aged 16 years and up.
  • Philip M. Jacobs, M.D., is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement and sports medicine for patients aged 11 years and up.
  • Bryan W. Kaiser, M.D., is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement and sports medicine for patients aged 14 years and up.
  • Kevin L. Kirk, D.O., is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in conditions of the foot, ankle, and knee for patients aged 6 years and up.
  • Randall C. Marx, M.D., is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in conditions of the foot, ankle, and lower leg for patients of all ages.
  • Eloy Ochoa, Jr., M.D., is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement and sports medicine for patients aged 14 years and up.
  • Paul D. Pace, M.D., is a board certified surgeon specializing in conditions of the hand and wrist for patients of all ages.
  • Alexander S. Rowland, M.D., is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in conditions of the hand, wrist, and elbow for patients aged 6 years and up.
  • Casey D. Taber, M.D., is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement and sports medicine for patients aged 14 years and up.
  • Brad S. Tolin, M.D., is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement and sports medicine for patients aged 13 years and up.
  • Richard L. Ursone, M.D., is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement and conditions of the knee and shoulder for patients aged 1 year and up.
  • Daniel C. Valdez, M.D., is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement and conditions of the hip, knee, and shoulder for patients aged 16 years and up.
  • Sergio Viroslav, M.D., is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement and conditions of the hip, knee, and shoulder for patients aged 12 years and up.
  • Christian A. Woodbury, M.D., is a board certified surgeon specializing in conditions of the hand, wrist, and elbow for patients of all ages.

Congratulations to all our winners! If you’d like to make an appointment, please call us at 210.281.9595.

Should Your Child Specialize in One Sport?

Posted on

Orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist Dr. Robert Hartzler was interviewed this morning by WOAI Radio on safety guidelines for youth sports. Check out the full interview here: http://www.woai.com/articles/woai-local-news-sponsored-by-five-119078/children-encouraged-not-to-focus-on-13041458/.

A recent study found strong evidence to support the idea that young athletes should diversify – playing more than one sport, rather than specializing in only one sport. The study determined that young athletes (between the ages of 7 and 18 years) who specialized in only one sport were 1.5 times more likely to sustain an injury and 2.3 times more likely to sustain a serious overuse injury than their more diversified counterparts.

According to Dr. Hartzler, “For most kids it is now recommended to avoid specializing before late adolescence. Most kids in most sports are well served by being a diversified athlete and playing more than one sport.” The reason for this is that younger athletes are still growing their bones and developing their muscles. Putting too much repetitive strain on certain areas of the body without developing others can lead to overuse injuries. “Baseball pitchers, for example, put a very high level of stress on the medial collateral ligaments of the elbow and the shoulder, and over time, those structures will become damaged.

In addition to diversification, it is important to remember that young bodies need a recovery period. A good rule of thumb is that a young athlete should participate in sports no more hours per week than their age in years (i.e. an 8 year old athlete should participate in sports no more than 8 hours per week).

Some other tips to reduce your young athlete’s risk of injury include:

  • Avoid specialization in a particular sport until after puberty. 
  • Take 1-2 days off from sports per week to allow the body and mind to recover.
  • Take at least 1-2 weeks off between seasons.
  • Take at least 2-3 months off from a specific sport during the year.
  • Encourage free play to develop other areas of the body.

HartzlerDr. Robert Hartzler is an orthopedic surgeon, fellowship trained in sports medicine and shoulder and elbow surgery, with The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group. He treats patients aged 6 years and up for any sports-related injury with a special focus on conditions of the shoulder and elbow. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hartzler, please call 210.281.9595.

TSAOG Customer Survey Highlights – November 2014

Posted on

When our patients have something nice to say about us, we like to brag about it! Please enjoy some of the highlights from TSAOG’s November 2014 Customer Survey:

  • Dr. Hughes is very personable and highly professional. Doctor’s appointments are always pleasant experiences.”
  • Dr. Rutstein is very friendly, passionate and caring – I know she is tailoring my medical therapy to best suit my needs and she is mindful of costs and insurance provider difficulties (referred me to BCBS places for MRI and additional services when possible) X-rays were done right away – no wait, very efficient at scheduling imaging and getting the care and therapy I needed quickly.” 
  • Dr. Kirk is an absolutely great physician I would recommend to everyone.” 
  • “[I liked] How quick and easy the appointment was.” (Dr. Hartzler
  • “PA Miller and his staff are wonderfully caring and trully know what they are doing. Would rather see him than my doctor” (OrthoNow Injury Clinic
  • “He has a great bedside manner, always makes me fell like he really cares about my health and progress.” (Dr. Connor
  • “I like the fact that an entire range of treatment options and practitioners are available within your group” 
  • Dr. Garcia showed me my MRI which helped me to understand spinal stenosis more than anything else could have.” 
  • “I am fortunate to have the physician I have.” (Dr. Hibberd
  • Dr. Richard Ursone is much appreciated by my husband and I, as he has performed surgeries on both of us. His dedication towards our wellbeing is much appreciated.” 
  • “Every one was just amazing. I’m scared to death of surgery, I never felt more comfortable before hand. AMAZING!” (Dr. Valdez
  • “The staff is courteous and knowledgeable. Dr. Viroslav seems quite competent and caring and interested plus he has a sense of humor.” 
  • Dr. Drukker was very professional and timely with my treatment. I would recommend him to any of my friends that were having issues or problems with their hands. I just loved him.” 
  • “Having gone to another Orthopaedic Group and after coming here. It was like day and night.I have to say eye contact is greatly appreciated and not being rushed and creating an atmosphere of neverousness and chaos.” 
  • Dr. Pace was funny and made me feel very comfortable” 
  • “This last few months of care by Dr. Rowland for my carpal Tunnel syndrome, trigger finger and Dupuytren’s contraction was handled wonderfully and his staff was a great help in getting the necessary Worker’s Comp paperwork through so I could get the much needed surgery. Post surgery treatment has also gone very well. I will never go to any other Orthopaedic group doctors and definitely recommend this group to anyone needing orthopaedic care.” 
  • “My wife, who drove me, and I were very impressed with the attention, explanation of the x-ray results, care, and manner of Douglas Dusenberry. Never having been to the Saturday clinic but preferring the hour-driver to going to a clinic or emergency room close to us, I greatly appreciate that you have this facility available and staff it with such an excellent care provider. The help and care suggestions have enabled me to make it with much less pain, through two weeks to my specialist doctor’s appointment.” (OrthoNow Injury Clinic
  • Dr Woodbury is extremely caring and friendly. I had surgery on both hands on Thursday. I had a few concerns on Saturday about pain. I was going to call on Monday when office was open. Dr Woodbury called out of the blue on Sunday. I could not believe that. He answered my questions and I was relieved. May God bless him and his family” 
  • Dr. Brown and his PA/NP always make me feel as though I am their only patient. Ouality time and visits” 
  • “Very pleased with how competent and personable Dr. Marx is!” 
  • “Treatments with Dr. Seidel are quick and effective. Noticeable improvement in just the 1st visit and alot better after the 2nd.” 
  • “I was referred to the group following a vehicle accident. The office worked with me to be seen even though SAOG is not an in-network provider for my insurance. Thanks for the excellent care from all parties at your practice.” 
  • Dr. Balldin is AWESOME!” 
  • Dr. Bell is a fantastic Doctor” 
  • Dr. Burkhart, his assistant, and nurses were very professional. They were great at putting me at ease during my visit. I felt like they really cared about my concerns. Keep up the good work.” 
  • “Doctor was very friendly and very specific in the options that I have on my physical problem” (Dr. Gonzalez
  • Dr Jacobs was versed in the area of my problem and I felt he had my best interest in mind. He gets directly to the point and doesn’’t waste a lot of time.” 
  • Dr. KAISER is so sweet and attentive.” 
  • “I have already recommended Dr Ochoa to two of my friends with knee trouble.” 
  • “The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group has a great staff, very friendly, kind and knowlegeable. Always trying to do all they can to help you.” 
  • “My daughter is medical averse. She is afraid of doctors, shots, X-Rays, everything related. This doctor was personable and really installed trust in my daughter and explained and LISTENED.” (Dr. Taber
  • “I am highly satisfied with and confident of the care I receive from Dr. Tolin.” 
  • Dr Brenman is excellent”

We encourage you to review and rate your experience with TSAOG.  The next time you visit us, please take the time to fill out our patient survey and you may see one of your comments online the next month! You can also choose to submit a testimonial online anytime

Please note: Spelling and punctuation errors may have been corrected for readability.

Warmer Weather = Higher Risk for Tommy John Surgery?

Posted on

Back in May, we looked at the worrisome spike in MLB pitchers undergoing “Tommy John” elbow ligament reconstruction surgery.  There are several risk factors that place pitchers at risk for shoulder and elbow injuries, but one of the most common is throwing too many pitches with too little rest (overuse).   

A new study, published last month in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, investigated whether MLB pitchers from warm weather areas (like Texas) had higher rates of Tommy John surgery than those from cold weather areas.  The results showed that the risk of undergoing Tommy John surgery was 2.3 times higher for pitchers who played high school in warm areas versus cold.  The warm weather pitchers also had surgery at a younger age and after fewer MLB seasons than the cold weather pitchers.

Could this be because kids from warmer climates tend to play more year-around baseball than those from colder climates?  Are our kids at risk of “throwing out” their arms earlier because warm weather leads to more pitches, increasing their chances of overuse injuries?  Since the study did not present specific details on seasons played or innings pitched for these players, we won’t know the answers to these questions until further research is done.

However, this study lends further support to those who advocate for careful monitoring of our young throwers.  Players and parents should know the recommended pitch counts and rest intervals published by the American Sports Medicine Institute and Little League Baseball to help reduce the risk of injury.

HartzlerDr. Robert U. Hartzler is an orthopedic surgeon, fellowship trained in shoulder and elbow surgery. He treats patients aged 6 years and older for any sports-related injury with a focus on conditions of the shoulder and elbow. His special interests include elbow arthroscopy, arthroscopic shoulder reconstruction, and total shoulder replacement. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hartzler, please call 210.281.9595.

TSAOG Customer Survey Highlights – October 2014

Posted on

When our patients have something nice to say about us, we like to brag about it! Please enjoy some of the highlights from TSAOG’s October 2014 Customer Survey:

  • Dr. Seidel really cares about his patients and goes above and beyond to see to it that his patients have the best care.” 
  • “Excellent staff from check in to check out. Dr. Brenman was excellent, informative and took great care of me through every step of the process. SAOG is the best!”
  • “PA Davis Miller is exceptional. Very comfortable communicator.” (OrthoNow Injury Clinic)
  • “I was pleasantly shocked at how easy a payment plan was set up and all my options.”
  • Dr.Tolin was really nice and explained my surgery. I had a rough recovery and he called back later that to answer my question.”
  • “I’ve already referred others and shared my great experience with family and friends” (Dr. Ochoa)
  • “The MD was friendly, approachable, professional, he made a suggestion as to what would help me which was a cortisone injection. I received it and I feel much better.” (Dr. Jacobs)
  • “The care I have received has help improve my daily life.” (Dr. Gonzalez)
  • Dr. Josh Bell – very easy-going, approachable, clear and direct with all information. The support staff is very kind and helpful as well.”
  • Dr Hughes was very attentive to my concerns”
  • “From beginning to end EVERYTHING WAS PROFESSIONAL.THE STAFF FROM CHECK IN TO CHECK OUT IS TOP NOTCH.” (Dr. Kirk)
  • “Had surgery for carpal tunnel… was an awesome experience from first appt, thru surgery, to last follow up.” (Dr. Woodbury)
  • “Excellent service provided by Dr Pace and support staff. They were genuinely concerned with my injury and provided options for treatment. Professionalism exhibited at every level.”
  • “I truly enjoy being a patient of San Antonio Orthopedic Group and have recommended you to friends in the past and will continue to do so in the future.”
  • “Having trust and confidence in one’s doctor helps tremendously and I have that. Dr. Viroslav and I have a nice, easy going relationship.”
  • Dr. Ursone is the only physician who I see in the group, and I’ve been seeing him since he was in the Army. He is an excellent MD, and I will continue to see him and recommend him to friends and family.”
  • “I have always had a good visit, even if I’m in pain, I leave happy.” (Dr. Garcia)
  • “I look forward to my hip replacement as well as the help it will give me in feeling less pain and having more mobility on my left side. Thank you Dr.Taber for making me feel so comfortable during my visit, and for the information that you gave me in order to make my choice to have a hip replacement.”
  • “I have had a knee replacement by Dr Tolin and hip replacement by Dr Kaiser. I was very pleased with both doctors and procedures. I am experiencing some hip pain and I choose again to see Dr Kaiser because I trust his opinion.”
  • “The doctor interacted really well with me in reference to my pain” (Dr. Hartzler)
  • Dr. Burkhart always hits the mark for shoulder injections and ignores my grimaces!”
  • “From the moment you drive in…the facility looks wonderful nice and clean. The parking lot was clean and plenty of parking. Once you go inside the atmosphere stays the same, clean and modern. The free wifi was a nice touch. The whole staff are really nice and calm. I’d imagine that even if they’re stressed they wouldn’t show it to the patients. The doctor was AMAZING! Direct and to the point yet fully explained everything and seemed to care about his patients. I loved EVERYTHING about this place 5 stars!!!” (Dr. Balldin)
  • “Loved Dr. Rutstein. My first visit to the office, and will continue to receive treatment there.”
  • Dr. Marx was a very nice Dr. He explained everything to me about my foot. Thank you all so much.”
  • “my physician (Dr. Marvin Brown) was very patient with me. he answered all my questions and he gave instructions on my ordeal.”
  • “Same day appointment for new patient!” (Dr. Rowland)
  • “Called the morning of 10/7/14…turned out that is the day Dr. Drukker is at Stone Oak office and they had a mid-afternoon appointment available….very pleased.”
  • “I have recommended your group and Dr. Valdez in particular to my cousin who needs knee surgery. I know that she will receive excellent information as to her possibilities.”
  • Doctor Hibberd gave me his undivided attention to my medical issue and did not appear rushed.”
  • Dr. Connor was most wonderful and deeply appreciated for all his thoughtfulness sand kindness.”

We encourage you to review and rate your experience with TSAOG.  The next time you visit us, please take the time to fill out our customer survey and you may see one of your comments online the next month! You can also choose to submit a testimonial online anytime

Please note: Spelling and punctuation errors may have been corrected for readability.

TSAOG Customer Survey Highlights – September 2014

Posted on

When our patients have something nice to say about us, we like to brag about it! Please enjoy some of the highlights from TSAOG’s September 2014 Customer Survey:

  • Dr. [Hartzler] has wonderful bedside manner, everyone is super friendly.”
  • Dr. Hughes is my podiatrist. And I have full confidence in his knowledge and expertise!”
  • “I now go to Dr. Jessica Rutstein who was recommended by Dr. Ed Sargent. I am very satisfied with my treatments.”
  • Dr Seidel cares and explains…I appreciate that”
  • Dr. Brenman is always there for me. He’s kind, understanding, extremely intelligent, and up-to-date on every therapy and medicine I’ve ever inquired about. He listens to me, takes time to explain everything to me, and gives his opinion about anything I ask (no matter how silly I might sound). I think he’s an excellent doctor, and a genuinely good person.”
  • “I always receive professional and courteous service at this office. My physician, Dr. Viroslav, is outstanding.”
  • “I feel like I’m get the best medical care a for my problem. I trust the Doctors with this medical group.”
  • “Thank you to Dr Woodbury for addressing my concerns and easing my fears. He […] answered my questions and explained my treatment options. A big Thank You to Miss Jennifer, who […] cleaned my hands after my injections and for her suggestion of using an ice pack to help with the discomfort.”
  • “Loved my Doctor. He made me feel comfortable, he was very professional, and had a sense of humor. I felt that he was on top of my issue and would provide the help I needed.” (Dr. Marx)
  • “[I liked] the fact that I can be seen the same day as a walk-in without making a prior appointment.” (OrthoNow)
  • “I went first to another so called specialist, whom in my opinion seemed incompetent, and really did not care about my problem because it was a Workman’s Comp. issue. I was humiliated, and wanted to give up. I went to Dr. Tolin for a second opinion, and he knows exactly what is wrong with my knee, and told me all my options. I am glad to find a physician who cares about me, and willing to help me.”
  • “SA Ortho Group is IMPRESSIVE!”
  • Dr Taber was highly recommended to me, he has given me options besides replacement surgeries as well as making me aware of the pros and cons of each procedure”
  • “I am so pleased that I came to a wonderful facility that helps people in their time of need and I thank each and every employee that is there helping in doing their part and caring for people, in our most crucial time of need” (Dr. Valdez)
  • “Thank you for fixing my son’s broken fingers and for making it possible to still play football” (Dr. Rowland)
  • “Really, it is good that Dr. Marvin Brown is serious and is strong in his manner to get us to do what we need to do in order to heal..and, I noticed that Allison Rice is getting stronger all the time..no need to just gently tell others what they need to do to heal, but be firm like Dr. Brown is..”
  • “I WAS ABLE TO GET AN APPOINTMENT THE SAME DAY THAT I CALLED”
  • Dr Ochoa is the greatest!”
  • Dr. Kaiser. He has been such a blessing in my life. I know that he genuinely cares about me and my family.”
  • Dr Ursone is one of the best doctors I have ever seen.”
  • Dr. Pace is a great surgeon. My recovery went very well no pain.”
  • “I have been a patient of Dr Gonzalez for over 8 yrs and I am very satisfied with his care”
  • “I appreciate Dr. Jacobs’ conservative approach and treating me as though I have some responsibility in decisions and in my care.”
  • “Friendly, courteous, attentive staff, and Dr.” (Dr. Hibberd)
  • “Love Dr. Drukker’s way of explaining my problem, and all options to fix it.”
  • “I absolutely love being a patient of the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group. Everything about this practice is Grade A!!!”
  • “I am very thankful for the care I have received from Dr. Burkhart and his entire staff. Hopefully, I will never need their services again; but, if I do, I know where I will turn for help!”
  • Dr. Garcia did my first surgery about seven years ago. I trust him implicitly.”
  • “I went into my first appointment in a lot of knee pain, somewhat apprehensive and worried, not knowing what to expect. It didn’t take long at all, for me to realize that Dr. Bell and his entire staff are not only kind and caring, but very knowledgeable and highly skilled professionals. They quickly put all of my fears to rest; and I walked away after my first visit feeling very confident that I am in good hands and that I will receive the best possible treatment and care in the days ahead. That is a huge comfort! Thank you Dr. Bell and staff!”
  • Dr. Connor is great and so is his staff. They are always very personable and Dr. Connor loves what he does. And he’s a very caring physician.”
  • Dr. Balldin took great care of [my son] during his illness. He promptly contacted his pediatrician and made sure that he was well cared for during this period. He made great recommendations and referred us to the best physicians.”

We encourage you to review and rate your experience with TSAOG.  The next time you visit us, please take the time to fill out our customer survey and you may see one of your comments online the next month! You can also choose to submit a testimonial online anytime

Please note: Spelling and punctuation errors may have been corrected for readability.

TSAOG Welcomes Dr. Robert Hartzler

Posted on

TSAOG is very pleased to welcome Dr. Robert U. Hartzler to our practice!  His first day is Tuesday, September 2nd.

Hartzler

Dr. Hartzler is an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and conditions of the shoulder and elbow. Following his residency at the Mayo Clinic, he completed two separate fellowships in these areas, the most recent under TSAOG’s Dr. Stephen Burkhart.

He will be treating all orthopaedic conditions, with the exception of the spine, for patients aged 6 years and up.

Dr. Hartzler’s special interests include:

Without further ado, meet Dr. Robert Hartzler:

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hartzler, please call 210.281.9595.

To learn more about Dr. Hartzler’s background and training, please visit his webpage.

Recruiting rising stars in orthopaedics is one more way TSAOG makes your health our mission.

Dr. Robert Hartzler on Tommy John (TJ) Epidemic in Major League Baseball

Posted on

ESPN recently highlighted a spike in the number of Major League Baseball pitchers undergoing the elbow ligament reconstruction commonly known as “Tommy John Surgery.”  This “epidemic” in MLB should serve as a reminder of the importance of injury prevention in youth baseball as well as professional baseball.  

The baseball throwing motion exerts tremendous force on the elbow and the shoulder. As such, overuse injuries are common for throwers of all ages.  An ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure for our young athletes.

The first step to preventing injuries is recognizing which players are at risk. There are several important risk factors to recognize for shoulder and elbow injuries in baseball:

  • Throwing a high number of pitches during a game and/or throughout a season
  • Playing on multiple teams with overlapping games or seasons
  • Playing with fatigue or on limited rest
  • Poor throwing mechanics
  • Throwing at high velocity or with breaking pitches

We encourage all baseball players, especially pitchers, as well as their coaches and parents to learn about throwing arm injury prevention.

Recommended pitch counts and rest intervals based on age have been published by the American Sports Medicine Institute and Little League Baseball.  Additionally, proper throwing mechanics should be learned and emphasized.  Playing through pain or fatigue should be discouraged by parents, coaches, and trainers.  

Learning to recognize your risk factors and take action to prevent injuries early in your baseball career will help you prevent getting sidelined down the road. Have a fun and safe summer season!

HartzlerDr. Robert U. Hartzler completed his orthopaedic surgery residency at the Mayo Clinic.  He pursued further fellowship training in shoulder and elbow reconstructive surgery at the Florida Orthopaedic Institute in Tampa.  Dr. Hartzler is currently a fellow of Dr. Stephen S. Burkhart, shoulder specialist at The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group. He will complete his shoulder fellowship with Dr. Burkhart and join our practice as a full member in September 2014.

 

Subscribe to TSAOG Updates