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TSAOG Customer Survey Highlights – December 2014

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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 December 2014 Customer Survey:

  • “Well organized and on time. I was very pleased with Dr. Balldin’s assessment and treatment plan and his answers to my questions”
  • Dr Bell and his staff always addressed each patient by name and treated individuals with warmth and compassion. Over the last year I never waited more than 10 minutes to see Dr Bell and for most of my appointments he was right on time.”
  • “[I liked] that there are multiple docs under one roof whose specialties overlap and they can collaborate.”
  • “[Dr. Brenman] and his nursing staff are always super efficient and even though I know they see a huge amount of patients they offer me really personalized care.”
  • Dr. Brown is extremely knowledgeable and explains procedures and options well, and PA Rice has been very helpful and thorough.”
  • “I never feel like I am in an assembly line like I have when I am a patient in other practices.”
  • Dr. Burkhart gave me my life back by successfully operating on my rotator cuff injury. No more pain and can do anything I did before the surgery. Great Man Dr. Burkhart!”
  • “I don’t like coming to the SAOG only because it means I am injured or starting to fall apart due to age, BUT I like coming to SAOG because I’m cared for very well and am very satisfied with my care and the customer service. Thanks to all of the staff, keep up the great work!” (Dr. Connor)
  • “I was very impressed with how well the office was run overall. There was a calm atmosphere and everyone I encountered was very pleasant.”
  • Dr. Drukker was already my physician, but also a lady in Houston recommended him. He is great!”
  • “Very happy with Dr. Garcia. Also with his regular follow-ups”
  • “I like Dr. Gonzalez and think he is an excellent surgeon and physician.”
  • “Although Dr. Hartzler is listed as a shoulder/ elbow specialist, he agreed to see me regarding my foot/ankle problem. He was very kind and I felt well taken care of.”
  • Radiologist and Leticia (Technician) were awesome. I was nervous and scared and they made me feel at ease and explained everything.”
  • “I was actually surprised at the speed with which I was able to get a new patient appointment.”
  • “Doctors are friendly and listen carefully” (Dr. Hibberd)
  • “Keep up the great work — both the office and the practice seem to run like well-oiled machines, with great resources and availability.”
  • Dr. Hughes listens well, takes my lifestyle into consideration when making recommendations on treatment.”
  • “I have always been able to be seen promptly by my doctor and the staff has always been courteous and professional.” (Dr. Jacobs)
  • “I would like to thank Dr. Kaiser for the wonderful job he did on my knee.”
  • Dr. Kirk was very gentle, patient & explained in great detail everything I needed to know.”
  • “I loved the care I received from Dr. Marx and would highly recommend him to anyone needing surgery.”
  • “Able to get seen quickly, Dr Ochoa is a good guy. I would recommend him to anyone.”
  • “With a complete state of the art facility each and every detail was handled perfectly. An amazing staff and an equally amazing set of doctors. I was completely impressed and 100% pleased!”
  • Dr. Paul Pace and his staff are amazing and I am so thankful to each and every member of his team that were involved in any aspect of my surgery and continued treatment. Thank you thank you thank you”
  • “The doctor shows an interest in my overall well being.” (Dr. Rowland)
  • “The doctors are fully informed in the field of orthopaedics. They offer a storage of information to help me understand my condition and the plan of treatment. They are friendly and make you feel very comfortable.”
  • “It was my first visit with Dr. Rutstein and I was very impressed. She is well informed in her field and had answers to all of my concerns. She took a lot of time to explain and offer suggestions. It was a beautiful experience. Her treatment plan is making a big difference in my condition. “
  • “…chiropractic services help me a lot.” (Dr. Seidel)
  • Dr Taber has a great bedside manner, very professional. I completely trust him with my care”
  • “From the first visit, my care has been exceptional, personalized, and caring. This is the best orthopedic organization I have ever had the honor of using. You have extensively improved my daily functioning and reduced my pain significantly, improving my overall lifestyle.”
  • Dr. Tolin exhibits exceptional patient relations. He is PROFESSIONAL, focused on the patient, and educational. I have never had the superior attention he provides to me.”
  • “Very pleased with all aspects of the hip replacement process. I would and have recommended Dr. Ursone to anyone considering hip or knee replacement. Extremely pleased with the care provided by North Central Baptist Hospital.”
  • “Excellent customer service!” (Dr. Valdez)
  • “Excellent experience. Some of my favorite docs in the past have had poor staff. Not SA Orthopedic! Everyone is top notch!” (Dr. Viroslav)
  • “I know that the good Lord sent me to Dr Woodbury and his staff.”

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.

Benefits of Outpatient Partial Knee Replacement

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~Video courtesy KSAT News and Aircheck Studios~

For the right patient – one with arthritis in only one area of the knee joint – partial knee replacement (or unicompartmental knee replacement) offers a less invasive alternative to total knee replacement that can help relieve pain and increase range of motion. Learn more about the difference between partial knee replacement and total knee replacement.

The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group (TSAOG) is now offering partial knee replacement as an outpatient procedure at our ambulatory surgery center. I sat down with board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Frank Garcia to discuss the benefits of outpatient partial knee replacement.

So why am I just hearing about this now?
Partial knee replacements have been around for many years, but certain developments in the healthcare landscape have made outpatient partial knee replacement possible relatively recently. These include advances in surgical technology and techniques, which have made the procedure less invasive, as well as the implementation of pre-surgical protocols including multimodal pain and anesthesia management, which has made the procedure less traumatic. Many centers throughout the country are now offering outpatient partial knee replacements with excellent results. 


Why would I want to have my partial knee replacement performed in an outpatient surgery center versus in the hospital?

There are several benefits to having this procedure performed on an outpatient basis versus in a hospital environment, but the big three are:

  • Safety
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Cost

Talk about the safety aspect.
Safety is most people’s primary concern when considering any surgery. Procedures performed in an outpatient setting across the board tend toward lower rates of complications and infections than the same procedures performed in a hospital setting. Additionally, when you are dealing with an outpatient surgery center that caters to a specific specialty – like the Orthopaedic Surgery Center of San Antonio – you have even less chance of being exposed to certain infections than at a more generalized surgery center.

How is patient satisfaction impacted?
Recent studies indicate a higher Knee Society Clinical Rating System score and a higher patient satisfaction rate with same day or 23 hour stay outpatient partial knee  replacement versus standard hospitalized inpatient partial knee replacement.

What about cost? Is it less expensive to have a partial knee replacement done at an outpatient surgery center?
Yes, significantly. The rule of thumb is that the cost of an outpatient partial knee replacement is about 25% of the cost of an inpatient partial knee replacement. The direct cost to the patient will depend on individual insurance coverage, but patients can generally expect a savings of 30-50%.

Will my insurance cover outpatient partial knee replacement?
Yes. Most insurances cover partial knee replacements done on an outpatient basis. In fact, there is a growing trend of insurance companies supporting these procedures due to their lower complication rates and significant cost containment. Medicare took the lead on allowing outpatient partial knee replacement many years ago and has recently questioned the full admission of a patient for this procedure. Although it can still be done in the hospital, the recommendation has been for an outpatient admission rather than a full inpatient admission status for eligible patients. 

I’ve got knee pain. How do I find out if I’m a candidate?
Knee pain alone is not a reason to consider any kind of joint replacement. However, if your knee pain due to osteoarthritis is significantly affecting your daily life, it may be time to talk to your physician to see if you are a candidate for partial knee replacement.

Dr. Frank Garcia is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in partial knee replacement and total knee replacement. He treats patients aged 14 years and up for all orthopedic conditions. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Garcia, please call 210.281.9595.

 

Avoid Ladder Falls This Holiday Season

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Orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist Dr. Christian Balldin was interviewed last week by WOAI Radio about safety precautions for an injury-free holiday season. Check out the full interview: http://www.woai.com/articles/woai-local-news-sponsored-by-five-119078/tis-the-season-for-homeowners-to-13013556/

A new report released by University Health System shows a significant increase in injuries related to falls over the past 5 years and the holidays are a common time for people to fall off ladders while attempting to hang Christmas lights.

According to Dr. Balldin, “We see a number of injuries all the way from significant injuries of the foot to hip fractures and lower back fractures.

When using a ladder for holiday decorations, the National Safety Council recommends you:

  • Always keep 3 points of contact with the ladder (i.e. two feet and one hand).
  • Use a ladder with grips on the feet to avoid slipping.
  • Wear shoes that give you good traction.

If you are uncomfortable on a ladder, the holidays are probably not the best time to push that comfort level and there are other options. There are companies you can hire to hang your Christmas lights for you and the cost is nominal compared to a trip to the emergency room.

Also, if you’re thinking about operating a power tool on a ladder, STOP NOW. Earlier this year, Greg Norman illustrated the dangers of this particular activity when he was injured when his chainsaw slipped while trimming branches.

Dr. Balldin recommends using common sense and caution to stay safe this holiday season. “If you have to think about whether you should do it or not, you probably shouldn’t do it.”

broken bone doctor san antonioDr. Christian Balldin is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon, fellowship trained in sports medicine. He treats patients aged 3 years and up for any sports-related injury as well as conditions of the shoulder, hip, and knee. His special interests include complex knee reconstruction and shoulder arthroscopy. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Balldin, please call 210.281.9595.

Stem Cell Therapy in Sports Medicine

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Orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist Dr. Christian Balldin was interviewed this week by WOAI Radio regarding the developing trend of using stem cell therapy to speed recovery from certain sports injuries. Check out the full interview: http://www.woai.com/articles/woai-local-news-sponsored-by-five-119078/stem-cells-being-used-to-boost-12981179/

Stem cell therapy in the field of orthopedics has been in the news a lot lately, with several high profile athletes – including Peyton Manning and Rafael Nadal – seeking the treatment out to boost their recoveries.

Mesenchymal stem cell therapy is now being offered by The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group. According to Dr. Balldin, “We are starting to apply it in a multitude of areas, including sports injuries, whether it be into actual joints, or to allow for a quicker recovery of ligament sprains and also for low back pain.” He says that stem cell therapy also can be “useful in recovery from common sports injuries, including rotator cuff injuries and tennis elbow.”

Learn more about orthopedic stem cell therapy at The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group.

broken bone doctor san antonioDr. Christian Balldin is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon, fellowship trained in sports medicine. He treats patients aged 3 years and up for any sports-related injury as well as conditions of the shoulder, hip, and knee. His special interests include complex knee reconstruction and shoulder arthroscopy. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Balldin, please call 210.281.9595.

Does My Weight Increase My Chances of Needing Knee Replacement Surgery?

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knee replacement san antonio

A new study in the American Journal of Orthopedics shows a direct link between the number of total knee replacement surgeries and obesity nationwide. It reports that the increase in the prevalence of overweight and obese patients accounted for 95% of the higher demand for knee replacements in the younger patient population. The study also found that patients aged 18 to 64 experienced a more rapid rise in obesity, compared to patients older than 65. Surprisingly, from 1997 to 2009, the share of patients aged 18 to 64 years old undergoing total knee replacement rose 56%.

As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in knee replacement, the correlation between obesity and the call for joint replacement is hardly shocking. Patients who carry excess loads in the form of excess body weight put more pressure on their weight bearing joints, particularly the knees. This excess pressure can cause early wear and tear on the native cartilage in these joints, leading to severe and progressive arthritis, increased pain, and decreased activity levels. At this point, patients often end up in a vicious cycle:

  • Decreased activity levels increase their body weight.
  • Increased body weight increases their knee pain.
  • Increased knee pain causes further decreased activity levels.

I like to use the analogy of a tire tread being worn out prematurely because of the excess weight carried by a truck. As you increase the weight in the bed of a pick-up, that excess weight increases the amount of pressure on your tires, causing the tread to wear down faster and eventually leading to early failure (a blow-out / flat tire) and the need for a new tire. In the human body, a “new tire” comes in the form of a knee replacement.

On the bright side, modest increases in activity level and decreases in body weight can preserve your knee joints and delay the need for a knee replacement. Studies have shown that even a 10% body weight reduction can significantly improve the function of the knee and also decrease pain, hopefully preventing or at least delaying the need for a knee replacement.
 
If you are overweight and experiencing persistent knee pain, don’t give up hope. Talk to your doctor about the modest lifestyle changes and medical options that may help to alleviate your pain and increase your quality of life.

Dr. Bryan W. Kaiser is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and joint replacement specialist at The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group. He treats patients aged 14 years and up for conditions of the hip and knee and has a special interest in minimally invasive hip and knee replacement. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kaiser, please call 210.281.9595.

Dr. Sergio Viroslav on Hip Joint Injury Prevention and Treatment (VIDEO)

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Did you catch TSAOG joint replacement specialist Dr. Sergio Viroslav on KABB’s Daytime at Nine this morning? Check out the full interview if you missed it:

***Video courtesy KABB and Aircheck Studios***

Dr. Sergio Viroslav is a board certified orthopedic surgeon with The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group. He treats patients aged 12 years and up for conditions of the shoulder, hip, and knee and has a special interest in total hip replacement utilizing a direct anterior approach. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Viroslav, please call 210.281.9595.

 

 

Dr. Sergio Viroslav on Partial Knee Replacement for Baby Boomers

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Following former President George W. Bush’s second partial knee replacement surgery earlier this week, TSAOG joint replacement specialist Dr. Sergio Viroslav was interviewed by WOAI Radio on partial knee replacement as an option for active Baby Boomers. If you missed the interview live, check it out in full here.

As Baby Boomers reach their fifties and sixties, they are wanting to maintain their active lifestyles and are turning to medical and surgical options to help them do so. For people experiencing persistent knee pain due to osteoarthritis that is confined to one area (compartment) of their knee, partial knee replacement (unicompartmental knee replacement) is an alternative to a total knee replacement that offers several benefits, including:

  • A minimally invasive procedure
  • A faster recovery period
  • The opportunity to have the surgery done in an outpatient facility
  • A more natural feeling knee implant

Though partial knee replacement is a temporary fix (most unicompartmental implants last 5-10 years), it offers active Baby Boomers the chance to maintain their activity levels and alleviate their knee pain. According to Dr. Viroslav, “[now that] these can be done as outpatient operations with less of a chance of complications, people really are flocking and deciding ‘this is for me’. People are looking for things that keep them active and involved with golf, tennis, hiking.  …Patients today are demanding this, saying ‘hey doc, I want to be better, I want to resume what I was doing, I don’t want to sit around on the couch.”

To learn more about partial knee replacement and total knee replacement, please visit our Knee Replacement Page.

Dr. Sergio Viroslav is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon with The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group. He treats patients aged 12 years and up for conditions of the shoulder, hip, and knee. He has a special interest in minimally invasive joint replacement. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Viroslav, please call 210.281.9595.

 

TSAOG Customer Survey Highlights – June 2014

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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 June 2014 Customer Survey:

  • Dr. Seidel was very receptive and focused on my needs and had ideas that may help me recover properly from my low back pain.”
  • “The procedure was explained to me in detail by Dr. Marx. A successful surgery was done with minimal pain and discomfort and I am now able to do the things I haven’t been able to do in about 3 years.”
  • “I felt the doc handled the problem very effectively and gave me the opportunity to ask pertinent questions.” (Dr. Rowland)
  • Dr. Ochoa is fabulous. So patient and gave me a clear understanding of what my problem was as well as the choices I had.”
  • “Everyone was professional and friendly. The Dr. was gentle and very informative. His assistants were also gentle and professional. Very good experience all the way around.” (Dr. Ursone)
  • “All personnel are courteous and thorough; Dr. Bell is outstanding — warm, friendly and his information clear and straight to the point.”
  • “I’m an active person especially with the profession I have and having staff that worked with some of the local semi pro teams gave me confidence they I would be in good hands.”
  • Dr. Brenman solved my problem.”
  • Ortho Now is a real winner. Got immediate treatment.”
  • “I am so glad Dr. Balldin was available at my emergency. I could have not had a better doctor I believe that because of him I am walking normally today. I am very grateful.”
  • Dr. Drukker is an awesome physician and takes his job to the highest level there is. Great manners and caring.”
  • Ronald Connor is a great doctor.”
  • “I felt that someone finally understood my concerns and knew what steps to take to address them.”
  • “Very satisfied with Dr. Kaiser and his aide. My wife had her right hip replaced by Dr. Kaiser five years ago and it has made her life much better.”
  • “The after hours clinic option was much needed and allowed me to be seen the same day.”
  • “[I liked] The ability to go from one specialist to another (when this is necessary) and remain in the same office. I also appreciate the computerized history, treatment, care, etc. which any one of the doctors, PA’s or other medical personnel can access. It is an efficient way to practice medicine.”
  • Dr. Rahal and his assistant were very compassionate, courteous, thoughtful, patient, and wonderful!”
  • “I had seen two doctors previously about my condition, with no relief. Within 5-10 minutes, Dr. Viroslav pinpointed the problem. His care, compassion, knowledge, and thoroughness are exceptional, and I feel very secure with him handling my condition.”
  • Dr. Tolin has been guiding my treatment to my knee, much to my satisfaction and appreciation.”
  • “Thanks for being right on top of latest procedures and offering patient pain relief” (Dr. Pace)
  • Dr. Brown is awesome!”
  • “[I liked] the sincerity I feel I am given each time I go in. They are always professional and I am given their full attention.” (Dr. Gonzalez)
  • “[I liked] Timeliness of doctor keeping the appointment time valid and very close to what was set up.” (Dr. Hibberd)
  • Dr. Woodbury took the extra step just to make sure there wasn’t anything else going on with my hand. Thank You Dr. Woodbury for taking that extra step.”
  • “Very professional Dr Jacobs came highly recommended by friends that are PT’s and Dr. DeLee.”
  • “Physicians take the time to explain results of X-rays and treatment options.” (Dr. Garcia)
  • “The care I’ve received from the doctors in The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group has been excellent.”
  • “I feel very comfortable and confident of success with Dr Taber.”
  • Dr Valdez was very courteous and very competent.”
  • “[I liked] The attention Dr. Burkhart gave me.”
  • “Each physician we have seen over the years has been top notch and each has helped us to lead healthy lives.”

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.

Dr. Ronald Connor on Lawn Mower Safety

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TSAOG orthopedic surgeon Dr. Ronald W. Connor was recently interviewed by WOAI’s Jim Forsyth regarding lawn mower safety. Tune in to WOAI Radio all day today to catch the full interview.

In 2013, over 300,000 people were treated for lawn mower-related injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Of those injuries, about 1/3 were severe enough to be treated at the ER.

Mowing the lawn is such a routine activity that people have a tendency to overlook some of the serious safety hazards involved, but you can avoid injuries by taking some simple safety precautions, including:

  • Wear shoes with good traction to avoid slipping.
  • Use a mower that stops automatically when you let go of the handle.
  • Before you mow, look for and remove rocks and other objects that could become dangerous projectiles.
  • Wear protective eye wear.
  • Never use your hands or feet to remove debris from a lawn mower, even if the motor is turned off. Use a stick or broom handle instead.
  • Keep small children off the lawn while you are mowing.

Also, according to Dr. Connor, you should “never put a child on a riding lawn mower with an adult because if they fall off that can be a catastrophic injury.

For more lawn mower safety tips, please visit the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Dr. Ronald W. Connor is a board certified orthopedic surgeon with The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group. He treats patients aged 14 years and up for all orthopedic conditions with the exception of the spine and has a special interest in arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder and knee. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Connor, please call 210.281.9595.

Dr. Richard Ursone on Knee Resurfacing – A New Kind of Knee Replacement (VIDEO)

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You’ve heard of total knee replacement and partial knee replacement, but a company called Arthrosurface is now offering a new kind of knee replacement implant for a procedure called knee resurfacing. TSAOG joint replacement specialist Dr. Richard L. Ursone sat down with me to discuss the Arthrosurface Femoral Condyle HemiCAP® system.

What is the Arthrosurface Femoral Condyle HemiCAP® system and how does it differ from total knee replacement and partial knee replacement?

 Surgeons look at the knee as having 3 main compartments:

  • Where the femur meets the tibia on the outside of the leg (lateral compartment)
  • Where the femur meets the tibia on the inside of the leg (medial compartment)
  • Where the kneecap (patella) meets the femur

In a total knee replacement, the articular cartilage is damaged over the entire surface of the knee joint, so the damaged area must be removed and replaced in each of the three compartments. This is most often the case with osteoarthritis of the knee, or degenerative joint disease, which we associate with aging.

In a partial (unicompartmental) knee replacement, the articular cartilage is only damaged in one compartment of the knee. This is most often due to post-traumatic arthritis, which is damage to the cartilage that occurs following an injury to the area. In these cases, the surgeon only replaces the damaged compartment of the knee, rather than all three.

The Arthrosurface Femoral Condyle HemiCAP® system is essentially a partial partial knee replacement called knee resurfacing. It is used in cases where damage to the cartilage of the knee is detected only on a small portion of one compartment of the knee. Knee resurfacing replaces only the damaged portion of the knee within the compartment, not the entire compartment.  

Who would be a candidate for this type of knee replacement?
As in the case of partial knee replacement, patients eligible for the knee resurfacing will have cartilage deterioration in the area, most often following an injury, and limited to a small region within one compartment of the knee (on the femur).

Cartilage deterioration tends to affect a smaller area the earlier it is detected, so prospective patients for knee resurfacing also tend to be younger than for other kinds of knee replacement, generally 30-50 years old, and living an active lifestyle. 

How long have you been performing this procedure and what results have you seen?
I have been performing this new procedure for the past year and have been amazed with the results.  I have seen my patients experience excellent pain relief and an early return to full function of the knee.

What are the benefits of knee resurfacing over other knee replacement options?
For the right candidate, knee resurfacing offers several advantages. A smaller incision for a smaller implant means less disruption of the biomechanics of the bones and muscles of the knee, allowing for a faster recovery and return to active lifestyle with little to no restrictions. The minimally invasive procedure can also be performed on an outpatient basis, eliminating costly hospital stays. It also avoids removing bone from the knee, which is required for a traditional unicompartmental knee replacement.

What is your advice for people with persistent knee pain?
Not everyone with persistent knee pain needs a knee replacement, but many people put off seeking treatment because they are afraid that surgery will be their only option. If knee pain is limiting your activities, I urge you to consult a physician to find out what can be done to help. There are many nonsurgical and surgical options available.

If it turns out you do need a knee replacement, early detection of cartilage deterioration can limit the damaged area and affect the kind of replacement you will need.

If you’d like to learn more about knee replacement, visit our knee replacement page.

Dr. Richard L. Ursone is a board certified orthopedic surgeon with The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group. He treats all orthopedic conditions, with the exception of the spine, for patients aged 1 year and up. His special interests include partial knee replacement, knee resurfacing, and arthroscopic knee surgery. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ursone, please call 210.281.9595 or schedule online.

 

 

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