TSAOG Customer Survey Highlights – December 2012

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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 our December Customer Survey:

  • “The Doctor (Dr. Hennessy) was extremely professional and thorough. I had surgery yesterday and he was great! He promptly saw me this morning and was complete in his review with me.”
  • Dr Woodbury was amazing. He has fabulous bed side manner and was the only dr that gave me a diagnosis, a treatment plan and put me on the road to recovery. Love dr Woodbury!!! Best dr ever!!!!”
  • “Everyone is friendly and professional. As an RN I appreciate staff members who are aware of their ‘job’ of being personable.”
  • “Doctor and PA are easy to talk with” (Dr. Viroslav)
  • “I was extremely satisfied with the care I received from Dr Brenman. Everything was explained in a manner that I understood.”
  • “I especially appreciate Dr. Tolin’s undivided attention and caring bedside manner. My favorite doc.”
  • Doctor Marx treated me with courtesy, concern, professionalism, kindness and respect. He addressed all my questions as direct and human language which I understood.”
  • Dr. Rowland’s staff is awesome, as is he.”
  • “Very satisfied with all aspects of my visits and results of my surgery. Thanks DR Taber for helping me on my hip issue.”
  • “I have had three surgeries performed by the Orthopaedic Group since 2003, and everyone was very dedicated to my complete recovery—Thanks!”
  • “No matter how busy the office may be, i do not feel like a number on a billing statement. You do not get the feeling that you are being rushed through a cold process. The staff has always been friendly and caring and treats each patient as an individual.”
  • “I really like my doctor. He is great and did a great job.” (Dr. Galindo)
  • “Location is easily accessible and parking is good. There is some redecorating going on now, but it is not intrusive. Location close to my home and Dr. Pace is very professional and easy to talk to.”
  • “I really like Dr. Ursone. He is very caring and personal and has a high level of expertise. I trust him and feel very confident in his care.”
  • “The people at desk, staff and the doctor were very pleasant, and a great group to meet, I am glad to be a patient there.” (Dr. Ochoa)
  • Dr. Brown listened to my fears and concerns and addressed each of them. I felt listened to and like he actually cared about my experience. It was much more than just being talked to, it was actually being able to talk WITH the doctor. He was great.”
  • “I highly recommend The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group to all my friends and acquaintances.”
  • “I have such a wonderful time when i see the staff along with Dr D they are courteous and pleasant and on time when i have to be seen i have no complaints what so ever… Merry Christmas to all…..” (Dr. Drukker)
  • “I am very happy with being a patient of this group for more than two years now and I think Dr Kaiser is just the very best at what he does. I also really like his staff, Tony and Cory!”
  • “The doctors are the best!! The Physical Therapy people are great and I really like the Portal on-line system!!!”
  • “I was very happy and satisfied with Dr Hibberd’s care.”
  • “The San Antonio Orthopedic Group especially Dr Philip Jacobs, office staff and PT staff are great and have referred some people to the practice…Thank you for great care!!! Thank you Dr Jacobs you are an awesome Ortho Surgeon!!!”
  • Dr. Garcia always has a smile and answers all my questions and helps me understand what and why of the procedure”
  • “Your front desk staff rocks. Always friendly to me.”
  • “The offices are convenient, the staff is very helpful and patient with me. LOVE Dr. Gonzalez he is so very kind.”
  • “I appreciate Dr. Connor and all the excellent staff who helped me. Blessings and Happy New Year to one and all.”
  • Dr. Burkhart’s personal attention to my care was impressive. I appreciate the feedback personally from him by phone to questions I left in the patient portal”
  • Dr. Bell listened to what I requested and was efficient in his treatment. The staff was courteous and friendly.”
  • Dr. Balldin was very professional and informative. I would highly recommend him and your clinic.”

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!

TSAOG Customer Survey Highlights – November 2012

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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 our November Customer Survey:

  • Dr. Bergfeld was amazing. I really loved her caring nature and how she empathized with my pain.”

  • “The facility was great, the staff was great and the Dr. was great. One of the best Dr. visits I’ve ever had.” (Dr. Balldin)

  • “The doctor was very thorough and kind” (Dr. Hennessy)

  • “I have already referred Dr. Brown and Dr. Connor to friends and family.”

  • Dr Burkhart and his staff are extremely professional and thoughtful about treatment plans. I trust his opinion and advice. His staff is always very polite and caring. They know who we are and are very personable.”

  • “I never saw a frown on anyone’s face and the physician was calling patients into rooms when his staff was busy. I love this practice and being a nurse myself I’ve seen it all. Thank you for the care you provide.” (Dr. Drukker)

  • Dr. Galindo gave me his complete attention, answered questions, and I did not feel rushed in any way. Also, my wait time in the waiting room was very brief as well as in the patient room. I am very satisfied with my visit.”

  • “Very down to earth pleasant and professional all questions answered I have been very impressed by Dr. Garcia

  • “[I liked] the convenience of having the physician’s offices, therapy services and MRI facility all in one building just minutes from my job.”

  • “Pleasant and efficient doctor and staff” (Dr. Hibberd)

  • Doctor Jacobs is a pleasure to meet with and speak to. I enjoy his manner and approach.”

  • Dr. Kaiser is awesome! Not only is he a great surgeon, he is attentive and helpful during each office visit!”

  • “Thank y’all for what you do! I’ve been to multiple doctors in multiple states as my husband and I have moved in the military 14 times in 26 yrs. It has always been so hard to get established in a short time before having to leave again. As a Professional Patient I can honestly say that your group is the BEST I’ve seen ANYWHERE! You are a big part of the reason that we decided to retire here in San Antonio! Thank you!”

  • “As always staff very friendly, wait is usually very, very minimal, the best I’ve EVER experienced.” (Dr. Pace)

  • “Waiting area is clean and spacious I liked the professionalism and thoroughness of my doctor – Dr. Alexander Rowland. When I returned for a second visit he was very familiar with my medical concerns – I didn’t have to explain them again to him; I really appreciated that.”

  • “I have the best Dr. in Dr. Brad Tolin. His staff is A1 and Linda and Irene are both the very best at what they do. I would never go anywhere else. I have sent other people to see them as well and they are very happy with the Orthopedic Group. Thank you all for the finest care every patient wishes for. You are the best!”

  • Dr. Viroslav was very understanding of my condition and offered solutions to help manage my problem knees.”

  • “[I liked] the concern that is shown by PA and doctor to find out what is going on and what the best treatment would be for me.” (Dr. Taber)

  • Dr. Ochoa wasn’t even scheduled to see me today, I was in there for an injection with a PA, but Dr. Ochoa came in the room to check on me and the progress with my knee. Very professional!”

  • Dr. Ursone is very personable and gives his full attention to his patients. He is a very confident and competent doctor. I am extremely happy with the care I have received from him.”

  • Dr Bell was very informative and attentive to my concerns and left me with a sense of reassurance. I went to him as a second opinion and the quality of my appointment was like night and day. It was that good!”

  • “I have a strong sense of confidence in Dr. Brenman. I appreciate his direct and concise delivery of information. Very reassuring.”

  • “I really enjoy my visits to this office. The Dr and staff are very efficient and are concerned about the patient.” (Dr. Marx)

  • “Thank you Dr Woodbury for being the one Dr out of 3 that took the time to explain what is going on with my arm and gave me a possible solution to fix it. I just wish I would have met you a month ago.”

  • “[I liked] the kindness, consideration and professionalism shown by everyone.” (Dr. Gonzalez)

We encourage you to review and rate your experience at 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!



Dr. Deborah Bergfeld on the Benefits of Exercise as You Age

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The benefits of exercise are undeniable for people of all ages.  However, more and more research supports the need for continued exercise as we age.

The physical benefits of exercise have long been touted, but new research even seems to support that continued exercise later in life has the added benefit of slowing cognitive decline and memory loss.  In a recent study out of the United Kingdom, persons over the age of 70 were studied. The group who reported the most physical activity tended to have larger brains and less brain atrophy.  In another study, 120 older adults without dementia began an exercise routine that included walking at a moderate pace for 30-45 minutes 3-4 times per week versus non-aerobic, stretching exercises. A year later, MRI brain scans showed an area involved in memory, the hippocampus, was larger in the walking group.

If such evidence about the cognitive benefits of exercise as we age is not enough, there are plenty of other reasons to exercise. 

Improved heart and lung function are long recognized benefits of aerobic exercise.

Exercise, particularly resistance training (weight training), has been shown to combat age related muscle loss.  Battling this muscle loss has translated to improved function. In a study of nursing home residents, mostly in their 80’s to 90’s, resistance training for 10 weeks increased walking speed, improved stair climbing ability, and decreased symptoms of depression.

Numerous forms of exercise have proven effective for treatment of osteoporosis with many studies showing an increase in bone density for the exercise group.  At best, managing osteoporosis with medication alone can only maintain current bone mass and prevent further loss, with far greater side effects.

Even if you find that resistance training or aerobic exercise does not appeal to you, numerous studies have found that the practice of Tai Chi can promote health benefits including improved strength and balance, lower blood pressure, improved arthritis pain, and stress reduction.

If you find that a pain complaint or injury is preventing you from exercise, no matter what your age, I encourage you to consult a physician to get on the road to a more active, fulfilling life.

Dr. Deborah A. Bergfeld is no longer in practice with The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group.  To schedule an appointment with another physical medicine & rehabilitation physician, please call 210.281.9595.


Dr. Deborah Bergfeld on the Relationship Between Football and Neurological Disorders

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As a sport, “American Football” has long been celebrated as an entertainment spectacle, from Friday nights to Sunday afternoons. Annually, the sport offers tens of thousands of youth athletes a venue to learn leadership and teamwork, while helping to develop their physical abilities. For years, the medical community has scrutinized football from a standpoint of neurologic trauma and injury, particularly where concussion and spinal cord injury are concerned. More recently, such concerns have come to the forefront at the urging of past professional players and through more intense media coverage. Through recent medical research, the lasting effects on football participants is becoming more understood and more alarming.

On September 5, 2012, the American Academy of Neurology released a study confirming some long held suspicions about the susceptibility of football players to long term consequences of the sport in regards to neurologic illness.

This study looked at 3,439 former National Football League (“NFL”) players who had played for at least five (5) seasons. These players were categorized as “Non-speed” (linemen) and “Speed” players (all other positions excluding punters and kickers).

This study found that death from neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) was 3 times higher in this study group as compared to the average American. In particular, mortality for these football players was 4 times higher from Alzheimer’s disease and ALS. Furthermore, Speed players were at greater risk than Non-speed players.  

Certainly, most young men and women who play football will not become NFL players. But, the results of this article certainly have implications for players and their families. Contact football is promoted prior to middle school and greater restrictions on such contact may need to be considered. In Texas, where football is ingrained in our culture, noncontact regulations may be a tough pill  for coaches, players and parents to swallow but conversations about age limits for contact and stringent adherence to concussion guidelines should take place to protect these players. Parents may want to consider encouraging their child to play ‘nonspeed’ positions or, based on these results, may want to consider involvement in non-contact sports with lower rates of head injury like baseball, swimming, etc.

Dr. Deborah A. Bergfeld is no longer in practice with The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group.  To schedule an appointment with another physical medicine & rehabilitation physician, please call 210.281.9595.

To link to the study that Dr. Bergfeld is referencing, click

TSAOG Welcomes Dr. Deborah A. Bergfeld

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TSAOG is very pleased to welcome Dr. Deborah A. Bergfeld to our practice!  She starts right after Labor Day on Tuesday, September 4th!

Dr. Bergfeld is a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, or physiatrist, who has completed additional fellowship training in spine, sports medicine, and occupational medicine.  She is joining us from private practice at the Buffalo Spine and Sports Institute in Buffalo, NY.

She will be treating non-surgical musculoskeletal conditions, with a focus on comprehensive spinal care, for patients of all ages.

Dr. Bergfeld’s special interests include:

  • Comprehensive spinal care
  • Women’s rehabilitative health
  • Sports Injuries
  • Joint Pain

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

Recruiting specialists in non-surgical musculoskeletal care is one more way TSAOG makes your health our mission.

Dr. Brenman on News Radio 1200 WOAI

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A cool Justin Beiber backpack may be just the thing for a kid in the “in” crowd. But that seemingly innocent backpack, loaded with books, can cause serious harm.

Dr. Ephriam Brenman, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist with the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, the region’s leading orthopaedic practice, says the backpack could be damaging those little muscles and bones.

“So unfortunately, these kids are having severe symptoms especially with neck, shoulders and lower back to the point where they don’t even want to go to school,” Dr. Brenman said.

He says these backpacks are not designed to carry heavy loads like lots of books and are not designed with a young back in mind.

“They are not meant to carry all of that weight and they are not dynamically able to be supportive of a middle school or high schoolers’ lower back.”

Brenman says get a proper hiking backpack meant for heavy loads or a small rolling suitcase when shopping this tax free weekend.

“It’s a larger, true backpack that is used for hiking and camping; it’s actually has multiple compartments, evenly distributes the weight of the books and goes over both shoulders.”

Kids today don’t often have time to dump books at their locker … and often carry them around all day, and Dr. Brenman warns that could be doing some serious and potentially permanent damage to their backs.

Early Back Treatment Seen as More Effective

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But it doesn’t have to be with surgery, The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group says

The longer a herniated disc lingers the likelier you won’t heal.

New studies show that most people with a herniated disc do better when they get some sort of treatment, within six months.

Michael Hennessey, M.D., of The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, the region’s leading orthopaedic practice, a surgeon who operates on the spine, tells 1200 WOAI News it doesn’t have to be surgery.

“Disc herniations will improve with time no significant intervention. Often we treat it with physical therapy or perhaps some injections.”

But the idea, says Hennessey, is to get it checked out early.

“Of course if you have loss of bowel or bladder functions, that’s when you want to see a surgeon right away. That’s considered one of the few emergencies; you want to have the nerve decompressed and have the disc taken off the nerve. Other symptoms are having a worsening motor weakness or your legs are not working properly. Something that is indicating that this is not getting better.”

Hennessey says to strengthen your back and spine, strengthen the muscles that support it and don’t be fat. The extra weight compounds the problem.


New Therapy Uses Patient’s Own Blood to Treat Certain Injuries

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(SAN ANTONIO) January 11, 2011 — A new therapy which uses a patient’s own blood instead of steroid drugs is continuing to yield promising results and can have powerful, localized effects in reducing pain in patients with recurring joint, neck, and back pain and various spinal conditions. What’s more is that it has no notable side effects.

The therapy is called PRP, or Platelet Rich Plasma, and in some cases offers an alternative to surgery and cortisone injections. Dr. Ephraim Brenman is The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group’s PRP specialist. His special interests include non-surgical spine care, spinal injections, pain management and electrodiagnostic medicine.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments involve the use of a patient’s own blood to create a plasma mixture with a high concentration of platelets which contains many all-natural healing factors including adult stem cells. During the 30-minute procedure, a tube of a patient’s blood is put into a centrifuge and spun, producing concentrated platelets. The platelets contain growth factors that accelerate tissue repair and regeneration.

The platelets then are injected into the injury site using ultrasound imaging as a guide to inject the PRP into the target tissue, simulating internal bleeding from a tendon injury simulating a patient’s own body’s natural healing agents – instead of drugs — to accelerate healing and to more quickly repair a chronic injury.

Most traditional treatments focus on reducing inflammation with medications or steroid injections. PRP accelerates tendon repair by increasing the body’s own healing agents at the injured area. Benefits of PRP include a shorter recovery time. No steroid drugs are used and no surgery is required.

The therapy was introduced in the 1970s for surgical uses in hospitals. It didn’t enter sports medicine until a decade ago. The treatment gained notice in 2008 after Pittsburgh receiver Hines Ward used it on his sprained right knee to help him play in the Steelers’ Super Bowl win over Arizona. The therapy is still very new and in some cases it’s longterm benefits are still to be determined, but Brenman says, “There are good studies in the works, and in the introduced to the area where a person is experiencing pain.

Dr. Brenman joined The San Antonio Orthopaedic® group in September of 2009. His special interests include non-surgical spine care, spinal injections, pain management & electrodiagnostic medicine. 

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The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group was established in 1947 for the purpose of providing the highest quality of orthopedic, medical, and surgical care to the regional San Antonio community, surrounding areas, and beyond. Its board certified surgeons are experienced, skilled, and subspecialty trained to care for and treat the full range of musculoskeletal disorders, diseases, and injuries to the human body in the areas of adult reconstructive, arthroscopic surgery, hand foot and ankle, spine, sports, trauma and general orthopedics. 

Halloween Celebration for Patients

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Patients who have to get physical therapy instead of celebrating Halloween this year were given a special treat Friday.  The San Antonio Orthopedic Group each year decorates its offices with Halloween or other scenes, right down to the exam tables.  Doctors challenge all 300 staff members to come up with the best costumes and décor. 

CEO Chris Kean said she toured all seven locations of the group’s medical offices, from Topperwein to Westover Hills, to judge the contest.

Kean: “The most impressive floor that we went to was our physical therapy department and they actually won the group award.  They were “Patellica,” which is a knock-off to Metallica, since they are physical therapists and they care of knees and patella injuries.  They produced a rock band show for our patients and they performed a couple times throughout the day.”

Kean said the event started several years ago when one of the principals of the company told the doctors, nurses and staff – “no costume, no paycheck” and since then has grown to an annual event that improves morale among staff and patients they treat.


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