2015 Saturday Sports Injury Clinic Starts Tomorrow

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Sports balls for a number of different sports with stethescope

Injured On the Field Friday Night? Walk Right In Saturday Morning!

Beginning Saturday, August 29th and running through football season, The Sports Institute at The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group will hold a Saturday Sports Injury Clinic every Saturday morning from 8-10am.

This walk-in clinic will allow athletes to be treated by one of The Sports Institute’s board certified orthopedic surgeons, all of whom have completed specialty training in sports medicine. X-ray, CT, and MRI imaging as well as casting services are available onsite to ensure there’s no need to make a second stop.

Best of all, a visit to the Saturday Sports Injury Clinic will bill to your health insurance as a specialty office visit, not an emergency room or urgent care visit, to keep your costs reasonable.

The Saturday Sports Injury Clinic will be held at our Central location at:

The Orthopaedic Institute
400 Concord Plaza Dr, Ste 300
San Antonio, TX 78216

Call (210) 804-5555 to learn more!

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Injured and Avoiding the Flu? Get to OrthoNow

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Flu season is in full swing.  If you work in an office or you have kids in school, chances are very good that if you haven’t had the flu this year, you know someone who has. 

That’s why TSAOG wants to remind everyone about the availability of OrthoNow, San Antonio’s urgent care solution designed specifically for orthopaedic injuries.  If you have a musculoskeletal injury (like a sprain, muscle tear, or broken bone), get to OrthoNow to avoid the increased exposure to infectious disease you’ll find at a generalized urgent care clinic or at the ER.

The OrthoNow walk-in clinic from The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group is available at our Central location (400 Concord Plaza Dr, Ste 300, San Antonio, TX 78216) Monday through Friday from 11:30am-7:30pm and Saturdays from 9am-1pm.

We treat patients of all ages for a wide variety of urgent orthopedic conditions, including:

  • Sprains and Strains
  • Fractures / Broken Bones
  • Slip and Fall Injuries
  • Worker’s Comp Injuries
  • Minor Dislocations
  • Sports Injuries
  • Painful or Swollen Joints
  • Ligament and Tendon Damage
  • Acute Muscle Pain

Since OrthoNow only treats orthopedic injuries, you get specialty care from the very beginning, including an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, access to imaging and casting/bracing, and expedited follow-up care with one of TSAOG’s board-certified surgeons.  Best of all, OrthoNow bills to your insurance as a specialty office visit, so you can avoid those costly ER copays!

Broken bones aren’t contagious.  That’s why when injuries happen, you should get to OrthoNow! Call 210.804.5424 to be seen today.

Providing specialty urgent care without the souvenir germs is one more way TSAOG makes your health our mission.

Dr. Christian Balldin Presents to Orthopaedic Research Society

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Dr. Christian Balldin presented his research to the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) on January 26th.  The international meeting took place here in San Antonio and included many of the pioneers of orthopaedic research.  

Dr. Balldin’s research evaluated the dangers of notching, an accidental defect, in the hip joint during arthroscopic (minimally invasive) surgery.  Notching can occur as the surgeon performs a procedure to remove excess bone in this area using a tool called a surgical burr.  The excess bone is due to the underlying pathology of femoracetabular impingement.  The notching is basically a divot in the bone.  The area of the hip joint under review, the femoral neck, experiences great stress from weight bearing activities, so causing a defect can increase the risk of fracture to the patient.

Dr. Balldin found that avoiding these defects during the technically challenging procedure of hip arthroscopy to be of the utmost importance.  However, if notching does occur, the greatest cause for concern is when it occurs at a depth of 4mm or more.  At that depth, Dr. Balldin found that the defect actually changed the biomechanical strength of the femoral neck as compared to the intact state (where no defect is present).  

Dr. Balldin’s research is currently under review for publication in a peer reviewed journal.

Dr. B Christian Balldin is an orthopaedic surgeon, specializing in sports medicine, with The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group. He treats patients aged 3 years and up for all orthopaedic conditions, with a special interest in sports-related injuries and hip arthroscopy. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Balldin, please call 210.281.9595.


Dr. Christian Balldin on WOAI Radio – Soccer Injury Prevention

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TSAOG’s Dr. Christian Balldin spoke with Berit Mason at WOAI Radio on tips to avoid injuries now that soccer season is underway.

The very competitive youth soccer season is about to open, and local orthopaedic docs say there are several steps you can take to make sure it’s not broken bone season, 1200 WOAI news reports.

“Its a very physical support and it certain involves a lot of tackling and contact,” Dr. Christian Balldin with the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, the region’s leading orthopaedic practice, told 1200 WOAI’s Berit Mason.  “The tackling may not be appreciated at times, but there is a lot of contact that occurs.”

The Orthopaedic Group has opened Ortho Now, an urgent care clinic to examine  sprains, broken bones and torn ligaments, avoiding the need to go to a hospital emergency room and wait for hours in a waiting room packed with flu patients.

Dr. Balldin says the key to safe play is preparation before the opening whistle sounds.  He says you should make sure you are in generally good health by sticking to a balanced fitness program during the off season.  Also, he says, always take plenty of time to stretch, because ‘cold’ muscles are far more prone to injury.

He says wearing the appropriate equipment is also important.  He says the lower legs is where many soccer injuries occur.

“Ankle sprain is certain up there,” he said.  “There are also very frequent bruises you get from being kicked in the lower leg, particularly the shin.”

He says players should always look around to make sure there is proper equipment on the soccer field as well, including well padded goals, and a good playing surface.  He says the soccer ball needs to be in good shape as well.

“Soccer balls were made of leather and they were holding a lot of water and becoming heavy,” he said.  So synthetic balls were created which remain light and less dangerous when playing on a wet surface.

Dr. Balldin says it is also critical for the adult coaches in youth soccer games be knowledgeable enough to recognize injuries, to make sure a player is fit enough to return to the field after suffering from a minor injury, and to understand what to do on the spot, and to promptly take the child to Ortho Now in case of a major sprain or break.

He says another key is not to try to play too many sports.  This time of year, Dr. Balldin sees a lot of young people who are playing soccer, wrestling, and playing basketball, and that leads to ‘overuse injuries.’  But he says playing just one sport all year round is also dangerous for children and teens, so they should play different sports throughout the course of the year.

Dr. Christian Balldin is an orthopaedic surgeon, fellowship trained in sports medicine, with TSAOG.  He treats patients aged 3 years and up for all orthopaedic conditions with the exception of the spine.  His special interests include sports-related injuries and hip arthroscopy.  To schedule an appointment with Dr. Balldin, please call 210.281.9595.

Dr. Casey Taber Adds Clinic at Stone Oak

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Sonterra Medical Building


Beginning January 2013, Dr. Casey D. Taber will be seeing patients at our North Central / Stone Oak location on Tuesday mornings.  This office is located at 150 E Sonterra Blvd, Ste 300, San Antonio, TX 78258. 

When asked why he decided to add a clinic at Stone Oak, Dr. Taber said, “I wanted to go out to the Stone Oak region for two reasons.  One, I think I can offer the area an expertise in certain areas of orthopaedics that haven’t been available to the people in that area until now.  Secondly, I have a large population of current patients on the north side of town, including north San Antonio, Bulverde, Canyon Lake, Schertz, and New Braunfels, that will appreciate a more accessible office.

In addition to Stone Oak, Dr. Taber will continue to see patients in Downtown and Westover Hills as he has for years.

Dr. Casey D. Taber is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, fellowship trained in sports medicine.  He treats conditions of the shoulder, hip and knee as well as any sports-related injury for patients aged 14 years and up.  His special interests include total joint replacement and hip arthroscopy.  To schedule an appointment with Dr. Taber, call 210.281.9595.

Dr. Christian Balldin on WOAI – Increasing Use of Performance Enhancing Drugs and Supplements in Teenagers

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TSAOG’s Dr. Christian Balldin was interviewed by Jim Forsyth with WOAI on Monday, November 26th.



The Lance Armstrong Effect? 
More Teenagers Using Performance Enhancing Drugs

Docs say kids are growing up in a world where speed, size are prized

A disturbing new study shows, perhaps thanks to the example set by discredited cyclist Lance Armstrong and other high profile athletes, teenagers are using more performance enhancing drugs.

“Role models are certainly influencing kids, and unfortunately it’s a very bad example that they are setting,” said Dr. Christian Balldin of the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group.  “It is very important that kids are aware of the affect that some of these products can have on their bodies.”

The study was published in the journal “Pediatrics.”  It shows that of a random sample of middle and high school students tested in Minnesota, 35% of boys reported using protein powders, 6% reported using steroids, and two thirds reported changing their diet to increase muscle tone or size.  21% of girls reported using similar substances.  12% of both boys and girls say they use three or more of these substances.

Dr. Balldin says the substances can be particularly harmful for teenagers, because the body at that stage of development is already ‘bulking up,’ naturally.

“Most of the time, we certainly get enough protein in our regular diet as long as it’s a healthy, well balanced diet,” he said.

Dr. Balldin agreed with the study, that the young people are growing up in a world where, especially for boys, visible muscles and other outward signs of strength are valued.

“Obviously in today’s environment, everything is being emphasized as far as speed and size.”

Dr. Balldin says parents should be aware of the signs that a youngster is using these types of drugs.  He says many times that show up in teenagers in the form of stomach cramps and nausea.

Read more:


Dr. Christian Balldin is an orthopaedic surgeon, fellowship trained in sports medicine, with The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group.  He treats patients aged 3 years and up for all orthopaedic conditions with the exception of the spine.  His special interests include hip arthroscopy and sports-related injuries. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Balldin, call 210.281.9595.

TSAOG Welcomes Athletic Trainer John Carollo

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TSAOG is very pleased to announce that Athletic Trainer John Carollo has joined our team!

According to TSAOG Chief Operating Officer Chris Kean, “the addition of an athletic trainer will enhance our sports medicine program by supporting the San Antonio Talons’ and the San Antonio Scorpions’ needs in addition to the many local high school and college athletic teams for which we provide medical coverage.  John Carollo is a talented individual who has dedicated his career to supporting both professional and amateur athletes and helping them to achieve their maximum sports potential and we are excited to work with him.”

John Carollo has been working as an athletic trainer for 15 years.  He completed his undergraduate degree in Athletic Training at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX and went on to attain a master’s degree in Medical Management at Ohio State University.  In addition, he served 5 years in the US Navy as a Russian translator and is an Operation Desert Storm veteran.

John’s resume as an athletic trainer is impressive, including work with the following organizations:

  • 2012 Olympic Games in London
  • 2011 PanAm Games in Guadalajara
  • University of the Incarnate Word Football
  • Roosevelt High School (NEISD)
  • Baltimore Ravens
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Florida Panthers
  • San Antonio Talons
  • San Antonio Rampage
  • US Olympic Committee
  • Kingdom of Bahrain Olympic Committee
  • USA Wrestling, Volleyball, Gymnastics, Taekwondo, Synchronized Swimming

John will be working closely with TSAOG’s Sports Medicine Institute to provide coverage for athletic organizations in and around San Antonio.  Dr. Christian Balldin, TSAOG’s newest sports medicine trained orthopaedic surgeon, had this to say: “The hiring of John Carollo allows our Sports Medicine Institute the opportunity to connect more effectively with local athletic trainers.  His extensive experience in high school football right here in San Antonio as well as in the London Olympics this past summer makes him a tremendous asset.  I am very much looking forward to working with John in developing easier access to specialty orthopaedic care within our Sports Medicine Institute thus allowing the athletes that need it better and more global care from the field and training room to the doctors’ office.”

We invite you to contact John Carollo directly with any questions you may have regarding sports coverage requests or sports injury management.  He can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 210.683.5749.

Dr. Christian Balldin on Collarbone Fractures

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The clavicle, also known as the collarbone, is a frequently injured bone (up to 10% of all adult fractures).  Most of the time it is fractured (broken) when someone falls onto the outside part of their shoulder and the force is transmitted to the weakest part of the bone (which is the middle section).  Common causes of collarbone injury include:

  • Football tackles, with the opposing player tackling an individual who then falls with the extra weight onto the shoulder
  • Falls while riding a bike
  • Falls onto the shoulder while skiing
  • Direct trauma such as getting hit with a lacrosse stick, a hockey stick, baseball or heavy object.

The collarbone can fracture in a variety of locations including the part closest to the chest wall, the middle portion, or the part closest to the outside shoulder.  We can often treat clavicle fractures without surgery but in certain cases they do better with an operation.  These cases include:

  • Open fractures (aka compound fractures where the bone penetrates the skin and is exposed to the outside and is no longer sterile)
  • Comminuted fractures (where the bone is broken into many pieces)
  • Shortened fractures greater than 2 cm
  • Grossly displaced fractures (where the ends of the bones are far apart)

Some collarbone fractures encompass more than one of the situations listed above.  The less common fractures of the clavicle (those closer to the shoulder area) are more prone to not healing and need to be monitored closely.  Many different ways exist to fix these broken clavicles.  There are intramedullary devices that are placed into the canal of the clavicle.  They do not seem to work very well in cases where there are multiple fracture fragments (pieces of bone).  The most common way to surgically repair a clavicle fracture is to use a metal plate with metal screws.  The vast majority of time the hardware remains in place and does not need to come out. However, there are instances when it is recommended to remove the hardware.

Treating a clavicle fracture non-operatively can be the treatment of choice for many fractures.  However, there are some complications seen with this such as:

  • Nonunion (the bone does not heal), with rates reported as high as 24%
  • Symptomatic malunions (the bone does not heal correctly and is symptomatic), with rates reported as high as 10%
  • Decreased shoulder function due to abnormal biomechanics of  a now non-anatomic clavicle

As with any operation there are risks to surgically correct a clavicle fracture as well.  Examples are:

  • Infection
  • Symptomatic hardware (the plate and screws are easily felt and painful) which can be more common in women as they wear the purse over the clavicle and it can be irritable to the underlying skin/tissue between the plate and the purse
  • Risks of anesthesia

All of the possible risks have a low chance of occurring but something to be aware of when discussing the treatment options with your orthopaedic surgeon. 

Dr. Christian Balldin is an orthopaedic surgeon, fellowship trained in sports medicine, with The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group.  He treats patients aged 3 years and up for all orthopaedic conditions with the exception of the spine.  To learn more about Dr. Balldin, visit his web page here.  To schedule an appointment with Dr. Balldin, call 210.281.9595.

TSAOG Customer Survey Highlights – October 2012

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Any time our physicians have something to say about an issue facing TSAOG or our community, we ask them to BLOG about it.  Starting today, when our patients have something nice to say about TSAOG, we’re also going to BRAG about it.

Please enjoy some of the highlights from our October Customer Survey:

  • Dr. Burkhart has done everything he could to help me, and his staff has been helpful. The staff has shown genuine concern and I feel they are there to give their patients excellent nursing care.”

  • “My physician had given me my life back with the care provided. I was 8-9/10 on pain scale when I had first seen him…I am now 90% improved and getting better everyday. He is a blessing.” (Dr. Hennessy)

  • “Patient portal to fill out all my forms via typing the night before was AWESOME! Insurance information automation was also very nice. I really liked your streamlined e-check in process.”

  • “Having been in medical ofc mgmt and billing, I am pretty picky about the way offices are run. I have no complaints about the treatment my husband and I have rec’d from both Kaiser and Jacobs. They are both my kind of doctors. Also, x-ray was excellent.”

  • “The San Antonio Orthopeadic group has been a wonderful experience. Doctor Brenman has been one of the most professional, patient, and knowledgeable Doctor that I have had the opportunity to be involved with.” 

  • Dr. Ochoa was very good & thorough.”

  • Dr. Balldin was very professional and answered all my questions to my satisfaction. His nurse Amanda was also very helpful in every situation in which I dealt with her. She is polite and professional.”

  • “I feel blessed to have such a wonderful doctor who did a complete hip replacement on me. I have no pain, I can walk, and he explains everything in detail. Excellent doctor!” (Dr. Ursone)

  • “Doctors take their time talking to me. I also like the different locations for physical therapy.”

  • Dr. Valdez is kind & is a good listener. He makes me believe he cares about me.”

  • “I don’t think any other doctor’s group in town can match it. Best doctors and great staff. Whats not to like. Could not be more pleased.”

  • “My friend recommended Dr. Viroslav because he is a wonderful Dr., skilled & patient.”

  • “So happy for the south side location. Dr. Bell was great!”

  • “The dedicated, knowledgable, caring and professional attitude by your Dr. UrsoneDr. ConnorPA’s Miller, nurses, and Imaging Technicians and Doctors.”

  • “Was happy n very satisfied with Dr. Drukker his bed side manner, politeness n quickness to see n tend to my finger ,been a long time seen by such patient care with care. Did not think existed anymore .thank you DrD.”

  • Dr. Galindo and his staff are WONDERFUL.”

  • Dr. Frank Garcia was remarkable. He zeroed in on the problem, set up the appropriate tests and his grasp of my problem which will require surgery was thoroughly explained and several specialist were given to me right on the spot. I feel confident my problem can be successfully addressed.”

  • “Thank you for the on time appointment and the excellent physician and assistant.” (Dr. Gonzalez)

  • Dr. Jacobs is the most personable physician I’ve dealt with with my knee problem. He answers all my questions. And he really enjoys working with his patients–a true professional.”

  • “I wouldn’t change a thing. I was completely satisfied with my over all care. The staff was very professional and Dr was very attentive. Thank you.” (Dr. Marx)

  • “I feel very much at home…the staff make it a point to ask how I am doing even if they are not currently part of my treatment team.” (Dr. Pace)

  • “Very little wait, staff and Dr Rowland wonderful.”

  • “I like the courteous and friendly service. I also like being given all treatment options so I can make my own decisions for treatment.” (Dr. Schroder)

  • Dr Taber is the greatest!”

  • “Staff was very nice and made me feel Welcomed.-Everyone cared about the Injection I was going to receive in my right knee.” (Dr. Tolin)

  • Dr.Woodbury is very nice, made me feel very comfortable.”

  • Mrs. Miller and PA Miller are the two most dedicated, professional and caring health care providers my wife and I ever had the good fortune to obtain services from. By total coincidence, PA Miller and his wife provided Imaging Services and Othopedic Services to my wife and I during other than normal duty hours on two successive nights. I can’t say enough about the Millers dedicated and outstanding health care thru all phases of urgent care services. My wife and I have traveled all over the world for the past 50 years or so and the outstanding services by the Millers was indeed refreshing.” (Note: PA Davis Miller is our lead PA at the OrthoNow Urgent Care Clinic at the Orthopaedic Institute.  His wife, Leticia Miller, is our ultrasound technician at the same office.)

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!

Dr. Christian Balldin on WOAI Radio – High School Athletes Ignoring Concussion Symptoms

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Dr. Christian Balldin of TSAOG spoke with Jim Forsyth on WOAI radio this week to discuss a new study, which states that despite increased media coverage of concussions, many high school athletes choose not to report concussion symptoms for fear of being excluded from play.  See the whole story below.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Many High School Athletes Still Ignoring Concussion Symptoms
Study shows desire to play trumps health concerns

Jim Forsyth

Despite new emphasis being placed on avoiding concussions, and new UIL rules requiring specific precautions be taken if a concussion is taken, a new survey shows one third of high school football players are still ignoring or covering up concussion symptoms.

The reasons:  they are afraid that coming forward will result in being excluded from the team, or that they will be considered to be ‘soft’ or a ‘crybaby’ by coaches and fellow players.

“Parents as well as athletic trainers and coaches all need to be aware of the repercussions of concussions, and especially of a second concussion very soon after an initial injury,” Dr. Christian Balldin, orthopaedic surgeon with the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group.

Researchers found that 32% of high school football players said they had clearly concussion-like symptoms, like headaches, confusion, or vomiting, but did not seek medical attention.

The National Football League has been working to raise concussion awareness, and new UIL rules stipulate that teenaged players who are suffering from concussion symptoms be removed from play and cannot return until they have been cleared by a doctor.

But Dr. Balldin says the key is for coaches and trainers to make sure young players are aware that getting a concussion will not mean the end of their season.

“Most concussions won’t keep you out for the entire season,” he said.  “But they need to be monitored not only by the parent and coaches, but also by a neuro-psychologist.”

The NFL is being accused in a class action lawsuit with allowing players to continue to play with multiple concussions, leading to dementia and other long term health problems.

“Some of the signs are simply headaches and dizziness,” said Balldin, who is team physician for Our Lady of the Lake University’s athletics program.

See the article online at WOAI:

Dr. Christian Balldin is an orthopaedic surgeon, fellowship trained in sports medicine, with The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group.  He treats patients aged 3 years and up for all orthopaedic conditions with the exception of the spine.  His special interests include sports-related injuries and hip arthroscopyTo schedule an appointment with Dr. Balldin, call 210.281.9595.


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