Frequently Asked Questions

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What is an orthopedic surgeon?

An orthopedic surgeon is a physician who specializes in treatments of the musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, muscles and any related painful conditions. Orthopedic surgeons perform numerous types of surgeries. The most common procedures include:

  • Arthroscopy – A surgical procedure that utilizes special cameras and equipment to visualize, diagnose and treat problems inside a joint.
  • Fusion – A “welding” process by which bones are fused together with bone grafts and internal devices (such as metal rods) to heal into a single solid bone.
  • Internal fixation – A method used to hold broken pieces of bone in proper position with metal plates, pins or screws while the bone is healing.
  • Joint replacement (partial, total and revision) – A procedure utilized when an arthritic or damaged joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint, known as a prosthesis.
  • Osteotomy– A surgical method designed to correct bone deformity by cutting and repositioning the bone.
  • Soft tissue repair– A procedure that involves mending soft tissue, such as torn tendons or ligaments.

What is a sports medicine specialist?

A sports medicine specialist focuses on improving athletic performance, treating musculoskeletal injuries and preventing future injuries. A sports injury commonly occurs during a sporting activity or exercise, and includes acute and chronic injuries.

  • Acute sports injuries– An acute injury occurs suddenly, like a sprained ankle or broken bone.
  • Chronic sports injuries (overuse injuries) – Chronic injuries occur over time and include arthritis, stress fractures, tendonitis and bursitis.

Where do the Ryu Hurvitz Orthopedic Clinic surgeons perform surgery?

Our orthopedic surgeons have privileges at all Santa Barbara, California hospitals. They also operate at the Summit and Premier Surgery Centers for outpatient procedures, enabling them to provide a first-class experience for all patients.

When can I go back to work after orthopedic surgery? How much time will I need to take off work?

This will depend greatly on the type of orthopedic surgery performed and the type of work you do. Please feel free to ask questions such as these at your initial visit so the surgeon can provide individualized answers and care.

How should I dress for my orthopedic or sports medicine appointment?

We recommend all patients dress comfortably. However, for your physical examination, there are things you can do that are very helpful. For example, if you are having your neck or shoulder evaluated, it is best to wear garments, such as a sleeveless shirt, that allow the physician to best visualize and perform a physical exam of the shoulder. Likewise, if your issue is with the knee or hip area, wearing or bringing loose fitting shorts to your appointment aids the physician’s physical exam.