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What We Do

Orthopedics & Spine

What We Do2022-12-14T00:26:11-08:00
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Integrated Care Meets Personal Service

When you have joint or back pain, the last word you want to hear is “surgery.” We couldn’t agree more, so we’ve created the Orthopedics and Spine to meet those health needs.

Here we pursue non-surgical approaches first. That might mean helping you lose weight or using aquatics and physical therapy or any other means outlined by your doctor to preserve the joint or spine.

When these methods aren’t enough and you can’t live in pain anymore, physicians at Tri-City give patients the best surgical options available with some of the top joint and spine surgeons in the region.

Tri-City Medical Center is affiliated with a highly trained, board-certified orthopedic surgery team specializing in complex orthopedic procedures such as femoral-acetabular impingement surgery and surgeries for hip dysplasia. These surgeries allow surgeons to conserve the natural hip and femoral head, which in turn helps prevent a partial or total hip replacement.

Comprehensive Care

Patients who come to Tri-City can expect excellent outcomes with a full range of procedures such as:

  • Minimally invasive surgeries of the spine and all other joints
  • Spinal procedures such as laminectomy and fusion
  • Total joint replacement of hip, knee or shoulder
  • Revisions of total joint and spinal procedures
  • Partial knee replacement, a procedure that replaces only the damaged part of the joint

Innovative Strategy

Tri-City Orthopedics and Spine is made up of a group of physicians sharing a mission. These neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons and other staff members work together in one unit, all focused on you.

We bring these specialties together in one unit, which means you benefit from care that is designed especially for you.

Why Choose Tri-City?

  • Access to first-class orthopedic surgeons who specialize in treatment of hip dysplasia and femoral-acetabular impingement (FAI)
  • An expert qualified orthopedic care team to work collaboratively with patients through their recovery plan
  • Exceptional rehabilitation care team
  • Two state-of-the-art physical rehabilitation centers in Carlsbad and Oceanside

Conditions That We Treat:

  • Symmetry: Individuals can show a strong curve in the lower back or asymmetrical buttock creases can suggest hip dysplasia.
  • Limited Range of Motion: Individuals may also have difficulty moving because their hips can’t fully flex.
  • Pain: Pain is not always present.

Doctors use a combination of physical exams and imaging such as ultrasound, CT, MRI or X-Ray.

  • FAI can usually produce pain in groin area, however the pain can sometimes be more toward the outside of the hip.
  • People can also experience sharp stabbing or dull pain which may occur with (Turning, Twisting, Squatting).
  • Your doctor will likely conduct the impingement test by bringing your knee into your chest, followed by rotating the knee inward towards your opposite shoulder. If this recreates your hip pain, the test result is positive for impingement.
  • You can confirm FAI through a series of imaging examinations such as Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and X-Rays.

*Such examinations will help better assess the structure of the bone and identify damage to the labrum and articular cartilage.

The treatment options for management hip disorders such as excruciating hip pain and hip dysfunction, in young patients, have been limited. However, the newer minimally invasive techniques have been found to be beneficial in these patients and these also avoid the need of hip replacement. Some of the common hip preservation surgical procedures include peri-acetabular osteotomy, proximal femoral osteotomy, open hip debridement, hip arthroscopy and cartilage restoration procedures.

Hip arthroscopy is an excellent surgery that has helped many patients restore their hip function and alleviate pain originating from their hip. Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery that is performed through very small incisions to evaluate and treat a variety of painful hip conditions. An arthroscope is a pencil-sized instrument that has a small lens and lighting system at its one end. The arthroscope magnifies and illuminates the structures inside the body with the light that is transmitted through fiber optics. It is attached to a television camera and the internal structures are seen on the television monitor.

Source Citation: “Hip Preservation Surgery.” Harish S. Hosalkar, MD., n.d. Web.

Dennis Hamblin, 53

success-story2Dennis Hamblin enjoys the adrenaline rush of hitting the slopes on his skis and has always lived an active life since he was on his high school’s track team. After track practice, Dennis often joined friends in pickup football games and it was during one of these pickup games that he initially injured his groin. Over the next several years, Dennis dealt with the groin pain from the injury he sustained his sophomore year in high school. With youth on his side, Dennis found that by skipping key stretches he was able to manage the pain and went on to a successful career as a distance running competitor at the collegiate level. However, improperly addressing his true injury took a toll on his body.

“I had many lower back issues and issues with restricted range of motion. I always assumed this was because I didn’t like stretching and ran about 120 miles per week when I was competing.”

After college, Dennis ran less but the pain remained. “I just assumed I had initially torn my groin and the pain was due to scar tissue,” Dennis says. The pain eventually became unbearable when he re-aggravated his injury during a skiing trip two years ago.

“My pain became much worse after this so that even doing odd jobs around the house would make me hurt all night. The two months or so right before surgery I really didn’t feel like doing much of anything since the pain was fairly constant by then.”

Dennis visited a friend who was a hip specialist because his groin pain would sometime radiate into the hip. The specialist confirmed that Dennis was suffering from femoral-acetabular impingement (FAI) with a likely labral tear. The doctor referred him to Tri-City Medical Center’s Dr. Harish Hosalkar, who specializes in hip preservation surgeries. The goal was to try hip preservation and avoid total joint at this stage because of Dennis’ young age.

Dr. Hosalkar

success-story1Dr. Hosalkar performed a full hip preservation surgery with open safe surgical dislocation on Dennis’ right hip and also repaired cartilage damage. The procedure was quick and Dennis was able to recover in the comfort of his own home. “I had my surgery on a Wednesday morning and was discharged on Friday around 1 p.m.,” says Dennis.

The recovery timeline for hip preservation surgery is much quicker than total joint replacement. “For large tears requiring an open surgery, most patients will still be able to get back to their regular physical activities with no restrictions within 10–12 weeks,” says Dr. Hosalkar. “Arthroscopic surgery has even quicker healing time.” For Dennis, he was driving 17 days after his operation, back to working full time within four weeks and skiing after just 11.5 weeks. “I was in Utah skiing and that wasn’t just on the groomers,” says Dennis. “I skied the bumps and the steep as well. My hip felt just fine.”

Dennis is excited that he was able to return to his active lifestyle so quickly and has inspired others who are facing the possibility of hip surgery and worried about the possible impact on their active lifestyles. “I joined a Facebook page where people who have had this procedure would post their experiences,” Dennis remembers. “When I posted [my story], a couple of men who were facing this procedure thanked me for giving them some hope.”

Now that Dennis is free of pain for the first time in decades, he’s ready to tackle activities he couldn’t do before and even pick up some old hobbies he’d given up. “I am thinking about trying surfing this summer. My son is a surfer,” Dennis conveys excitedly.  “I am interested to see about swinging a golf club since I had issues being able to rotate through my hips prior to surgery. I have a list of home projects to accomplish.”

Ten or 20 years after earning a place on the all-star, varsity and college teams, many former or lifelong athletes like Dennis are now suffering pain and restricted motion in their knees. Luckily for these patients in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, new surgical approaches allow them to preserve their natural hip joints and avoid or delay a total joint replacement for several more decades. Best of all, these new approaches get patients like Dennis back on their feet faster so they can return to what they love doing.