Medicare Pushes for Better Knee Replacement Surgery

It is an issue that has long bedeviled our healthcare system: how to provide the best care within a system that rewards doctors for doing more, not less? Medicare, the nation’s largest public option for healthcare, is now making a change in one key area, offering new incentives based on knee replacement surgery outcomes:

Under the new system, hospitals can receive additional financial rewards by meeting certain targets for quality and overall costs. If they fall short, eventually they will be financially liable. Medicare recipients will still be able to pick doctors and hospitals for their surgeries.

It’s a great move that is bound to improve the overall flow of services that go into knee replacement surgery, from intake through rehabilitation. It may also help to establish who are the best orthopedic surgeons in San Diego, among other regions:

Research has shown that patients usually fare better with surgeons who perform a high volume of hip and knee replacements, and who are operating in hospitals that handle a large number of the procedures.

As one of the top orthopedic surgeons in Southern California, I welcome any chance to serve patients better and distinguish our careful approach to knee surgery from the pack. If you’d like to speak with one of the most experienced teams in orthopedic knee surgery, call us today.

Do I Need Orthopedic Knee Surgery?

“Do I need orthopedic knee surgery” is a question many athletes and active people have asked in the wake of a traumatic injury such as a bang, twist or hyperextension. Although this is a question with no easy answers, we know a few ways that may help you gauge the severity of what you’re up against and make an educated guess.

Generally speaking, a fracture will require knee surgery to repair the damage and ensure a proper course of recovery. The plan gets a bit murkier when it comes to soft tissue injuries, however, including the dreaded ACL tear. Depending on the position and severity of the injury, many of these cases will require some form of arthroscopic knee surgery to restore full function as well.

Further injuries such as meniscal tears, ligament injuries and torn tendon can go either way depending on the gravity of the injury and the lifestyle of the patient. As a general rule, it is wise to find a San Diego orthopedic surgeon who can examine the injury and help you determine a proper course of action about what to do next.

My orthopedic surgery offices include the very latest technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of knee pain and knee injuries in San Diego. If you have wondered whether orthopedic knee surgery is right for you, please feel free to contact me today and set up a detailed consultation.

Ask a San Diego Orthopedic Surgeon: How to Beat Shoulder Pain?

One of the most common questions we hear from patients is a simple one: How can I relieve chronic shoulder pain? Below, we have included a few short answers which might be helpful.

1. The first answer is also the easiest: rest. Many shoulder symptoms happen because of stress or strain to the tendons and ligaments of the shoulder. Your body’s natural healing processes should kick in if given a chance, so try taking several days off of heavy exercise and lifting, and icing the shoulder when it becomes inflamed.

2. Analgesics. Injuries such as rotator cuff disorders and tears, as well as shoulder instability and frozen shoulder, tend to produce acute pain that isn’t helping you get better. There is no shame in seeking out painkillers for this issue, either in the form of NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, or prescription pain medications. Of course, these tend to be stopgap approaches; read on for a more permanent fix.

3. Steroids. Corticosteroids can quickly relieve severe pain, but there’s a catch: many tissues in the body react adversely to too many steroid injections over time. Again, these powerful medication represent an effective treatment for severe pain, but hardly a long-term fix. For that you need…

4. Shoulder surgery. If you have experienced shoulder pain that persists for weeks or months, it is time to speak with a San Diego orthopedic surgeon about some options for lasting recovery. Depending on the injury and your needs, your surgeon can tailor a course of arthroscopic surgery and recovery that may help you beat back the pain for good.

If you cannot bear the chronic shoulder pain any longer, we can help. Contact San Diego’s shoulder surgery experts here to get started today.

Help for Knee Pain in San Diego

If you suffer from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or another knee injury, you may be suffering from chronic knee pain. Knee pain is one of the most common complaints in the field of sports medicine, not least because this joint tends to bear the full force of our most ambitious athletic pursuits.

The good news is that you can seek and achieve lasting relief from knee pain with a proper course of diagnosis and orthopedic treatment. Our knee pain center here in San Diego treats a wide variety of athletes from every age and demographic, offering permanent relief for some of the most chronic cases in Southern California.

Knee pain can arise from any part of the joint, including the bones, ligaments, tendons, or articular cartilage. When any part of the knee becomes injured or inflamed, the pain can set off a cascade of symptoms which may affect surrounding tissues and lead to further inflammation. Many patients ultimately lose the ability to walk at all without pain.

We can help. Our approach to treating knee pain in San Diego is informed by many years of training and experience, and leavened by a healthy dose of respect for the whole patient and their needs. Whether you require therapy or orthopedic knee surgery, we are glad to explain every option in considered detail.

To learn more about how you can relieve knee pain today, please call the offices of Dr. William Holland.

The Best San Diego Hand and Wrist Surgery

Have you suffered a repetitive stress injury or a traumatic injury to your hand or wrist, and want to speak with a surgeon about a lasting cure? The best San Diego hand and wrist surgery options can include a wide variety of procedures depending on your history and presentation.

Hand and wrist surgery is an exacting and demanding field which require many years of advanced training. Properly resolving wrist pain, for instance, typically requires a careful combination of therapy, medication and surgery. Chronic wrist pain can have several points of origin, and may include disorders such as arthritis, carpal tunnel, or injury. That’s why it’s essential to obtain a proper diagnosis and make a plan.

We are proud to offer the best San Diego hand and wrist surgery credentials in the area. Whether you want to remove Kienbock’s cysts or simply soothe the nerve pain of RSI, we always take the time to communicate your treatment options in full, including pros and cons for each.

To speak with an expert orthopedic surgeon about hand and wrist surgery in San Diego, please contact the experienced sports medicine professionals at the offices of Dr. William Holland today.

Find Orthopedic Surgeons in San Diego

There are a few reliable ways to find orthopedic surgeons in San Diego. By far the most common is the referral: your primary care doctor, or another caregiver, recommends a San Diego orthopedic surgeon whose credentials and experience suit your needs.

But there are some other ways as well. The Web is an extraordinarily powerful research tool, and many of our patients at AOSM reach out because of what they have learned about us on the web. So how can you be sure you are using vetted information and not just marketing copy? Start with…


The quickest way to size up any orthopedic surgeon is to check his or her credentials. Look first for threshold qualifications such as a medical degree and residency, of course. Then you’ll want to check out where that physician completed a fellowship in orthopedic surgery/sports medicine, as well as any advanced training he or she has pursued. All these milestones can be signposts, indicating how much expertise a given surgeon truly has.


The best orthopedic surgeons tend to earn top billing in hospitals wherever they land. Look for surgeons who have earned department head or group chairman positions, especially at well-regarded institutions considered leaders in the field.


The field of orthopedic surgery is regulated by some important governing bodies. Seek out doctors who are members of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, as well as the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, and look in particular for those doctors who have presented major papers and findings for both organizations.

The X Factor

So now you have done your due diligence and researched all the options: what’s next? This is where the persona of your doctor becomes important. Make a few calls to set up meetings, and ask plenty of questions. You may find that the best orthopedic surgeon on paper rubs you the wrong way in person; trust this feeling! It’s important to stick with doctors who make you feel comfortable and respected.

The Final Word

If you want to find the best orthopedic surgeons in San Diego, feel free to reach out and ask us questions today. I am proud to be widely regarded as one of the leaders in San Diego sports medicine, and I take pride in answering your questions right away. To learn more, contact Dr. William Holland’s practice here.

When to Worry About Everyday Elbow Pain

Most of us experience elbow pain at some point in our lives. Whether it’s an ulnar nerve bang or the strain of heavy lifting, these pains typically go away on their own.

But as people grow older and engage in more intensive activities such as exercise and yard work, they may discover that the pain tends to linger longer and longer. Symptoms such as tennis elbow no longer require a racket or ball to make an appearance; many people feel the same aching soreness because of simple household tasks.

So when is it time to visit an elbow pain specialist in San Diego? This article describes what you need to know:

Applying ice and taking an over-the-counter pain medication can help. If simple at-home measures don’t work, your doctor can prescribe a brace or a special type of strap can be worn around the arm to avoid aggravating the tendonitis.

And if that doesn’t work?

If you’ve suffered with tennis elbow for 6 weeks or longer, your case may be on the tougher side and it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor.

To speak with the best orthopedic surgeons in San Diego about some conservative options today, contact the elbow pain experts here.

Watch for Shoulder Pain in Young Athletes

In my San Diego orthopedic surgery practice, I see a lot of younger patients who come in with shoulder pain and elbow pain. Although a few of these cases are attributable to disease or injury, the majority are due to repetitive strain from pitching, throwing, weightlifting, or some other athletic-related activity.

When soreness grows progressively intense, permanent injury may not be far behind. That’s why I counsel parents and coaches to limit the number of reps and the frequency of hard workouts young people perform whenever possible. There is no substitute for rest and gentle exercise when recovering from chronic pain. As this article explains:

The shoulder joint can also be affected when developing a bursitis. There are other sports that contribute to the shoulder rotator cuff injuries, including swimming, tennis and weightlifting, all of which can cause a shoulder impingement or tendonitis.

Shoulder pain in young athletes can quickly graduate to chronic pain within a few years. To minimize long term damage and extend sports careers for decades to come, I urge you to see an orthopedic shoulder pain specialist in San Diego.

Chronic Shoulder Pain Caused by a Shot

Preventive medicine is filled with injections of various sorts, which are widely considered safe and effective. But the needle itself still represents a small trauma to your system, and when it’s placed in the wrong location, trouble can follow.

This recent account of a botched injection, and the chronic shoulder pain that followed, should serve as a rare but valuable cautionary tale. As one scientist said:

“A vaccine is an immunologically sensitive substance, and if you were to receive an injection too high – in the wrong place – you could get pain, swelling and reduced range of motion in that area,” says Tom Shimabukuro, deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s immunization safety office. When that happens, he adds, “an acute process can become chronic.”

Shoulder pain can arise from injury, trauma, disease or stress. The only way to trace any pain back to its source is with a complete examination from an orthopedic shoulder pain specialist. If you are experiencing shoulder pain that never seems to diminish, please contact the San Diego orthopedic surgeons at AOSM today.

Heal Fast from Orthopedic Elbow Surgery

Many people who hear about orthopedic surgery do so through the sports section. Athletes are some of the most common patients for orthopedic surgery, which is one reason the field is also known as sports medicine.

From time to time, it is useful to highlight the stories of professional athletes and the surgical procedures they undergo, not least because their recovery times can be instructive. Consider the case of Yankees ace pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who recently underwent orthopedic elbow surgery to remove a bone spur.

There is no such thing as instant recovery when it comes to elbow surgery, but that doesn’t mean a prognosis can’t be excellent. As this report says:

Tanaka will have time to recover and be ready for spring training. Feinsand noted the recovery time is only expected to be six weeks (before rehab), so Tanaka should be able to get back to 100 percent before next season.

If you’re suffering from chronic elbow pain in San Diego or the surrounding area, please contact the orthopedic surgeons at AOSM today. We’ll have you back to 100% in no time.