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Surgeon and Author, Dr. Stuart Gold,
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On The “Home Show” Talking About Orthopedic Surgery (Part I)

November 19th, 2010

I was recently asked to discuss orthopedic surgery on The Home Show Radio Show. To listen to the recording, simply press the play button below.

I thought you might like to hear the entire recording, so I’ll be posting it here — in three parts — over the next few weeks. During the radio show, I talked about several, different types of orthopedic surgery including:

I hope this further helps you learn more about orthopedic surgery. And, the next two parts of the radio show will be posted here shortly — so, please check back shortly.

Stuart

P.S. If you would like to read the transcript for this part of the show, I have provided it below:

Host:  Welcome to the Home Show here on News Talk 870, the show that has something for everyone.  And, of course, the Home Show brings to you today a very, very special guest, Dr. Stuart Gold, and before we introduce him, I would like to mention to my listeners that thank you so much for coming out to see me in person out at the Ontario Home and Garden Show.  Met lots of you and it was really good to hear your reviews of my show and what you want to hear in the future.  So, thank you for that.  Now let me tell you about my guest, Dr. Gold, and he is an orthopedic surgeon.  He is a board certified orthopedic surgeon, I might mention, with over 23 years of practice specializing in sports injuries, joint replacement, arthritis, complex acute limb fractures, reconstructive and limb salvage, and Dr. Gold is a diplomate with the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and uses the state of the art implants which offer longevity and comfort to active baby boomers and seniors.  I’m one of them.  And Dr. Gold is recognized nationally and internationally and he is the director of the Orthopaedic Institute in Torrance so, everybody, he’s local here.  Now he has been involved in orthopedic education for 20 years and is currently the Chief of Fracture Reconstruction and Associate Clinical Professor of Orthopaedics at the Harbor UCLA Medical Center and if you would like to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Gold, I’m going to give you this number, not just this one time, but if you could write it down every time I give it so you don’t mess it up, it’s 310-542-3472.  And I’m going to be talking also about a book that just came out and with that, welcome, Doctor.  How are you?

Dr. Gold:  I’m great, Jessie, and nice to be here.  It’s been great meeting you.

Host:  You know, we are going to have a great time.  There is so much to ask.  I’m so excited and first let me tell you that that book that you wrote about The Patient’s Guide to Orthopedic Surgery, I read that book and you’re right.  It takes you about 45 to 50 minutes, but I had to read it over again because it was so interesting so I want to thank you for putting that out and we’re going to talk about that in just a little bit.  However, you know, there are different types of questions that I have for you and I know that, you know, a lot of people ask, “Will surgery fix me?”  So I want you to kind of tell us a little bit about what you’re doing and why we’re asking you these questions.

Dr. Gold:  Well, “if you can fix me” is one of the reasons why I wrote the book and there’s several people in the world who have had surgeries who expect to be completely rendered back to, what would they say, pre-injury or perfect level.

Host:  Humm.

Dr. Gold:  Unfortunately, even with the state of the art equipment we have and the best hands, it’s very difficult to get somebody 100% better.  I will say that it does happen on occasion and truly depends on the combination of the patient and the doctor and the recovery, but we fix people meaning we get people better, get them back to enjoying their life.  Unfortunately, it’s rare that they will be 100% improved.

Host:  And Doctor, what are the honest surgical results and outcomes of this?

Dr. Gold:  It truly depends on the type of surgery you’re having, the type of person you are as far as genetic healing, and in some cases, it will also be surgeon dependent.  And in each scenario, be it a knee problem, a shoulder problem, a hand problem, a back problem, all the results are going to be different based on the body part and the type of issue that the patient is dealing with.  The recoveries that can be expected, again, are usually not 100% but in many cases can be between 90 and 100%.  In many diagnoses or with other problems, particularly problems related to nerve inflammation, then the results may ultimately be more in the 60 to 80% improvement range.

Host:  Very interesting.  Now, again if you just joined us, we are speaking with Dr. Gold and he has a book out, The Patient’s Guide to Orthopedic Surgery, and this is very interesting because I think a lot of us baby boomers out there and seniors want to know.  I mean, I want to feel good.  So, you know, will it be as good as new once I have this done?

Dr. Gold:  Well, what you need to understand is we’re living in an age where we say, “younger is better”…

Host:  Um, hum.

Dr. Gold: However, chronological age (your real age) and physiologic age (medical age) can be very different. People want to remain active and younger these days.

Host:  Oh, sure.

Dr. Gold:  However, there are 60 year olds who have medical problems and can’t and don’t move around that much.  Then I have plenty of patients who are in there 70’s and 80’s who still want to be active.  They’re skiing.  They’re playing tennis.  They’re playing golf.  They’re cycling.

Host:  That’s good.

Dr. Gold:  They want to stay active.

Host:  Um, hum.

Dr. Gold:  And fortunately, we do have many procedures, not all of them surgical, that will allow people to be more active, and the real premise of the book is to understand all the non-operative options prior to deciding to proceed with surgical intervention.

Host:  Now, again, I would like to mention your number out there where they can reach you, Doctor, and that number is 310-542-3472.  That number, again, is 310-542-3472.  And, you know, Doctor, what determines the extent of my recovery because, you know, I think we’re all different, right?

Dr. Gold:  That’s exactly right, Jessie.  In reality, most people fit into the middle of what we would call a bell curve.   Others are outliers at both ends of the curve.

Host: Um, hum.

Dr. Gold: Most people fit in the middle.  Some people heal very quickly and they’re at one end and some people heal very slowly.  The people that heal more slowly may have what we call co- morbidities (medical issues that will delay healing and recovery), and this is the reason why their tissues don’t recover as quickly.  They may form scar tissue.  They may be a diabetic who is more prone to infection.  Generally, the genetics of that person is truly what dictates their recovery and some people just are fortunate enough to heal faster.  Most people heal at an average rate.  But you need to understand that if you’re one of those slow healers that you may still get an excellent result.  You just need to be more patient.

Host:  Got to find that good doctor.  Now, the success rate, let’s talk a little bit about that.

Dr. Gold:  Now, the success rate, again, would depend on what body part and what type of procedure you’re performing.  An example would be a knee arthroscopy which is when we stick a small telescope into the knee joint and work with cameras through small incisions and correct menisical  tears which is the cartilage in the knee or sometimes  ligament injuries.  The results in most surgeons’ hands are very successful with this type of procedure.  Another example, which the results may not be quite as high are when we’re doing nerve releases and that could be in the arm or the elbow.  They could be in the back or in the neck as well.   When these procedures are carried out, the results are a little less predictable and patients need to have a full understanding of what to expect when they have these types of nerve decompression surgeries.  If they go in to it with the right mindset, when they recover and if they feel 70 or 80% better than they did before the surgery, they truly have an excellent result.  If they feel 100% and they’re very fortunate, but when patients go in to a procedure expecting to be all better, or all fixed as we were talking about earlier, then many of them will be disappointed

Host:  Whoa.  Okay, if you just tuned in to the Home Show here, we are listening to the voice of Dr. Gold and, of course, he is our specialist, orthopedic surgery.  He’s got a book out and you also can get this book by going to a website.  Right, Doctor?

Dr. Gold:  That’s correct.

Host:  And can you get that website address out?

Dr. Gold:  The website is quite simple.  It’s orthopedicsurgerybook.com.  All one word and when you check the website you will be able to review not only the book, but in addition to the book, we have a whole learning center on all the different body parts which we work with in orthopedic surgery. It will give you information and a little bit of knowledge prior to any visit to an orthopedic surgeon.

Host:  This is very interesting.  Now, again, I’d like to give out your direct number.  That’s 310-542-3472.  310-542-3472.  So, again, your office is located in Torrance and right there at 19000 Hawthorne [ph] Boulevard, Suite 100, so if any of you want to make an appointment, you can call him and I’m giving you the address there and, again, if you have any questions and would like to hear the doctor talk more about that, not a problem.  Give him a buzz.  Now, finding the right surgeon.  That’s a big word, big sentence, finding that right surgeon, Doctor.  Who’s the best doctor for you?  Tell us.

Dr. Gold:  Well, the best doctor for you is the best doctor for you.

Host:  Humm.

Dr. Gold:  Everybody’s different.  You all have friends. Some friends you find it very easy to communicate with.  There are other people that, even though you may know or even work with them, are a little more difficult to communicate with.  So, we all have the personalities that we appreciate and prefer, and the first thing is to truly find a physician who is going to communicate well with you.  And, again, that’s different for everybody.  Your questions should be answered.  You shouldn’t feel like you’re being rushed and you should be allowed to ask your own questions to truly understand what to expect if you’re considering surgery.  But more importantly, if you’re talking to a surgeon and there are many options available, hopefully all those options will be discussed with you, most notably the non-operative options prior to considering any surgery.

Host:  So important.  Now, as far as identifying that right doctor, how can I do that because, you know, I’m sitting here and I’m a patient and I’m wondering how am I going to know?

Dr. Gold:  Unfortunately, it takes a little bit of work.

Host:  Humm.

Dr. Gold:  The Internet has been helpful for many patients these days, but what I encourage people to do is seek references from their friends.  Seek references from nurses and other employees of hospitals who know the doctors on a different level.  In addition to that, there’s a good chance you may not find the right doctor for you on your first visit, and if that doctor is not the right doctor, there are many choices out there. You may need to make a couple of visits to find that right doctor.

Host:  So interesting.  Now, this is a big thing for me, the communication between the surgeon and the patient.  Let’s talk about that.

Dr. Gold:  Again, as I was stating,  people who are not comfortable with a doctor,  have to find someone they can sit down with and ask  questions. If they’re not answering your questions, that’s not the doctor for you.  And more importantly, there’s different types of doctors out there.  There are people who do research.  There are people who educate.  There are surgeons who are just technical wizards but really don’t have much of a personality.  And again, some people don’t have a problem with that.  But what’s most important is that the educator may not be the best surgeon.  The researcher may not be the best communicator.  The technical wizard may be great with the knife but doesn’t communicate with you.  If you look hard enough, you can usually find the right combination for you.  And if you want the technical wizard with personality, you may need to make a few visits or ask around, and sometimes you just need to remember that the big researcher, the inventor, may not be always the most technically gifted although he’s a brilliant person.

Host:  Okay.  Dr. Stuart Gold.  We are going to take a quick break for you listeners out there.  Our orthopedic surgeon will be back in just a moment and before we leave, let me do this.  Let me give you his direct number once again.  That’s area code 310-542-3472.  We’ll be back in a moment.

About the Author: Dr. Stuart Gold, M.D. is a board certified orthopedic surgeon who has 23 years experience specializing in sport injuries, joint replacement, arthritis and limb salvage. As the Director of the Orthopedic Institute, Dr. Gold recently published The Patient's Guide To Orthopedic Surgery to help patients better understand the challenges, risks and opportunities of orthopedic care.

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