Latest News & Press Release
Keeping up with fourth-graders thanks to spine
Talia Ryan was 15 when she began experiencing excruciating back pain. Five years later, the young Foothill Ranch woman lasted barely one day as a student at UC Irvine in the fall of 2016 because the pain had become so debilitating.
When she met with Dr. Nitin Bhatia, co-director of the UCI Health Comprehensive Spine Program and chair of the UCI School of Medicine's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, she felt an immediate rapport because he listened to her and understood her concerns.
Prone Lateral Spine Approach Benefits Patients and Surgeons
Prone lateral spine surgery is gaining acceptance among some orthopedic surgeons because it offers an alternative to positioning patients on their side and eliminates the need to move them during complex procedures.
Treat and prevent sports injuries
UCI Health offers world-class sports medicine care right here in Orange County. Our fellowship-trained team focuses on injury prevention as well as personalized treatment plans to ensure that you remain in optimal health as you pursue your favorite activities.
'Not just a gimmick': 15 experts on prone lateral spine surgery
Prone lateral spine surgery offers an alternative to the lateral decubitus position and eliminates the need to move a patient during the surgery.
UCI Orthopaedic Surgery Alumni Reception at AAOS 2023
Please join fellow alumni as well as current residents and faculty at AAOS 2023!
UCI tests first stem cell therapy to treat muscle atrophy related to knee osteoarthritis
Irvine, Calif. – UCI Health and UCI Alpha Clinic have launched the first and only U.S. clinical trial to test the safety and tolerability of IMM01-STEM in patients with muscle atrophy related to knee osteoarthritis.
Dr. Bhatia’s article cited in Beckers Spine
Researchers examined the National Trauma Data Bank admissions for 2008 to 2011, including patients 18 years old to 64 years old with cervical or thoracolumbar spine fractures. The researchers found:
First Annual UCI Spine by the Sea Symposium
Distinguished faculty members of the UCI School of Medicine Departments of Neurosurgery and Orthopaedic Surgery share their specialized expertise in formal lectures and Q&A discussions.
Sports Medicine and Joint Preservation Symposium
The University of California, Irvine School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
Management of Lumbar Spondylolysis in the Adolescent Athlete: A Review of over 200 cases
Spondylolysis is a defect of the pars interarticularis of vertebrae, most commonly seen at L5 and L4. The etiology of spondylolysis and isthmic spondylolisthesis is generally considered to be a result of repetitive mechanical stress to the weak portion of the vertebrae. A higher incidence of spondylolysis is observed in young athletes. Symptomatic spondylolysis can be successfully treated conservatively, but there is currently a limited consensus on treatment modalities and a lack of large scale clinical trials.
Sports Medicine and Joint Preservation Symposium
The focus for this symposium is the coordinated management of care of the athlete of all ages. This condition is encountered by physicians specializing in Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine, Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, PM&R, and Geriatrics.
Broström suture tape lateral ankle ligament augmentation allows accelerated rehabilitation
Lateral ankle sprains are among the most common athletic injuries.
Most of these sprains will positively respond to nonoperative treatment consisting of a brief period of immobilization in a tall, controlled ankle movement (CAM) boot vs. brace, NSAIDs, ice, elevation and physical therapy. However, 10% to 20% of patients may ultimately fail conservative management and have symptoms of chronic pain with functional or mechanical instability necessitating surgical repair. The modified Broström technique for lateral ligament repair has been the standard operation for the management of chronic ankle instability.
UCI Orthopedic Surgeons named as Physicians of Excellence by the Orange County Medical Association
We are proud to share that seven physicians from Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at UC Irvine Health have been named 2022 Physicians of Excellence by the Orange County Medical Association.
UCI Orthopaedic Surgeons Highlighted in UCI Health Live Well Magazine Summer 2021 – Dr. Steven Yang
Living full throttle after hip replacement surgery
With his left hip and knee aching and all his recreational activities curtailed, Scott Shuster made one of the best choices in his life. He sought a second opinion for possible medical treatment. That decision led the retired Marine Corps officer to reject a questionable knee surgery for a hip replacement that has turned his life around.
Fall 2021 – Dr. John Scolaro
Car crash survivor climbs back from adversity
On a crisp February day in Breckenridge, Colo., Brandon Gaidano conquered a black diamond on his first ski run of the day. It was a hard-earned triumph. Nine months earlier, he endured multiple surgeries to repair severe pelvic fractures, a ruptured bladder, chest injuries and a broken ankle.
Delta variant sparks growing concern for spine surgeons
COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to spike, particularly in regions with higher levels of community transmission and lower vaccination rates, and spine surgeons are worried that elective surgeries in these areas could be affected once again.
Governor Newsom Announces Appointments 8.23.21
SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the following appointments: Vasco Deon Kidd, 47, of Eastvale, has been appointed to the Physician Assistant Board. Kidd has been Associate Clinical
The University of California board of regents has approved construction of a state-of-the-art medical complex in Irvine.
The University of California board of regents has approved construction of a state-of-the-art medical complex in Irvine. The new UCI Medical Center Irvine-Newport will be a full-service academic health complex that brings a broad array of leading-edge healthcare services to coastal and southern Orange County. The hospital will focus on key clinical areas such as oncology, neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedics and digestive health, and include a 24-hour emergency department. The medical complex will include the previously announced UCI Center for Advanced Care, the Center for Children’s Health, urgent care, wellness programs, specialty disciplines, research and clinical trials. Please see the official announcement
Serious Injury – What Emergency Trauma Medical Workers NEED You to Know
2021 Orange County Medical Association Physician of Excellence Award: Nitin Bhatia, M.D., Ranjan Gupta, M.D., Andrew Hsu, M.D., Yu-Po Lee, M.D., Greg Rafijah, M.D., John Scolaro, M.D., David So, M.D.
2021 Southern California Super Doctors: Nitin Bhatia, M.D. (Hall of Fame, 10 consecutive years), Ranjan Gupta, M.D., Greg Rafijah, M.D., John Scolaro, M.D., David So, M.D.
2021 Southern California Rising Stars Award: Andrew Hsu, M.D., Jesse Kaplan, M.D., James Learned, M.D., David So, M.D., Russell Stitzlein, M.D., Dean Wang, M.D.
A message from Chancellor Howard Gillman
I am delighted to announce that this afternoon the University of California board of regents approved the construction of a state-of-the-art medical complex on the northern edge of our campus, along Jamboree Road near Campus Drive. The complex includes a 144-bed acute-care hospital, an ambulatory care center and a cancer center.
The new UCI Medical Center Irvine-Newport will be a full-service academic health complex that brings a broad array of leading-edge healthcare services to coastal and southern Orange County. The hospital will focus on key clinical areas such as oncology, neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedics and digestive health, and include a 24-hour emergency department. The medical complex will include the previously announced UCI Center for Advanced Care, the Center for Children’s Health, urgent care, wellness programs, specialty disciplines, research and clinical trials.
The UCI Medical Center Irvine-Newport is located within UCI Presidential Gateway, named in commemoration of President Lyndon Johnson’s attendance at the university’s dedication in 1964. The 202-acre site will include educational programs, uplifting art, healing gardens, nature trails and a research preserve within the San Joaquin Marsh Reserve.
The health and wellbeing of the 3.3 million residents of Orange County are at the core of UCI’s public service mission. UCI Health serves more than 1 million patients each year. Our academic medical center in Orange features the 411-bed acute care Douglas Hospital, the county’s only Level 1 trauma center and its only nationally-designated comprehensive cancer center, as well as operating primary and specialty care centers throughout the region. The UCI Medical Center Irvine-Newport expands and enhances this existing health network, bringing the highest-quality prevention and treatment methods, fueled by the power and innovation of UCI and UC research, to our friends and neighbors in south Orange County.
Today’s approval marks a major step toward realizing one of the central goals of our Brilliant Future campaign. Planning for the new complex is underway, with completion targeted for 2025. Construction of the first element, the UCI Health Center for Advanced Care, will begin later this year, with the first patients expected in late 2022, pending legal and regulatory approval.
I am grateful to Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Steve Goldstein, Chief Financial Officer and Vice Chancellor Ron Cortez, UCI Health CEO Chad Lefteris and all our UCI colleagues who have helped advance this vital project.
David Wright (PGY4) travels to Ganga Hospital in India for microsurgical training course and clinical observership
In February 2020, with support from UCI Orthopaedic Surgery Department and Dr. Ranjan Gupta, David Wright (PGY4) traveled to Coimbatore, India for 2 weeks to complete a microsurgical training course and clinical observership at Ganga Hospital. Led by Dr. Raja Sabapathy, Ganga Hospital specializes in orthopaedic trauma and reconstructive microsurgery, serving as the quaternary referral center for most of South Asia. The 5-day micro course is run through the Ganga Hospital Microsurgery Training Institute and is founded on Dr. Robert Acland’s University of Louisville Microsurgery Course. Since its inception in 2000, over 1,200 surgeons from around the world have completed the course at Ganga Hospital, including 69 surgeons from the United States.
After completing the course, Dr. Wright stayed on for an additional 1-week clinical observership with a focus on brachial plexus and lower extremity microsurgical reconstruction. Moderate-energy road traffic accidents involving unprotected moped riders are a leading cause of brachial plexus injuries and lower extremity trauma in India. Open fractures are treated at Ganga with early aggressive debridement and expedient soft tissue coverage within 72 hours, if indicated. During his 1-week observership, Dr. Wright observed and participated in procedures ranging from upper extremity replantation, to free functioning gracilis muscle transfers, to osteocutaneous free fibula flaps. Since returning from India, he continues to make use of the microsurgery laboratory on-site at UC Irvine Medical Center to continue practicing and improving his microsurgical skills. He is currently applying to fellowship in Hand and Microsurgery and is interested in incorporating lower extremity reconstruction as part of his future practice.
The University of California, Irvine Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of California, Irvine, is founded on a commitment to the highest caliber of clinical care, cutting edge research, and innovative education. The Department's clinical services have expanded in recent years to include Sports Medicine, Dr. Dean Wang, MD, and Orthopaedic Oncology, Dr. Russell Stitzlein, MD, supporting Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, as well as additional physicians to support care in Hand/Upper Extremity, Dr. Gregory Ra jah, MD, and Dr. Jesse Kaplan, MD, and Orthopaedic Trauma, Dr. Philip Lim, MD.
Representing the only University-based orthopedic providers in Orange County, our faculty have been selected by their peers for membership in exclusive international organizations including the Cervical Spine Research Society, the Scoliosis Research Society, the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, and the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons. As members of these organizations and others, the department presented or published over 50 peer-reviewed research projects in the past year, by far the most of any group in Orange County, and we continue to receive awards and competitive funding for our ongoing work.
Driver Becomes Friends With Cyclist He Hit on PCH in Huntington Beach, Helps With His Recovery
A cyclist who is still recovering from serious injuries months after being hit by a truck in Huntington Beach is getting a lot of help from an unlikely new friend: the driver who struck him.
The crash that altered the lives of Tom Sovilla and Jack Keith happened along the Pacific Coast Highway on May 25, 2019, according to the two men, who shared their unusual story Monday.
Bicyclist hospitalized for 33 days bonds with the driver who hit him
Jack Keith, left, takes a selfie with Tom Sovilla and his wife Jenette Sovilla, before the start of a press conference at UCI Medical Center in Orange, CA, on Monday, Jan 13, 2020. Seven months ago, Tom Sovilla was on a 64 mile bike ride when driver Jack Keith collided with Sovilla on Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach. Sovilla would spend the next 33 days hospitalized.
On a beautiful morning last Memorial Day weekend, two worlds collided on the Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach. What followed would be an act of extraordinary forgiveness – and an accidental friendship.
Tom Sovilla was savoring one of his long bike rides as he reached the Seapoint Street intersection, where the view opens up to the glittering ocean.
La Habra cyclist struck by vehicle offers prayers, forgiveness for driver
It's a rare story of forgiveness between a La Habra cyclist who was hit by a vehicle and the man who was behind the wheel the day of the crash seven months ago in Huntington Beach.
"All I remember is Tom flying through the air like 30 feet and then I just freaked out and, what did I do? Pulled over and called 911," said Long Beach resident Jack Keith.
Doctors discharge teen after reattaching arm severed in Laguna Beach accident
Trauma surgeon Sebastian Schubl, center, speaks during a press conference regarding the successful treatment of a teenage patient at UCI Medical Center in Orange on Thursday, August 9, 2018. Team members included plastic surgeon Wendy Ng, trauma services chief Michael Lekawa, orthopedic surgeon James Learned, anesthesiologist Katherine McCartney and resident physician Staci Sakai, from left. They were able to reattach his right arm after more than seven hours in the operating room that day. The team reattached nerves, rebuilt muscle and blood vessels and stabilized the damaged bone. Since then, the patient has undergone six additional operations. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)
2019 Charles S. Neer Award
Please help UCI's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery to congratulate Dr. Ranjan Gupta on being named the winner of the 2019 Charles S. Neer Award from the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons for recognition of his outstanding clinical investigations contributing to the understanding, care and prevention of injuries to the shoulder. Named after its benefactor Dr. Charles S. Neer, this prestigious award has been presented annually since the first Open Meeting of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons and is chosen after a rigorous selection process by members of both the Program Committee and Research Committee of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons. Recent awardees have been from the Hospital for Special Surgery, the Rothman Institute, UCLA, and the Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Dean Wang chosen for the ICRS/Vericel Lars Peterson Clinical Travelling Fellowship
Dr. Wang was chosen for the ICRS/Vericel Lars Peterson Clinical Travelling Fellowship, which selects future leaders in the field of cartilage regeneration and joint preservation. He will travel with 2 other selected surgeons and Godfather Dr. Tom Minas to several hospitals around the country to view the latest cartilage restoration surgical procedures and participate in scientific and social events with the hosting expert cartilage surgeons. It will culminate with the ICRS 2019 World Congress in Vancouver, Canada, Oct 5-8, 2019, where Dr. Wang will also present his research on osteochondral allograft transplantation.
Dr. Wang was elected a candidate member of the American Shoulder and Elbow Society (ASES).
The ASES is a society made up of leading national and international Orthopaedic surgeons who specialize in surgery of the shoulder and elbow, and is one of the premier orthopaedic organizations in the country.
The Doctor vs. Device Makers
Dr. Charles Rosen is on a mission to end the conflicts of interest between manufacturers and physicians
In February, spine surgeon Dr. Charles D. Rosen stood before the Senate Special Committee on Aging and chastised the medical device industry for its unethical marketing practices. Rosen, a professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of California at Irvine, told legislators that surgeons often receive huge consulting fees from companies in return for using the manufacturers’ products or promoting them as participants of medical societies and business ventures. "Patients usually don’t know of this conflict, which leads frequently to unnecessary implants and surgery," he told 20 senators.
Orange County Business Journal
Couple's TruthMD Outs Bad Doctors
A 17-year-old athlete with recurrent ankle sprains
A 17-year-old female high school soccer player with no medical comorbidities presented to clinic with right ankle pain that progressively worsened in the past 6 months. For 4 years, she had been diagnosed by her primary care physician and athletic trainers as having recurrent ankle sprains and ankle instability.
Dr. Steven D.K. Ross Retirement
The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery would like to congratulate Dr. Steven Ross on his retirement after 33 years of dedicated service and care to his patients and the community. We celebrate his prestigious career and wish him the the best during the next chapter of his life. His legacy of teaching, mentorship, and professionalism will always be remembered at UC-Irvine. Dr. Andrew Hsu will be taking over as the head of the Foot & Ankle Surgery section and will continue to provide excellent care to patients in the years ahead.