UCSF Orthopaedic Institute at Mission Bay opens for patients, research and education

By Lauren Hammit

Opening today at Mission Bay, the UCSF Orthopaedic Institute is a major new center that is the most comprehensive location in the Bay Area for outpatient treatment, research and training in musculoskeletal conditions, injuries and sports medicine.

The Orthopaedic Institute is UCSF’s first clinical service at Mission Bay. It includes San Francisco’s first Human Performance Center, which specializes in assessment, training and performance improvement for individuals and athletes, and houses a top-tier Orthotics and Prosthetics Center in addition to specialty clinics, outpatient surgery services and a patient education area in one convenient state-of-the-art facility with onsite parking.

“The Orthopaedic Institute is not just another outpatient center, it’s a new way of delivering care that embodies the full translational medical process of research impacting patient care,” said Thomas Parker Vail, MD, chair of the UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

“We are committed to serving our patients in the most direct manner possible, delivering a satisfying office experience, the strongest surgical outcomes, and investigating the most pressing challenges in musculoskeletal care,” he emphasized. “The Orthopaedic Institute, with so many resources under one roof, allows us to do exactly that.”

The Institute covers 42,000 square feet in a new building at 1500 Owens. The space increases clinic capacity with 28 exam rooms, four operating rooms and two procedure rooms.  It brings together 125 faculty, specialists, nurses, research scientists, residents, technicians, physical therapists and staff currently working in sites across San Francisco.

Designed to serve patients needing diagnosis, treatment, imaging, outpatient surgeries, specialty care in joint replacement, sports and dance medicine as well as performance diagnostics, rehabilitation, prosthetics and orthotics, the Orthopaedic Institute allows experienced physicians, therapists and radiologists to serve each of these needs under one roof.

The Orthopaedic Institute continues in the pioneering tradition of UCSF’s multidisciplinary approach to clinical care, research, education, and outreach. Dedicated to musculoskeletal care and sports medicine, the resources of the new Mission Bay facility include:

Human Performance Center – San Francisco’s only facility equipped to help every type of individual recover from injury or surgery, improve performance, return to sports and optimize training. The Center includes a battery of professional analyses and training programs to help patients, athletes, dancers and the people who train athletes and dancers prevent injury and optimize performance.

The Center includes forceplate flooring, which automatically discerns weight distribution during a series of exercises. Combined with video imaging and playback technology, UCSF faculty are able to analyze individuals and their movements from multiple perspectives.

Dance Medicine – As one of the West Coast’s only dance medicine programs, UCSF’s dance medicine specialty has a strong research program and provides dancers with a single location for evaluation, treatment and prevention strategies.

Cartilage Regeneration – The cartilage repair and regeneration program at UCSF is a shared initiative among scientists, physicians and surgeons dedicated to providing patients with the most advanced and effective treatment for cartilage injuries. Highly involved in ongoing research, UCSF was one of only five institutions involved in a Phase II clinical trial using patients’ own cartilage. The team’s goal is to improve quality of life, decrease pain and enhance function for all patients with cartilage injuries.

Orthotics and Prosthetics – The largest and most advanced facility of its kind, the Institute’s Orthotics and Prosthetics Center evaluates, designs, custom fits and manufactures all types of orthoses (braces) and prostheses (artificial limbs) to meet the needs of the individual patient. The Center is home to UCSF’s Amputee Support Group, which meets monthly and provides information, inspiration and peer counseling to new members.

Specialty Clinics – To provide comprehensive care with evaluation and treatment for patients of all ages, 28 exam rooms are configured through a specialty-specific blueprint for clinics in arthritis and joint replacement, hand and upper extremity, sports medicine, and foot and ankle.

Surgery Center – Comprised of four operating suites and two procedure rooms, the Surgery Center provides an alternative to hospitalization for elective outpatient procedures. Patients benefit from expert orthopaedic surgeons, the most advanced surgical equipment, and a highly trained and specialized staff.

Patient and Family Education – A hub for information and support, the Patient and Family Education Area provides access to information on innovations in care and updates on orthopaedic conditions for patients and care-givers.

Imaging Services – Focused on musculoskeletal radiology, the imaging suite houses a 3T (Tesla) magnet, the most advanced scanner available to patients for routine clinical use. Using imaging techniques that have evolved from research funded by NIH at UCSF, the radiology team provides three-dimensional mapping and quantitative imaging.  Using filmless digital systems, images are distributed throughout the Institute electronically to be pulled up in any exam room for consultation between physician and patient.

“The Orthopaedic Institute provides the opportunity for research and patient care to operate in tandem—as both an outpatient center for patients and a hub for translational research,” said Vail. “We are excited to offer these exceptional services for our patients, and to bring patient care into the Mission Bay community.”

In addition to the clinical areas, the Institute has a tissue culture lab where specimens can be immediately frozen for research. Major areas of expertise and investigation include fracture repair; biomechanics and bioengineering of musculoskeletal tissues; mesenchymal stem cell biology; cartilage, bone, tendon and intervertebral disc regeneration; and molecular and cellular mechanisms of musculoskeletal development.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. For further information, visit http://www.ucsf.edu.