At OSSM, we are pleased to introduce you to the newest surgeon to join our board certified and fellowship trained team, Dr. Luke Smith, D.O. His expertise and training, from his fellowship at Allegheny General Hospital in PA, to his surgical residency at various hospitals in Ohio, mean he is an excellent addition to our team of doctors. Dr. Smith also has a wealth of experience and knowledge when it comes to robot-assisted joint replacements as well as minimally invasive treatment options.
As an Idaho native, Dr. Smith is excited to be back home in the state he loves, helping patients restore health and enjoy their lives again. We were able to interview Dr. Smith, to help you get to know him more:
- What made you want to become an orthopedic surgeon?
“My interest initially came from sports injuries growing up. I always thought I would be a sports medicine doctor, and through training learned that there were other things which I enjoyed more.”
- What do you love about your job?
“My favorite thing is the smile on my patient’s faces after surgery once their arthritic pain is gone. I love being able to get my patients back to activities that they have been unable to do because of their pain.”
- How did you choose OSSM as your place of choice to work?
“I grew up in Idaho, and therefore grew up with a love for all things outdoors. What better place is there for year-round outdoor recreation and the people who enjoy doing those same things?”
- What is one orthopedic trend that inspires you?
“Probably the biggest trend in orthopedics (and joint replacement surgery) over the last couple of decades is shorter hospital stays and quicker recoveries in general. We accomplish this by learning less invasive methods to get the best results possible.”
- Your bio states you specialize in Adult Joint Reconstruction Surgery. (Is your specialty ALL joint replacement or is it focused to hip and knees?) Tell me what made you want to go into this specialty?
“Mainly hip and knee replacements along with fracture and other orthopedic care. Hip replacements are what specifically got me interested in joint replacement overall. Going through residency, I just thought it was really neat anatomy. It even scared me at first, operating near such major structures. That coupled with the success of total hip arthroplasty and how much of a difference it makes in patients lives.”
- What can a patient expect throughout their surgical experience with you?
“My patients can expect me to be very thorough with them about what to expect and how many of the details will go. I focus on doing everything that we can to give the patient the best chance at having a successful outcome. I always ask myself, ‘how would I want my own mother treated?’ and that’s the experience I try to give my patients.”
- What is the best pain management strategy after joint replacement surgery for patients who are concerned about opioid addiction?
“I like to use what is called ‘multi-modal pain management’. In other words, we use multiple different medications to attack pain from all different angles in order to minimize the use of opioids/narcotics. “
- You have vast experience with robotic-assisted joint replacements. How has robotic assistance changed joint replacement surgery?
“My belief is that a lot of that data is still yet to come. With partial knee replacements (for which robotics has been around the longest) there is clear evidence showing improved outcomes with robotics. I think that data is still coming for total knees. Robotics just adds a whole different level of precision during and planning before surgery.”
- Have minimally invasive approaches using robotic assistance for joint replacement helped reduce pain following joint replacement surgery?
“Any time that we, as surgeons, can limit the dissection or the amount of tissue that we have to cut, we will limit pain. Both robotics and minimally invasive procedures help us do this.”
- Are there any permanent restrictions after joint replacement surgery?
“For the most part, no. That said, each patient and each situation is different. Each patient’s goals of treatment are different.”
- How long will a Knee Replacement last? A Hip Replacement?
“This is a common question I get, and I think it is a difficult question to answer. A lot of it depends on the patient and how the patient takes care of their joint replacement. Like any automobile part, if you take care of your car, it will last longer. What I will say is that surgeons used to say 10-15 years, and the implant manufacturers as well as surgeons have improved techniques greatly and implants are lasting much much longer now.”
- What is the best diet going into joint replacement surgery?
“I strongly believe in proper peri-operative nutrition. The proper fuel for your body will help your body’s immune system be prepared to heal much quicker, therefore lowering infection rates and other complications. I recommend to my patients to have a good, well-rounded diet and around the time of surgery to add extra protein, sometimes even with supplemental shakes and also include micronutrients such as zinc, etc. These are all important for healing after surgery.”
- Your bio states you enjoy spending time with your beautiful wife, hiking, and rodeo. Do you participate in rodeos? Where is your favorite hike?
“Growing up, my older brother, my dad, and myself were involved with team roping. My favorite hike- anywhere quiet in the mountains where I can connect with nature.”
- What is one quote you live by?
“I would say that my favorite quote is “speak softly and carry a big stick” by Teddy Roosevelt. People that know me well know that I’m not into talking a big game, but would rather just get results.”
At OSSM, we take pride in the fact that our team of doctors is just that: a team. All of our doctors, including our excellent new addition Dr. Luke Smith, come together daily to put our patient’s health first, and give the gift of being able to enjoy daily life again. With our team of doctors we are able to meet every unique orthopedic need, and we can help you! Give us a call today at (208)664-2175.