Welcome to my website, I’m Dr. Jeffrey Schildhorn, and I am an orthopedic surgeon practicing in New York City. My practice, while fairly varied in its surgical offerings, specializes in both surgical and non-surgical treatment of all types of issues for people from all walks of life. As I tell everyone I know, I love my job, it gives me the opportunity to meet and treat many different people from all walks of life.
I find myself uniquely positioned to interact with my community in a way that I never thought possible. I feel very privileged to be able to analyze people’s problems and actually solve them, at least as far as it pertains to their physical health. But surgery is not the entirety of my job, listening to people tell me their problems and analyzing how I can help them is as vital a skill as proficiency with a scalpel.
It might be surprising for a surgeon to say that most people don’t need surgery. Most people simply need to know how to exercise better, how to stretch, what muscles to strengthen, and what tools are available to them for accomplishing these tasks. A fair portion of what I do is help people avoid surgery, or figure out non-surgical methods of solving their issue. Some people want a second opinion, and some simply can not afford the time away from work of life commitments. In these cases, I also get to exercise some creativity as well. I also spend a fair amount of time teaching my patients valuable skills they can use to avoid injury in the future.
However, when you do need surgery, if you tore your ACL or dislocated your shoulder or even if your hips are just really bothering you, orthopedic surgery can offer an excellent option to alleviate those problems. I also happen to focus on a number of joints and ligaments, because the entire body is a functional unit and I like to approach repair and recovery with that in mind. I would never feel comfortable as a surgeon on one body part if I didn’t understand almost all of them and how they fit together. A big-picture approach is excellent for my patients, and is responsible for my track record of very happy patients, and excellent recovery and satisfaction rates.
Universally competent is one term I like to use, but it goes well beyond competency, because the best surgeons I know, and those that inspire me as a surgeon myself, are obsessed with perfection. I perform a number of procedures involving the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, and knee. Usually, I prefer an arthroscopic approach which means minimal incisions and faster recovery. This includes the treatment of dislocations, tendon injuries, ruptures of ligaments like the ACL, medial or lateral collateral ligament ruptures.
At my practice, I also use rejuvenation style surgeries, and if they are no longer getting the job done, we must move on to replacing the affected joint. Overall, the most successful joint replacement surgeries involve the shoulder the hip and knee, and I place a major emphasis in my practice on joint replacement. I also understand that everyone that comes into my office has a different goal and different needs. Many people simply want to alleviate their pain, while others want to achieve a higher level of performance in sports. Some people have just been in accidents or hurt and need to be fixed. Arthritis injuries are also something that my team and I have a lot of experience in treating. I also take care of acute trauma and fractures, like when people break their wrists ice skating in the winter.
I also look at this as a team effort and I believe the patient any one of my patients is uniquely responsible for the results that they are able to achieve. I always try to do the absolute best possible for them, and that is the only way that I know how to do my job. But when you have a motivated patient who is setting goals and eager to get back to being their best, that is when the results can be simply astonishing.
As for the operating room, when you’re in surgery and your patient is relying on you to fix them, it is one of the highest forms of trust. Any surgical repairs should always be neat, well thought, meticulously planned, and furthermore they should look perfect. In my book surgery can’t simply be mechanics, it cannot simply be carpentry. In many ways, one must approach it as a sculpture, it has to be thought of as art.
As for where I chose to establish my practice, I genuinely like living right near where I work. New York City can be tough, crazy, and often times it just does not stop. Which is why I love going above and beyond for my patients. New York is tough enough, imagine having debilitating pain or a broken limb or torn ligament on top of that stress. I like being able to walk to work, and not having to drive everywhere. I enjoy the diversity of the people here, and the person to person interactions are second to none.
I really do enjoy what I do, it is an especially rewarding career that really becomes more of a lifestyle. It permeates my approach to most things, and in return, I put that care and energy back into my practice. I want my patients to do great, and I really can’t sleep at night if they don’t. I’ve come to understand that we go on this journey together, it’s something that requires tremendous amounts of communication and trust. I like that I get to have such a direct, extensive, and positive impact on peoples’ lives.