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By Ingrid Schaefer Sprague  |  Photo by Gery Petrof

Getting an orthopedic examination from a Cleveland expert who is head and shoulders above the rest is easy when patients consult orthopedic surgeon Reuben Gobezie, MD, the founder of GO Ortho, Cleveland Shoulder Institute, and Regen Orthopedics.

In several areas Dr. Gobezie’s ideas on treatment of shoulder conditions and general orthopedics have changed the way patients are treated in Northeast Ohio. GO Ortho at Ahuja Medical Center in Beachwood and Bedford Medical Center offers on-demand orthopedic treatment for patients who require immediate care but want an alternative to an urgent-care facility or hospital ER.

Dr. Gobezie says GO Ortho is an on-demand orthopedic center, treating both walk-in patients and scheduled appointments, billing insurance as a physician office visit and offering treatment unlike a traditional ER. Most emergency departments do not have orthopedic physicians and treat an injury in an immediate and supportive way, providing a $20 sling with a doctor’s order to see an orthopedic physician in two or three days, and charging $200 for the ER visit and again for the orthopedic doctor visit, according to Dr. Gobezie. In fact most orthopedic problems that require immediate attention involve breaks, sprains, joint pain, and orthopedic issues and not surgery.

“Orthopedics is a weird field in which 75 percent of cases require on-demand care,” Dr. Gobezie says. “But we hadn’t moved the needle on the same issue going on.”

GO Ortho can provide immediate diagnostic evaluation with x-rays, ultrasound, and MRI. Treatment and any necessary splint or brace is provided at the same visit. Dr. Gobezie says GO Ortho can treat an injury or medical situation for any orthopedic concern “from the neck down.” If surgery is needed, Dr. Gobezie says GO Ortho can recommend the appropriate surgeon for the specific body site. “The takeaway is that GO Ortho is birthed out of desire by physicians to take the best personalized care of patients in an environment that is very challenging on many levels,” Dr. Gobezie says.

Dr. Gobezie is the chief shoulder and elbow surgeon at University Hospitals. He is ranked as one of the top 25 shoulder specialists in the United States and is a five-time Patient’s Choice award winner, an honor bestowed on less than 1 percent of physicians nationally. He is also a recipient of the prestigious NEER award. Dr. Gobezie pioneered the first arthroscopic cartilage transplant procedure for the shoulder. He also developed advanced new techniques for treating biceps and tendon injuries in athletes. At the Cleveland Shoulder Institute, Dr. Gobezie performs his minimally invasive shoulder replacement surgery in young patients with shoulder arthritis—the fastest growing segment, according to Dr. Gobezie.

“I wanted to help people who are young with a technique that was not very invasive by designing first all arthroscopic shoulder resurfacing using biologic tissue from donors to reproduce a new shoulder joint,” Dr. Gobezie says. “This really helped us launch forward, and now we have worked in plastic and metal replacements using the same minimally invasive techniques.”

Dr. Gobezie states traditional implants of plastic and metal are still needed in some patients, but he has also minimized the extent of surgery in these patients as well, with an innovative design to the traditional implant and a novel technique for placement. While the cartilage replacement is approved in the United States and regularly performed, Dr. Gobezie is awaiting government approval for his metal-and-plastic implant procedure. (It is already in practice in Europe, where he regularly trains surgeons in his technique.) In his practice 65 percent of shoulder replacements are done on an outpatient basis.

Dr. Gobezie’s talents extend further. He recently founded Regen Orthopedics, a Beachwood practice focused on regenerative medicine that utilizes adult stem cell therapy to alleviate chronic joint pain. In his spare time, Dr. Gobezie has been on 16 or 17 Christian-based medical missions to Central America and Africa. A first-generation Ethiopian, he has turned his efforts to that country and Sierra Leone, working in small villages. On Saturdays Dr. Gobezie provides free medical care to inner-city residents at the Faith Baptist Wellness Center in Cleveland.

To the medical community, Dr. Gobezie is the brilliant, Harvard-educated surgeon. As an ambitious surgeon, Dr. Gobezie credits his faith for his success. “Anything and everything that is good has come from what I draw from my relationship with my God, Lord Jesus.”

At home he is the dad to two-year old Grace, adopted from Ethiopia, and his other children, who are ages 8, 10, and 12, setting the example for making a difference in the lives of others. 

For more information: godoctornow.com

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