By Walter N. Rabhan, MD
Reflections on Tuckahoe Orthopaedics …
In 1972, I was finishing up my time in the Air Force at Langley and thinking about my future and how to support my wife and two young children. Through a friend, I met Dr. Bernard Lublin who was interested in finding a partner to start a new practice in Richmond. Long story short….we opened Henrico Orthopedic Associates later that year. The practice continued to grow and in the 1980’s, Dr. Lublin left and the name was changed to Tuckahoe Orthopaedics.
A lot has happened in these past 40 years. When I started my practice, there were only 18 orthopedic surgeons in town. We were all generalists which means we treated all types of orthopedic problems. Through the years, that changed, and now our physicians here at Tuckahoe have received additional training in a specific subspecialty. So they dedicate their practice to just one area of orthopedics. I believe this is a good thing and that our patients receive better care from this specialization.
Surgery has changed dramatically. When I started out, there were no arthroscopic and minimally invasive surgeries. Outpatient surgery was unheard of and patients faced longer hospital stays, larger incisions, more infections, and much longer recovery times.
My partners, Richard Caspari, Terry Whipple, and John Meyers were all considered pioneers in arthroscopic surgery. They were very involved in research and perfected new arthroscopic techniques and instrumentation. We gained significant international attention from these advancements. We became one of the first orthopedic practices to offer arthroscopic surgery as an option for patients and athletes; including the gymnast, Mary Lou Retton, who went on to win a gold medal in the 1984 Olympics soon after her surgery.
In addition to research, we have always had a keen interest in education, especially the training of future orthopedic surgeons. We were one of the first practices in the nation to offer advanced fellowship training in arthroscopic surgery. Since 1982, we’ve trained about 100 orthopedic surgeons who are now practicing all over the world.
I continue to work part-time at Tuckahoe Orthopaedics. I’ve witnessed many changes in how we treat orthopedic injuries and conditions. I am able to offer my patients newer and improved treatments which enable them to return to their normal activities much sooner with fewer complications. One thing hasn’t changed, though, and that’s my dedication to my patients. They have always been my focus and I’ve tried my best to treat them as I would like to be treated.