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Meet Tigran Garabekyan of Southern California Hip Institute in North Hollywood and Century City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tigran Garabekyan.

Dr. Garabekyan specializes in the treatment of shoulder, hip, and knee problems providing both joint preserving and joint replacing treatment options to patients of all ages. A native of Los Angeles, Dr. Garabekyan earned his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), graduating summa cum laude. He then earned his medical degree from the University of California at San Diego and completed a general surgery internship at the University of California at San Francisco, working with world-renowned surgeons and pioneers of cartilage restoration techniques.

Dr. Garabekyan continued his education through an orthopedic surgery residency program at Marshall University in Huntington, WV – being among the first three graduating residents in the inaugural class. Dr. Garabekyan played an instrumental role in shaping the curriculum of the program at Marshall University and was recognized as the Chief Resident for his graduating class. Throughout his senior years, Dr. Garabekyan scored in the top 99% of all residents on his yearly in-training examination demonstrating his passion for learning and commitment to excellence among his peers.

Upon graduating, Dr. Garabekyan was offered a prestigious position at Marshall Orthopedics as the Assistant Program Director, and he served in this capacity for two and a half years. During this time, Dr. Garabekyan served as a mentor and educator to orthopedic residents, further cultivating his passion for education.

Dr. Garabekyan completed fellowship in Sports Medicine and Hip Preservation Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. After fellowship, Dr. Garabekyan relocated to his hometown of Los Angeles, CA.

Dr. Garabekyan’s special interests include the treatment of labral tears, articular cartilage injuries, femoroacetabular impingement, hip dysplasia, osteitis pubis, hip tendon injuries, and osteoarthritis. Being proficient in both hip arthroscopy and realignment osteotomies of the pelvis and upper femur (PAO/DFO), he provides a uniquely holistic approach to the treatment of hip dysplasia. Dr. Garabekyan performs hip arthroscopy without a perineal post, enabling him to carry out simultaneous bilateral hip arthroscopy to minimize recovery time and get his patients back in the game faster.

Dr. Garabekyan has authored and co-authored numerous journal articles, textbook chapters, and online publications in orthopedic surgery. He has been an invited speaker at national and international conferences, presenting the results of his work. His research interests include improved characterization of acetabular dysplasia, the role of femoral torsion and acetabular version in borderline dysplasia, and capsular management during hip arthroscopy.

Dr. Garabekyan has served as the Assistant Team Physician for Marshall University, treating sports injuries in division one athletes and successfully returning them to play.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Some of the biggest challenges to practicing medicine today relate to large scale changes in healthcare policy and patient access to care. I believe there is something sacred about the doctor-patient relationship, and unfortunately it is being eroded by the way medicine is practiced today. Changes in healthcare policy have decreased physician reimbursement leading surgeons to see more patients per day and spend less face-to-face time during each patient encounter. Many doctors have employed physician assistants or nurse practitioners (a.k.a. physician extenders) to further improve their efficiency, enabling highly profitable practices in an otherwise broken healthcare system. But, the cost of practicing medicine this way is not measured in dollars, it is measured by patient satisfaction – and the patient’s experience has suffered tremendously.

I have a different philosophy to patient care. When you schedule an appointment to see me, you actually see me. I will sit down with you and take your history, perform a detailed physical examination, and review your images. I’ll explain your diagnosis and take time to make sure your questions are answered. If we decide that surgery is the best option for you, I will perform your entire procedure from start to finish. During your recovery, you might be surprised to get an impromptu phone call or text from me, just checking-in, making sure your last physical therapy session went well. When you have questions or concerns after surgery, I will be just a phone call away. No answering service. No middleman. Just me.

The tides of medicine will continue to change in unpredictable ways, but that doesn’t mean the priorities of your doctor should too. My care will always be personalized and aimed at preserving the very essence of why I became a physician in the first place—to be a teacher, a confidant, and, above all, a healer.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Southern California Hip Institute – what should we know?
The Southern California Hip Institute (SCHI) Advantage:

More Than Just The Hip

The spine, pelvis, and hips form an integrated kinetic chain. As such, each of these elements has to be included in the evaluation to properly diagnose and treat disorders that give rise to hip pain. Failing to do so will result in incomplete relief of symptoms and recurrence of the condition. At SCHI, every patient with a hip problem undergoes a comprehensive evaluation of the lumbar spine and pelvis, in addition to both hips. Gait analysis, neurologic function, range-of-motion, and muscle strength are tested on both sides of the body and compared. Tendon insertions are evaluated for degeneration or tearing. Core strength and gluteus activation are evaluated for proper pelvic balance. All of these findings are integrated with the patient’s history to arrive at a comprehensive diagnosis and plan of care. We know that getting you back to your active lifestyle takes more than a five-minute visit and we invite you to experience the SCHI difference.

Adolescence to Late Adulthood

There are many physicians in the region who perform hip replacement surgery.

However, few perform hip arthroscopy and an even smaller number carry out complex realignment procedures of the pelvis and upper femur. Given the difficulty of accurately diagnosing hip problems, patients often visit three or more physicians before finding one who can address their problem. There is a better way.

SCHI is the one-stop-shop for your hip. Dr. Garabekyan is fellowship trained to address ALL complex hip disorders afflicting patients from adolescence to late adulthood. You no longer have to waste time and money going from one doctor to another, only to be told that the source of your pain is unclear or that joint replacement is the only option.

By entrusting your health to a team that specializes in treating the full spectrum of hip disorders, you can rest assured that your treatment will be customized to your specific goals. No two patients are the same, and no two treatments are identical. Let us explore the different options together and show you the path to a pain-free and more active lifestyle.

Cutting Edge Techniques

Surgical techniques continue to evolve and as a result, patients can enjoy shorter recovery times than ever before. Dr. Garabekyan employs the latest techniques in minimally invasive surgery that dramatically reduce your risk of complications and get you back to life faster.

– Hip Arthroscopy Without a Post

Hip arthroscopy is typically carried out by using an operating table with the patient’s legs strapped in specialized boots to apply traction and create working space in an otherwise tight hip joint. In order to prevent the patient from being pulled down the table, a counterforce is used in the form of a large padded post placed in the perineum (between the legs). Despite efforts to reduce the traction force and duration, horrible complications have been reported in the literature including genital numbness and tissue necrosis. Some patients are left with permanent sexual dysfunction requiring additional urologic treatment, a devastating complication for a young male or female undergoing an elective, outpatient procedure. Dr. Garabekyan utilizes a safer technique for counter-traction without a post, removing all pressure from the perineum. Traction forces are lower than the conventional technique and patients can rest assured that they will not be dealing with a life altering complication.

– Simultaneous Bilateral Hip Arthroscopy

Hip disorders frequently present in both hips with one side being slightly more involved than the other. For patients who have significant hip disease on both sides, many surgeons offering hip arthroscopy will recommend doing one side, waiting 3 months, and then undergoing surgery for the other side. This staged approach is largely due to concern for prolonged traction time and pressure on the perineum. For the patient, it means a much longer overall recovery time, two episodes of anesthesia, and increased cost associated with two hospital charges. Dr. Garabekyan offers simultaneous bilateral hip arthroscopy for patients suffering from problems in both hips to address these shortcomings. Studies have shown that patients on average feel no more pain than if they had undergone surgery for one side alone (unilateral surgery) and their overall time to return to activities is comparable to unilateral surgery as well.

The SCHI advantage is all about you. From the moment you walk into our clinic to the moment you look back on the journey that gave you your life back, you will feel like the whole process was designed just for you. And that’s because it was.

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