- Sports Medicine
Dr Harris graduated cum laude from Yale University with distinction in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry before attending medical school at the University of California, San Diego. There, he was elected to the A. Baird Hasting’s Society, the school’s honor society. Work that he started there resulted a few years later, in United States and Canadian patents for a knee brace primarily designed for children with muscular dystrophy.
Dr. Harris then completed his orthopædic training at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago. After his residency, he completed a fellowship in Adult Reconstruction (Joint Replacement) under Dr. Jorge Galante, and a research fellowship addressing issues in the biochemistry of articular (joint) cartilage. For four and a half years, he also taught orthopædic surgical residents who followed in the program at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center.
Other research by Dr. Harris concerns the use of allograft bone (banked bone) in the salvage of failed total joint replacements and computer assisted analysis of orthopædic radiographs. This material has been published as part of peer reviewed orthopædic symposia, orthopædic journals, and texts. He has presented this material both nationally and internationally. Other teaching activities include invited lectures to other medical specialties on important general orthopædic issues.
When Dr. Harris also became a father, he opted to doff his primarily academic hat, to concentrate on direct patient care, and found his way to San Antonio. Originally part of a large group, in July 2002, he established his own private practice (San Antonio Orthopædic Specialists) in order to maintain the focus on individual patient care.
Private practice does not mean that Dr. Harris has taken a back seat in the field of orthopædics. For example, he is one of a very few doctors in San Antonio to provide outpatient partial knee replacement surgery (unicompartmental replacement).
He is the first surgeon in South Texas and in South Louisiana to offer the Zimmer two incision total hip replacement. There are an estimated fifty surgeons worldwide with experience in this technique equal to his. He has traveled for Zimmer teaching other joint replacement specialists this and other advanced minimally invasive techniques. Dr. Harris is also the first physician in San Antonio to offer the quadriceps sparing total knee replacement.
The two incision total hip replacement was a breakthrough technique in adult reconstruction. Developed in part at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center, it allows for a much more rapid recovery from hip surgery than was possible before, or is possible with most other techniques. With the same expected longevity of any other total hip technique, patients are comfortable and functional enough to go home one to two days after their surgery.
Not standing still, Dr. Harris has largely supplanted the Zimmer two incision total hip arthroplasty with the Direct Anterior approach to total hip arthroplasty. This technique is not only applicable to a larger variety of patients and problems, but provides for even faster recovery with even less discomfort.
The quadriceps sparing total knee arthroplasty also provides a much more rapid recovery from surgery. In common with the MIS hip replacement, and unlike traditional techniques, no muscles are detached “on the way in” so none have to be repaired “on the way out”. The post operative rehabilitation does not have to wait for muscle repairs to heal. Few patients require a stop at a rehabilitation facility before going home. Dr. Harris is also the first physician in San Antonio to implant the Zimmer Gender solutions knee, the first knee replacement designed exclusively for women.
Dr. Harris describes these techniques as the most rewarding advances in orthopædics in his experience. What is more rewarding yet, is that this practice grows daily by new patients referred by friends and family members who are established in the practice. Dr. Harris is known to say, “My staff and I try to treat each patient as if they were a member of our families. As the practice grows by patient referrals, it means that we’re doing something right.”
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