Dr. Samuel Bederman brings new hope for patients with spinal deformities

December 01, 2012
Samuel Bederman, MD, Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon

As the son of a plastic surgeon, Dr. Samuel Bederman grew up surrounded by medicine. Now a surgeon himself, Bederman specializes in scoliosis and spinal disorders. He is part of an elite multidisciplinary team of experts in UC Irvine’s Comprehensive Spine Program.

"I remember going with my dad to the emergency room to sew up a lacerated tendon," Bederman recalls. "From that early age, I knew I was interested in surgery, I just wasn’t sure what type."

While finishing high school, Bederman worked as an assistant in orthopaedic surgery alongside one of the foremost experts in the field, Dr. Robert Salter, a Toronto-based surgeon who developed the Salter Operation to treat congenital dislocation of the hip. Under the tutelage of Salter and other Toronto mentors, Bederman studied complex deformity, reconstruction and degenerative disorders, and eventually he pursued a fellowship in Australia and at the University of California San Francisco focusing on these areas.

"Spinal surgery is an area of medicine where you can really make an impact on people’s lives," says Bederman. "Not only do you care for a variety of different people—kids, elderly, athletes—but you also work with a variety of diseases like cancer, inflammatory diseases, rheumatoid conditions and traumatic injury."

As director of Orthopaedic Inpatient Care Disorders at UC Irvine Medical Center, Bederman addresses issues from the base of the skull to the tailbone. In addition to caring for patients, he is actively involved in launching UC Irvine’s Orthopaedic Specialty Inpatient Unit. This unique unit delivers specialized orthopaedic care to patients with all types of spinal, degenerative and rheumatic disorders. In fact, the entire unit is devoted to orthopaedic patients.

UC Irvine’s multidisciplinary team of highly trained orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, rehabilitation specialists, social workers, pain specialists and anesthesiologists is able to take a "whole person" approach to treating patients with spinal disorders.

"The goal is to develop a high volume specialty practice with collaborators who are interested in focusing exclusively on the spine," says Bederman. "This high level of expertise allows physicians at UC Irvine to address all aspects of spinal care—and make a big difference in patients’ lives."

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