South Texas Bone & Joint Institute
By Rudy Arispe
In 2011, Dr. Siraj Sayeed, then a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, was deployed to Afghanistan to care for wounded U.S. and NATO soldiers. No sooner had he landed at Bagram Airfield when he was whisked to Craig Joint Theater Hospital where a massive medical emergency required the skilled orthopedic surgeon’s immediate attention.
He was tasked with treating a mass casualty at the U.S. hospital with severe injuries. Dr. Sayeed knew he had to be quick on his feet yet keep his composure to help save their lives.
“It’s hard to explain what it’s like being in a war zone. You see the worst of the worst injuries,” Dr. Sayeed recalled. “But military medicine prepares you to do anything and to operate anywhere in the body because you do things you normally wouldn’t in life. If you can handle trauma and blast injuries, then you can handle anything.”
Dr. Sayeed, now in private practice, is Co-founder and CEO of South Texas Bone & Joint Institute, has taken his invaluable training and expertise from his military medical career to offer patients total joint surgery, including hip, shoulder and knee replacement, in addition to a variety of other non-surgical procedures.
This includes treating patients like Fabiana Borges, a 31-year-old, jiu-jitsu instructor and competitor. She went to see Dr. Sayeed in October 2018 after her knee began locking up, which limited her range of motion. An MRI revealed a tear in her meniscus that required surgery.
“After the first month following surgery, I was able to train and work out but not too strenuous,” Borges said. “It’s been eight months now, and my knee feels great. I can do everything I want to.”
Dr. Sayeed initially took a conservative approach to treating Borges’ condition. This included cortisone injections to reduce pain and inflammation. Going the conservative route is the standard by which the orthopedic surgeon treats all his patients – with surgery being a last resort.
“We apply conservative treatments first. If we fail with conservative treatments, then we do surgery,” Dr. Sayeed explained, adding that such treatments usually involve therapy and possibly injections. “If you can get someone to strengthen their muscles, it often helps relieve pain. Weight loss can also help with pain reduction, so we look at diet as well. I want to reduce a patient’s pain and improve the quality of life and function.”
Dr. Sayeed also helps his patients recover more quickly and experience less pain through advances in surgical treatments, such as sparing tissue from being cut. “For example, during an anterior hip replacement, we don’t cut muscles. We spread the muscles and perform the hip replacement and then the muscles go right back to where they were,” he explained. “It’s the same with a knee replacement. We avoid cutting important muscle structure.”
Over the course of his medical career, Dr. Sayeed has demonstrated a passion and commitment to treating each patient, just as he did while serving as chief of orthopedic surgery at Andrews Air Force Base. He recalled operating on a soldier whose knee was shattered from a rifle injury.
“I reconstructed his knee and got him back to active duty,” he said. “Being able to take care of people and return their motion and help them get back to an active lifestyle is what I enjoy.”
Although Dr. Sayeed is skilled at performing all types of total joint replacement surgeries, his favorite is an anterior hip replacement. “Patients recover very quickly,” he said. “It’s rewarding to take someone who uses a wheelchair or walker and within two to three weeks, they are walking with minimal to no pain.”
It’s safe to assume that if Dr. Sayeed wasn’t an orthopedic surgeon, he would be an electrical engineer. In fact, he was. Prior to attending the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, he received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Speed Scientific School of Engineering at the University of Louisville, Kentucky. Today, his engineering background compliments his intricate work as an orthopedic surgeon.
“My master’s degree field of specialization was biomedical related. I designed micromachines used for biomechanical applications,” he said. “When I got into medical school, I was drawn to orthopedic surgery because it’s a good fit with engineering. In orthopedics, there are a lot of mechanics. In orthopedic surgery, there are implants, forcebones and knowing how the human body works related to those forcebones. Orthopedic surgery mirrors engineering applications of science.”
The mission of South Texas Bone & Joint Institute is to provide a premiere total joint center in South Texas using state-of-the-art technologies combined with orthopedic expertise, explained Huma Sayeed, business development and marketing director who has a background in health care marketing. She is the co-founder of the practice and also serves as the medical institute’s administrator working alongside her husband.
“We offer personalized orthopedic care working as a team to come up with a plan that benefits our patients,” she said, adding that she encourages anyone who is considering a joint replacement to research the surgeon and to research Dr. Sayeed’s background.
“He has trained at the Mayo Clinic, which has the top orthopedic program in the world,” Huma said. “Look at the research he’s done and is continuing to do in orthopedic surgery.”
Dr. Sayeed reflects upon his five years at the renowned Mayo Clinic, where he did his residency, as a once in a lifetime experience. “You have the top doctors in the world training you to be an orthopedic surgeon,” he said. “I got to see a lot of complicated cases because if something can’t be fixed, those patients go to the Mayo Clinic.”
South Texas Bone & Joint Institute has two locations at Presidio Parkway and Wiseman Boulevard and with plans to open a third center in the future, Huma said. “We’re growing and our practice has been successful because of our long support from the community, as well as from the military community,” she said. said. “I’ve spent a lot of time from the beginning getting involved with the community, networking and doing grassroots marketing, which has helped us build our practice. In addition, we have a very knowledgeable and friendly staff that go out of their way to provide world-class care.”
Although Dr. Sayeed has been an orthopedic surgeon since 2007 and has performed hundreds of total joint replacement surgeries since then, he still finds his work to be challenging. “I try to learn something new every day. That’s my philosophy,” he said. “I take it upon myself to read, talk to people or learn a new technique, such as a treatment option, in surgery to better myself.”
Dr. Sayeed’s desire to continuously challenge himself in his profession keeps him up to date on the latest innovations and advances in orthopedic surgery. Because of this, his patients reap the benefits.
Diana Khalifa remembers her first appointment with Dr. Sayeed and was struck by his manner that immediately put her at ease, considering that she was somewhat apprehensive about the thought of possible surgery for hip replacement. But, even more so, she was elated with the results of her anterior hip replacement.
“I had in-home therapy for two weeks, and then I was released because of the mobility I had,” said Khalifa, a senior sales manager at a local hotel. “I can get out of a chair and walk with ease. I love to dance, so I’m able to dance again and even pick up and hold my grandchildren.”
She encourages anyone who might require a hip replacement to call South Texas Bone & Joint Institute. “Dr. Sayeed is probably the best surgeon in San Antonio for this type of surgery. Anyone who might be doubtful about the procedure, I would not hesitate to recommend him 100 percent.”
For more information about services or Dr. Sayeed’s background, visit www.southtexasbone.com. To make an appointment, call (210) 696-BONE.