There are few aspects of athletics and, by extension, the care of athletes, that Orthopedic Surgeon Joseph Ajdinovich, MD, doesn’t enjoy.
As a youngster, he participated in soccer, football, wrestling and field events for track before he was sidelined by an ACL tear.
The silver lining to his injury, though painful and full of setbacks, was his exposure to the field of medicine that became his passion: orthopedic sports medicine. As the sciences had always been a strong suit for him, it was only natural that he pursued a medical career with a focus on orthopedics.
Dr. Ajdinovich earned a bachelor degree in biology from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., before graduating from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. He completed a surgical internship at Pennsylvania State University Hospital, Hershey, Pa., and an orthopedic residency at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Dr. Ajdinovich served his final year as chief resident at New York Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital.
Blending his love of sports with medicine was a natural choice for him when he entered an ACGME-accredited sports medicine fellowship at the Orthopaedic Foundation in Stamford, Conn. During his training, Dr. Ajdinovich served as team physician at both the high school and professional levels. He also spent time working under world-renowned surgeons in Vail, Colo., caring for members of the US Ski Team and for professional athletes from around the world.
With his extensive surgical training, Dr. Ajdinovich takes a “preservative” approach to healing his patients. “My focus is on joint preservation in an effort to avoid or, at the very least, delay, replacement,” he said. Among other modalities, he is trained in the use of stem cell therapies, as well as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) to stimulate healing. PRP involves drawing a patient’s blood in the office, manipulating it and, minutes later, injecting it into various locations in order to treat disorders of joints, tendons and ligaments to stimulate healing. “While I am trained to perform many procedures often referred to as regenerative medicine, a thoughtful conversation must be had with each patient in order to determine whether they are an ideal candidate,” he stated.
“My goal is to preserve, maintain and repair. Not all surgery needs to be a last resort. If a patient can avoid a larger procedure by doing a smaller procedure now, it’s certainly worth discussing,” he said. “I want people to keep what God gave them. I always seek to learn and better understand my patientsʼ motivations for seeking care and to guide them toward a result which will allow them to regain the mobility and activity levels they desire.”
Dr. Ajdinovich enjoys the rewarding nature of his profession. “Making a real difference, restoring patient function and giving people hope for a pain-free future are the most rewarding aspects of what we do in sports medicine. The best words I can hear in my practice are ‘this surgery gave me my life back,’” he added.
Dr. Ajdinovich specializes in advanced arthroscopic treatment of the shoulder, knee, hip and ankle, which includes fracture care, partial and total knee replacement, shoulder instability, rotator cuff repair, complex multiligamentous knee reconstruction and joint preservation/cartilage restoration surgery.
Dr. Ajdinovich and his wife, Stefanie, reside in Effingham and are avid travelers, outdoor enthusiasts and sports fanatics.
To make an appointment with Dr. Ajdinovich, call the SBL Bonutti Clinic at 217 342-3400.