When Dr. Michael Yusaf entered his first surgical rotation during medical school, he thought it was the “coolest thing” he had ever seen. Though his father was a practicing orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Yusaf said he grew up without a clear idea of what that entailed. He only knew that science was the right path for him, but spent much of his time debating whether to pursue engineering or medicine. Dr. Yusaf chose medicine, and by the end of his medical school training at Wayne State University School of Medicine, he chose the same specialty as his father – orthopaedic surgery.
However, Dr. Yusaf did not stop training at the completion of his residency program. He decided to further his education and completed a sports medicine fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles. Thanks to this added training, Dr. Yusaf today provides care for a range of athletes, including his role as part of the roster of Crittenton team physicians for Oakland University Athletics. But he also believes that his fellowship gave him an opportunity to learn more advanced minimally invasive procedures. “I believe that arthroscopy [a minimally invasive procedure on a joint] is the way of the future,” explained Dr. Yusaf.
A Conservative Approach to Care
Though his fellowship provided advanced surgical training, Dr. Yusaf’s practice is very rooted in conservative care. “My favorite part of the job is getting people better. It is about seeing a patient in pain or unable to do what they love, and being able to do something to fix that,” said Dr. Yusaf. In some cases that involves surgery, but Dr. Yusaf explains that surgery is never the first option. “Our practice starts with a very conservative approach and works its way up to surgery. We perform a lot of non-operative and conservative care.”
It is this ability to assist patients in getting back to their healthy selves that keeps Dr. Yusaf passionate about his work. “Orthopaedics is a constantly evolving field,” he said. Today’s technology has advanced surgical techniques and equipment to allow surgeons the ability to get people better faster and see better, faster results. Crittenton’s advanced orthopaedic center supports these advancements in care. “Crittenton has invested significantly into the orthopedic department,” said Dr. Yusaf, also crediting the staff of physical therapists and technicians in the superior care patients receive at Crittenton.
It is both Crittenton’s commitment to maintaining a state-of-the-art orthopaedic center and the personalized care they deliver to patients that makes it a place Dr. Yusaf enjoys working. “Crittenton is a very friendly environment in which to work.” He continued, “It almost feels like a large family. You aren’t treated like just another person. My patients feel like they get personalized care here.”
Health Advice from a Sports Medicine Physician
Dr. Yusaf has seen his fair share of patients – from young athletes first starting training to senior patients suffering from arthritis. The best health advice he can offer to the Crittenton community is to stay active. He also adds that staying active shouldn’t be capped at just one activity. “Make sure you do a wide variety of activities. It helps to work different muscle groups and to maintain your flexibility.”
Practicing only one activity, such as only jogging for example, can make patients more prone to injury. Maintaining flexibility is also key. “It can be as involved as a yoga practice or as minimal as dedicating a few minutes each day to lengthen your muscles,” said Dr. Yusaf.
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Dr. Yusaf is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon and fellowship trained in sports medicine. His practice, Center for Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, is a full service practice with a wide range of orthopaedic care.