Philosophy of our clinic
“Our goal is to bring back a SMILE to our patients and those around them.
- Patients want to avoid fractures due to osteoporosis.
- Elderly patients want to be able to walk on their own for their entire lives and not to be bedridden.
- Children and athletes want to enjoy sports and other activities by using preventative medicine and recovering rapidly from injuries.
- Patients want to be freed from pain through accurate diagnosis, assisted by leading-edge medical technologies such as MRI and ultrasound where needed.
Our staff members understand patients’ wishes and give inspiration and hope for recovery.
Our patients’ smiles of satisfaction and happiness make us smile, too.
Our goal is a clinic filled with bright smiles.
- The smile of a patient relieved from pain
- The smile of a patient touched by the caring concern and kindness of our staff
- The smile of a staff member hearing a patient’s “Thank you!”
Why I decided to go into private practice
I was 43 years old (Confucius said “At forty, I had no more doubts”) when I started considering what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and what my life work would be, and I often found myself thinking about private practice.
- Up to that point I had focused entirely on orthopedic surgery, particularly hip surgery. But after 20 years of practicing specialized medicine, my subconscious mind began asking me if this was what I wanted or if there was something else I should be doing.
- I believe that everybody has a unique mission that can only be accomplished by that person. This mission is not given but must be discovered by each person.
Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist, psychologist, and Holocaust survivor, encouraged us all to not leave the story of our lives to be written by others or by our circumstances.
Frankl said, “You don’t create your mission in life – you detect it,” and “Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.”
I concluded that there must be a “one and only” mission for me. And after a lot of though, I realized it was becoming a community-based primary care physician.
The mission of our clinic (mission of my life)
- Commit to community-based orthopedic primary care and surgery
- Continue to seek new knowledge and techniques to improve the quality of orthopedic primary care that we provide
- Pay careful attention to each patient’s physical pain and emotional struggles regardless of age
- Provide thorough orthopedic primary care to reduce the number of fragility fractures in the southern Kaga region
- Provide thorough primary care to reduce the occurrence of developmental dysplasia of the hip among children, who are the future of our southern Kaga community
- Constantly reflect back my personal deep appreciation to this community for the opportunity to become an experienced orthopedic surgeon
I continue to consider it a privilege to operate on patients who need surgical treatment. However, I have come to believe that patients are happier with high-quality orthopedic primary care that enables them to avoid invasive surgeries. In particular, I feel strongly that improved primary care must provide the foundation for future medicine in Japan as we face an aging population and sharply declining birthrate.
I want to be part of building that foundation. I hope to pursue the best possible orthopedic primary care that will achieve the longest possible healthy life span for residents of the southern Kaga region. I believe this will send a message to the world and have a markedly positive effect on the future of Japanese medicine.
This belief is driven by the ever-increasing number of Japanese patients with osteoporosis and subsequent fragility fractures as a result of inadequate osteoporosis treatment in our very rapidly aging Japanese society.
When I completed medical school about 20 years ago, Japan had very few people over 90 years of age, and operations were rarely performed on elderly patients. But now surgeries are common in patients over 90.
My oldest surgery patient was over 100 years of age. I often notice that elderly patients receive insufficient or incomplete treatment for osteoporosis, just because they are old, and the patients are not aware of it. Such patients often suffer fractures, significantly decreasing their quality of life (QOL) and shortening their healthy life span.
As a hip specialist, I am also passionate about providing primary care for developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH), formerly called congenital hip dislocation. This condition is characterized by asymmetric skin folds at the thigh.
The hip joint consists of the femoral head (ball) and the acetabulum of the pelvis (socket). When the hip joint is loose or the top of the acetabulum is not naturally well-formed (acetabular dysplasia), the acetabulum does not cover the femoral head sufficiently, and the ball can easily come out of the socket. This underdeveloped hip socket is the cause of DDH.
The best treatment for DDH is prevention. However, diagnosis can be difficult and generally requires ultrasound screening.
According to the Japanese Pediatric Orthopaedic Association website, a patient should be examined by a specialist if more than two of the following risk factors are present: limited opening of hip joint (abduction limitation in flexion), asymmetric skin folds on the thigh, family history (presence of hip-joint diseases in relatives), female gender, breech presentation in delivery.
In the 1920s, Japan was considered a “high-DDH” country. However, by the 1970s a massive effort to raise the awareness of hip dislocation and establish a screening system for babies had reduced the incidence of DDH by more than 80%.
The following years saw a sharp decline in the number of DDH patients, partly because of the falling birthrate in Japan. But more recently, as younger medical professionals tend to be less aware of this condition and have less access to diagnostic tools, patients with DDH are increasing again.
The most important DDH countermeasure is early detection through well-baby checkups and screening. I have participated in seminars on pelvic ultrasound imaging in infants and have performed DDH screening at the university hospital. Drawing on that experience and knowledge, I hope that we can detect every single DDH case early and eliminate the need for DDH surgeries in the southern Kaga region.
Two more of my favorite passages from Viktor Frankl:
“We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life. The point is not what we expect from life, but rather what life expects from us. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.
Each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.”
I have found my own mission in life and have decided to be responsible for actively pursuing it. I will devote the rest of my life to orthopedic care in the southern Kaga community.