Q&A with David Silverberg, orthopedic surgeon with Silver State Orthopedics

Dr. David Silverberg isn’t just an orthopedic surgeon. He’s also a patient.

Silverberg’s love for recreational sports — especially basketball — is writ large across his joints. With three knee surgeries, a hip surgery and a torn rotator cuff on his medical chart, the Philadelphia native literally feels the pain of his patients at Silver State Orthopedics, the Maryland Parkway practice he’s run for eight years.

Thanks to a steady stream of patients with arthritic shoulders and injured elbows, Silver State Orthopedics is growing. The practice just bought an ultrasound for on-site diagnosis, and it’s moving to a new suite just east of Sunrise Hospital. The office will have about 20 percent more space to accommodate additional diagnostic equipment and a growing client base. When he’s not running his practice, Silverberg is the orthopedic-trauma director at Sunrise Hospital Medical Center.

Why orthopedics?

I didn’t decide on a practice until I went to medical school. At that point, my first influence was my peer group. Some of my friends were going into orthopedics and they had similar interests as I did. We were all athletically inclined, and orthopedics has quite a bit to do with form and function and making athletes whole again. As I got more experience as medical student, I realized there was a lot of creativity in being a good orthopedic surgeon. And some of the equipment you use in orthopedic surgery is certainly unique to its field. Finally, it’s a happy field. There are a lot of fields in medicine that deal with moribund issues. In orthopedics, people start healthy and want to live a better life.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The surgeries and the creativity make it very challenging. No two surgical cases are alike. Everybody’s body is different. There’s very little monotony.

What’s the hardest thing?

I run my business as a sole practitioner, and the most frustrating thing is personnel. I understand people move on, but for some reason, I thought things would be consistent and you would always have the same staff. It’s been an eye-opener. It’s very hard to find qualified people who meet your standards.

What brought you to Las Vegas?

My health. My grandparents who lived here when I was a kid. I had really bad asthma, and when I spent time here, my asthma would clear up. I remembered that when I was looking for a job eight years ago. Las Vegas and the Southwest were booming, and my parents had started wintering in Arizona. So it was a combination of opportunity, my health and being comfortable with the Southwest.

What’s your favorite restaurant for celebrating a career milestone?

Joe’s Stone Crab at the Forum Shops (at Caesars). Every time I go there, it’s just happening. There are a ton of people there, and the restaurant is half in the mall, so there’s a live atmosphere. The ambience is fun. And the help is the best help in town. The waiters are the most professional, and I’ve never seen any turnover. They’ve had the same waiters for the last 10 to 15 years. I eat the fish and chips, and it’s probably the best fish and chips I’ve ever had. It’s a really clean and simple dish.

How do you unwind after a long day?

If I have any energy left, I do stretching and power yoga. I’ve just started taking Vinyasa lessons. It creates more energy and it just makes you feel alive again. If I don’t have any energy, I lie down, take off my shoes and let my feet breathe. I try to find a sci-fi show on TV — something that takes me as far as possible from reality.

What’s the one must-see attraction you always take visitors to see?

If they’ve never been here, I take them to the Bellagio atrium to see the displays. Second would be Red Rock Canyon. We take our three kids out there. It’s really peaceful.