David Walden, MD
When Centura Orthopedics & Spine surgeon Dr. David Walden, went to medical school, it was with the notion of becoming a neurosurgeon. But as his medical education progressed, he noticed something about orthopedic surgeons: They were happy.
“They loved what they did. And I really believe loving what you do makes you a better doctor,” Dr. Walden says.
After his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Dr. Walden completed a fellowship at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Ala., where he specialized in knee and shoulder repair.
From there, he became a pioneer in using less-invasive arthroscopic surgery techniques. Those techniques not only help patients recover more quickly, they provide greater precision during the surgical procedure, he says. As a result, injuries such as an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, which a few decades ago would have ended a professional athlete’s career, can now be successfully treated and fully recovered from.
“I enjoy athletes as patients,” Dr. Walden says. “They work hard at rehabilitation and recovery. They make their doctors look good. And it’s very gratifying to get somebody back to what they want to do.”
Like many of his colleagues at Centura Orthopedics & Spine, Dr. Walden credits his youthful involvement in sports — he played cornerback for his football team at Roy J. Wasson High School in Colorado Springs — with fueling his interest in helping athletes recover.
Practicing in Colorado Springs has given him the opportunity to treat the elite athletes who compete worldwide with the USA Basketball team. As team physician, he’s traveled to the Olympic Games, World Cup, Pan American Games, and, most recently, an international competition in Minsk, Belarus.
It’s not hard to understand why, after a couple of decades in the profession, Dr. Walden still counts himself as one of those orthopedic surgeons who loves what he does.