Functional Orthopedics

Get on the path to comprehensive healing and
long-term recovery today!

Top Los Angeles, CA osteopathic doctor, Dr. Shounuck Patel has coined the term Functional Orthopedics based on his foundational philosophy focused on Osteopathic Medicine, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R or Physiatry), and Functional Medicine.

  • Functional Medicine is a new specialty in which underlying causes of chronic illnesses are addressed through identifying and correcting core clinical imbalances.
  • Physiatry itself is holistic and collaborative in nature, with a focus on optimizing function in the face of injury.
  • The philosophy of Osteopathic Medicine states that (1) the body is a unit, (2) structure & function are interrelated (Physiatry), (3) the body has self-regulatory & self-healing mechanisms (Regenerative Medicine), and (4) rational treatment is based on applying these principles (Interventional Orthopedics)
I have adapted key concepts from these above schools of thought to create a comprehensive approach to orthopedic care. As depicted in the Functional Orthopedics Tree above, I look at the symptoms that are like the leaves that we can see, systemic imbalances that are the central trunk, and root causes that are underlying the surface. In such, Functional Orthopedics is as much a philosophy as it is a system of care. This methodology is not necessary for many orthopedic injuries in which there was a specific trauma or straightforward reason for pain. But if you have multiple areas of pain, or don’t know how you became injured, Functional Orthopedics is made to help you answer the question “why?”

How does it differ from Interventional Orthopedics?

Interventional Orthopedics solves some of these problems by taking image-guided injection procedures to the next level. No longer do we just inject the “pain generator,” but we also address all of the structural tissues that are involved in the functional unit of the body part that has an injury. In the knee, for example, pain may be coming from inflammation due to osteoarthritis, but there may be looseness to the ligaments, irritation to the tendons, wear of the bone under the cartilage, and tearing of the meniscus shock absorbers which are all involved in the function of the joint – treating all aspects with orthobiologics provides comprehensive treatment with better longer lasting results. 

In the absence of a specific trauma or injury, what is the reason why your knee became painful in the first place? Why does the outside of the knee hurt even though the inside has more arthritis? And why is it only one knee that is bothersome? Or why do you have pain in your elbow and shoulder on the same side? Or why do you have pain in your left hand if you’re right handed? You get the point. 

On the other end of the spectrum, there are Osteopathic physicians, Chiropractors and Functional Medicine providers that do a tremendous job at looking at the body as a whole and underlying issues, but may be limited in the breadth of their treatment options when it comes to orthopedic injuries and pain conditions.

Putting it all together.

Holistic Care

Functional Orthopedics is Dr. Patel’s overall approach that utilizes Interventional Orthobiologics, Osteopathic Manipulation, exercise, nutrition, and collaboration with other clinicians. This approach provides the patients  with the most comprehensive non-surgical care for orthopedic injuries and pain conditions. 


Dr. Patel and all of his staff will definitely ease your pain and worries. Having Spinal Stenosis, knee problems as well as ankle problems they have made my life so much better. My last treatment was 2 years and 3 months ago. I just did a second treatment this week. Before that I was getting spinal epidurals every 3 months and living on ibuprofen and pain prescriptions. I haven't had that anymore. It's been 2 years and 3 months. He offers so much care and spends all the time in the world with you.
Deby Pierce
My meniscus was disintegrating. After my platelet treatment, is now whole. It is a constant source of wonder to me that sidewalk curbs which used to seem like climbing Mount Everest are no longer a challenge. Seven months out, I’m still experiencing small improvements in mobility that I didn’t even realize I had lost. An altogether life-affirming experience.
Mary Allwright
I am extremely thankful for everything Dr. Patel and his staff have done for my husband. Dr. Patel was very thorough during the evaluation and answered all of our questions very carefully. During my husband’s Spine PRP procedure, everyone made him feel very comfortable and everything went very smooth. My husband is now doing great. Thank you so much for everything!
Eva Cardenas
I owe Dr. Patel my life. When I came to him I was in level 10 pain constantly, and had been bed ridden for several months. After 3 PRP treatments I am now a fully functioning human with zero pain throughout most of each day! I can even go back to activities like working out, dancing, and aerial arts! The diet and supplements he put me on even got rid of my migraines - something I've seen specialists for since I was 12!!! This man is brilliant, kind, funny, and extremely patient. He will sit with you and answer every little question you have and geek out with you on the science behind it. I literally trust him with my life.
Courtney Carini

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