Dr. Robert Bruce of the Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic just might have the cure for what ails you.
It’s been said that a good physician treats disease but that a great physician treats the patient first. Dr. Robert Bruce is that great physician.
Getting through life relatively unscratched is not a common path for most people. In fact, if your journey to this point has not been paved with a few bumps, bruises, and injuries along the way, then consider yourself fortunate. For everyone else, however, stumbling blocks occur. Thankfully, there exists a wealth of incredibly talented and dedicated physicians who will treat you with the care and compassion you deserve, all while bringing the latest in technology designed to get you back on the road to happiness and good health as quickly as possible.
For a teenager who has sustained a broken arm in a soccer game or a middle-aged do-it-yourselfer who let a bit of hard work, determination and sweat equity lead to a repetitive injury or even if you are in the afternoon of life and certain mobility issues have slowed you down a bit, Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic just might have the cure for what ails you. The experts at Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic (KCB&J) stand at the ready to assist, including Dr. Robert Bruce, Senior Partner.
When you first meet Dr. Robert Bruce as a patient and instantly feel as if you are in trusted, caring and healing hands, then please don’t waver from that initial conclusion. An experienced specialist in the field of orthopedic medicine, Dr. Bruce, a board-certified orthopedic physician and surgeon specializing in treating disorders of the bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments, brings nearly three decades of experience to the table. Treating young and old alike (although he does not see pediatric patients), Dr. Bruce’s patients may present with any number of musculoskeletal disorders.
Since 1970, KCB&J has provided extensive orthopedic service to patients struggling with musculoskeletal disorders and injuries. When they first opened their doors, they were located on the campus of Research Medical center on Prospect. They subsequently opened a second location at Menorah Medical Center in Overland Park and then began at their current location at 107th and Nall, where they have been compassionately serving patients for the past 10 years. Additionally, another office was opened in March of 2015 in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
Along with general orthopedic surgery and physical medicine and rehabilitation, KCB&J has orthopaedic surgeons with fellowship training in total joint replacement, sports medicine, hand surgery, foot and ankle surgery, knee, shoulder, and ankle arthroscopy. All of the clinic’s physicians are Board-Certified, having passed rigorous oral and written examinations as well as performed multiple surgical cases as reviewed by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. In a nutshell, if it’s an experienced and trusted physician you want, then you have come to the right place. The clinic is home to a wealth of medical specialists, including orthopaedic surgeons, rehab (or physiatrists) physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
In a sense, Dr. Bruce and his partners are in the business of extending the warranty of your frame. If you are one of roughly 28 million Americans who deal with musculoskeletal problems each year which limit your mobility or interfere with your daily activities, it might be time to seek the consultation of a medical professional who is well-versed in this department. There are many reasons why one might need to visit an orthopedic clinic, but the primary ones include the desire to reduce pain; restore motion; prevent future injuries; perhaps stop the need for surgery; and find a way to return to your favorite activities.
As a Senior Partner at Kansas City Bone and Joint Clinic, a division of Signature Medical Group of Kansas City, P.A., Dr. Bruce began his practice there in 1988, but he instinctively realized many years’ prior that serving others in the role of medical care was always his calling and passion. Growing up in the Lake Quivira area, his family doctor lived nearby and Dr. Bruce remembered how favorably he influenced him as a young man.
“That was at a time when our doctor would occasionally make house calls,” he recalled, emphasizing how impressed he was by the doctor’s passion for his work. “He seemed larger than life spiritually and compassionately.”
While he was a student at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, Dr. Bruce was involved in both track and basketball, both of which inevitably caused him to sustain a few injuries along the way. Although he was usually treated by an orthopedic surgeon at the time, the practice of sports medicine was making some initial headway into the field of medicine, and that medical discipline greatly intrigued Dr. Bruce.
“I’ve known since I was a kid that I wanted to be a doctor, and when I heard about sports medicine, I knew that was something in which I was very interested,” he said.
After completing his pre-med undergraduate studies at Kansas State University, Dr. Bruce spent a year working as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), which was an integral part of not only his learning process but also what intensified his desire for a career in orthopedic medicine.
“During that time, I saw many orthopedic injuries in patients that ultimately needed surgical care. It really made me want to repair these patients’ lives” expressed Dr. Bruce.
After that inaugural year, Dr. Bruce transitioned to study medicine at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and even though it is typical of students in that arena to go in with one idea in mind and emerge in a completely different medical discipline, Dr. Bruce never swayed from his intended goal.
“It became clear to me that orthopedics was right for me. After each rotation, I wanted to go back to ortho!” he said.
After four years of medical school, five years of internship and residency and one year specializing in sports medicine through a fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Bruce returned to his roots in the metro area, as he always knew he wanted to practice here. After speaking with several orthopedic groups in town, he accepted the opportunity to work at Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic and has remained an integral part of the medical team ever since and has been President of KCBJ for the past ten years.
He began his career in general orthopedics and enhanced his resume further by working with the St. Thomas Aquinas football team as its sports doctor and then worked with local small colleges. Dr. Bruce was also the orthopedic surgeon for the Kansas City Ballet for 12 years. Eventually, his practice consisted of a balance between sports medicine and orthopedics. His current focus includes arthroscopic knee and shoulder surgery, as well as performing numerous anterior approach total hip replacements and total knee replacements, both of which are less invasive, allowing for a faster recovery time and less pain.
In keeping patients’ interests at top of mind, Dr. Bruce insists on keeping pace with medical advancements and is a member of the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, “the preeminent provider of musculoskeletal education to orthopaedic surgeons and others in the world.” As such, he has the opportunity to assist patients with the latest in technologies and practices.
“I am currently using a new guidance system for total knee replacements that makes the alignment specific for each patient,” he said. “Hopefully this will allow the replacements to last longer with fewer revisions.”
Dr. Bruce also referred to a most common outpatient knee surgery, repairing or removing a torn meniscus.
“I learned how to perform this procedure in Pennsylvania in which we only give the patient local anesthesia,” noted Dr. Bruce. While some patients may feel a bit squeamish initially, Dr. Bruce assured it’s relatively easy and, in many cases, fascinating for the patient.
“About 10 minutes into the procedure, some might start asking questions about it. ‘What’s that? Is that why my knee hurts?’” he said. “The whole procedure usually takes just about 20 minutes and through the use of local anesthesia, our goal is to shorten the patient’s recovery time and reduce the risk of getting sick from anesthesia. The patient also has a better understanding of what is wrong with his/her knee.”
Dr. Bruce enjoys privileges at St. Luke’s South Hospital, Menorah Medical Center, Research Medical Center, the Surgicenter of Kansas City (one of the most successful centers in the country) and the Mid-America Surgical Institute and dedicates about half of his work week to surgical procedures.
And while it takes a great team to restore a patient to full health, it also takes a great team to get a doctor to such a successful level. With that in mind, Dr. Bruce is quick to credit his wife Pam for her strong support over the years. High school sweethearts, the couple married just two weeks after graduating from college together, and while Dr. Bruce continued with his academic endeavors, Pam was the glue that held the family together.
“She supported us until I began my residency,” he explained. “She worked in the clothing retail industry and ultimately sold computers for Unisys.” When he became a Senior Resident, they began their family, which now consists of grown daughters Stephanie, 30, and Katherine, 27, both of whom are pursuing post-collegiate careers in Los Angeles, California.
Avid supporters of their community, Dr. Bruce and Pam have a sincere passion for the arts and are proud supporters of the Kansas City Symphony, the Lyric Opera and the Kansas City Ballet.
“Pam has chaired the auctions for the Lyric and Symphony Balls and has raised significant funds for these two organizations,” noted Dr. Bruce, adding that Pam has also been selected as Co-Chair for the Symphony Ball in 2017.
When it comes time to relax, Dr. Bruce enjoys working on his golf game, an interest he shares with his wife. The couple also enjoys dining out at Café Provence and the Capital Grille.
Dr. Bruce still manages to find time to fill his docket, however, and in addition to his practice, his family, his hobbies and his community involvement, he also serves on the Board of Directors of Signature Medical Group and of the Surgicenter of Kansas City. He formerly was the President of the Medical Staff at Research Medical Center and was on the Board of Directors during that time.
Dr. Bruce credits his ongoing education in the latest procedures to his passion for helping his patients. He strives to significantly reduce their recovery time and to improve everyday life.