VAIL — Steve Singleton likes sports and he wanted to work with his hands and with people who worked like a team. The occasional mental challenge would also be great.
So naturally he fell into a career as an orthopedic surgeon.
Now he’s the new surgeon at the Steadman Philippon Research Institute and the Steadman Clinic, taking over Dr. Richard Steadman’s practice — which raises the question, “How to you replace a legend?”
His answer? You don’t.
“There’s no replacing someone like Dr. Steadman. No one person can fill those shoes,” Singleton said. “This is a special group and a special place. Who wouldn’t want to be in this group? The whole group is a compilation of outstanding surgeons and orthopedic scientists.”
Steadman isn’t going anywhere. Singleton joined the practice in April and is sharing an office with him. Singleton smiles as he points out that Steadman’s desk is bigger, Steadman’s view looks out over Vail Mountain and his chair is more comfortable.
It’s not a sudden move. Beginning in November of 2012, Singleton has been working with Steadman as he transitions into retirement. He’s a former Steadman fellow (1997) and in 2004 became a founding member of the Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas. When that clinic relocated to Greenville, South Carolina, Singleton remained in Spartanburg and launched Village Orthopaedic Surgery in 2008.
“Dr. Steadman has been a mentor, colleague and friend for a long time,” Singleton said.
‘TREAT EVERYONE THE SAME’
All sorts of international sports stars roll through the clinic, but we all tend to look alike on the inside.
“We don’t tend to get star struck. We treat everyone the same. The knee and cartilage tend to be similarly constructed at the molecular level,” Singleton said smiling.
Steadman has treated more than 12,000 patients since relocating to Vail from Lake Tahoe.
“Helping people return to their normal lives and healthy physical activity has been just as rewarding as getting an Olympic skier back on the slopes or an NFL player back on the field,” Steadman said.
Singleton graduated from Stanford University and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He completed his sports medicine fellowship at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail in 1997. He returned to Texas with his family, entering private practice in his hometown of Fort Worth.
He worked as an orthopedic surgeon and team physician with the Texas Rangers professional baseball team, the University of Texas-Arlington Division I collegiate teams and Texas Wesleyan University athletic teams. He also served as an orthopedic surgery consultant to the National Hockey League Players Association, and between 1996-2001, he worked as team physician with the United States ski and snowboard teams.
Steadman’s assistant, Cristal Adams, has been with Steadman since 1988, when the practice was in Lake Tahoe. She’s staying with Singleton.
“That’s been the glue. People come in looking for Dr. Steadman and they’ve known her for years,” Singleton said.
Singleton and his wife, Marion, are the parents of twin sons, Jon Thomas and Jake.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
“There’s no replacing someone like Dr. Steadman. No one person can fill those shoes. This is a special group and a special place. Who wouldn’t want to be in this group? The whole group is a compilation of outstanding surgeons and orthopedic scientists.”
Dr. Steven Singleton