Drs. Sands, Lombardo join Steward Health Care team

BREVARD COUNTY ― Many people view physicians as having a special calling to their vocation. In reality, medical doctors often decide to pursue their professions for widely divergent reasons.

That’s the case with two surgeons who are new to the Steward Healthcare family.

Anthony Lombardo, MD, a longtime orthopedic surgeon, now at Melbourne Regional Medical Center, said that the love of things mechanical was one of his major influences.

“I just feel this is what I should be doing,” Dr. Lombardo said. “In orthopedics, you’re always figuring things out, having to adapt – ‘MacGyvering’ things. You go from plan A to plan B to plan C, which is a challenge I like.”

Dr. Lombardo has practiced in Brevard County since 1989.

A member of the Steward Healthcare team, Dr. Lombardo earned his medical degree from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he also interned. He completed his four-year orthopedic surgical internship at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Lombardo practices sports medicine and orthopedics dealing with knees, hips and shoulders. Among his specialties are total joint replacements, arthroscopic knee and rotator cuff surgery, and reconstructive orthopedics – both for adults and children 10 years and older. He works on everything orthopedic except spine.

Interest in medicine runs in his family. Dr. Lombardo’s father was a heart surgeon who received his training from legendary cardiologist Dr. Michael DeBakey. When the elder Lombardo invited his son to watch some heart surgery in a Miami hospital, the younger was hooked. But not necessarily on cardiac medicine.

“I had an interest in that, but decided I would much rather be an orthopedic surgeon than a cardiac surgeon,” Dr. Lombardo said. “I like mechanical things. I enjoy building things, working on cars. I’ve always been mechanically inclined. It was natural for me.”

Dr. Lombardo is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Medical Association, the Florida Medical Association, the Brevard County Medical Society and the Florida Orthopaedic Society.

Kenneth Sands, MD, who has also joined Steward Healthcare, originally found himself in medicine out of compassion for children. Accordingly, he wanted to be a pediatrician. But during his medical education, he did a rotation in orthopedics and quickly realized that was what his niche.

“As I went through medical school, I realized that orthopedics is a great specialty, as far as helping people,” Dr. Sands said. “People usually come in with some kind of acute or semi-acute pain and we’re able to make them better rather quickly.”

Dr. Sands also practices at Melbourne Regional Medical Center.

He specializes in minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery to relieve joint pain. He graduated from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans and completed his residency at State University of New York in Brooklyn. His fellowship in orthopedic joint replacement surgery was at the Florida Orthopaedic Institute in Tampa.

Looking back, Dr. Sands said it was the dinner table where he first informed his parents of his plans to become a physician. “They asked me what I wanted to do,” Dr. Sands said. “I told them I was pretty good in science and I like people, and I realized that medicine was a career that allowed me to combine those two things.”

Board-certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, Dr. Sands belongs to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons. Before coming to Florida, he practiced in Rome, Ga., serving as medical director of a total joint center he helped set up.

Dr. Sands is a U.S. Army veteran who was director of William Beaumont Army Medical Center’s program for adult joint reconstruction. He was also a faculty member at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in El Paso, Texas.

“It’s a pretty happy specialty,” Dr. Sands said. “There are some specialties out there that deal with a lot more life-or-death situations, but in orthopedics, we really do get to change people’s lives. Pain is a big factor in people’s lives and it’s nice to be able to help them.”

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