Aaron K. Salyapongse, M.D.

Joint Replacement, Fracture Care, Arthroscopic Surgery and General Orthopedics

“I see each patient as an individual with unique goals, anatomy, and problems requiring a treatment plan that best meets his or her specific needs.”


  • Fellowship, Adult Reconstruction - Hip and Knee Surgery
  • Medical Director, ValleyCare Health System, Joint Replacement Institute
  • Fellow, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Board Certified, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Dr. Salyapongse graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He earned his medical degree from the St. Louis University School of Medicine and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco, California. In addition to providing high quality general orthopedic care (fractures, sports injuries, hand and wrist injuries), Dr. Salyapongse completed a total joint fellowship at the New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, where he trained extensively in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the hip, knee, and shoulder. He utilizes advanced arthroscopic techniques to address a multitude of conditions involving the hip and knee.

Dr. Salyapongse also specializes in tissue-sparing techniques for hip and knee replacement surgery (including the anterior approach hip replacement, minimally invasive knee replacement, and customized knee replacement) that provide the potential for shorter recovery times, accelerated rehabilitation, and durable, long-lasting joint replacements. He also specializes in the diagnosis of problems and treatment of patients who have already had their joints replaced.

Dr. Salyapongse serves as the medical director of joint replacement at the ValleyCare Health System. He currently is a certified instructor for anterior approach hip replacement. He travels nationally to teach other surgeons how to perform this revolutionary procedure in hip replacement. He is also pioneering the use of customized technology for knee replacement surgery. This ensures that each individual receives a knee replacement, sized and positioned customized to your unique anatomy.

Dr. Salyapongse is fortunate to have Robin Fuessenish, PA-C as his physician assistant. Click here to learn more about PAs and the PA profession. 


Patient Education Videos

Below is a collection of animated videos that help patients understand the procedures and techniques utilized by Dr. Aaron K. Salyapongse, M.D.

Hip Procedures:

Knee Procedures:

Video: Anterior Approach

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Patient Reviews

“Anterior Hip Replacement - Surgery and hospital stay went very well. I was walking with the aid of a walker on the second day. Stayed on the walker for two days after leaving the hospital and then used a cane for about two weeks. Did my home therapy 3 times a day and went to professional therapy for about 10 sessions. I was playing golf before 2 months after surgery. I can't say enough about the skill and professionalism of all involved." – R. Senft

"I was very please with the treatment that was provided to me by Dr. Aaron Salyapongse and other staff. They are excellent. No other words can explain how superb they are." – Roger A.

"David, 2.5 years out from his hip replacement, hiking Yosemite."

"I was 64 years old when I had my left hip joint replaced by Dr. Salyapongse and the Webster team in November 2009. Although I have had a few minor "repair" surgeries earlier in life, this was my first major surgery. I could not have been more pleased with the process and the outcome. Dr. Salyapongse, the rest of the team at Webster, and coordination with hospital personnel were all outstanding and beyond my expectations. I felt like I was informed every step of the way, I knew what to expect, and never had a question or call that went unanswered. I expected my recovery to be pretty quick, and it was. I was back to work in an office in about 10 days, and back riding a bike on the Iron Horse Trail in 5 weeks. Now, almost 2 years after the surgery, I don't even think about my hip, and I feel great. No restrictions, no pain, no complaints, and regarding Webster Orthopedics - on a scale of 1 to 10, a perfect '10'" – P. Geddis

"I was treated very well at the front counter and was called into Dr. Salyapongse's office soon after my appointment time. The Doctor had a good manner and developed a good rapport with me. His opinion on my hip was conservative and seemed well thought out." – R. Jepson

"I had a new custom hip joint inserted on May 24th, 2011 by Doctor Salyaponge. He and I discussed my needs and the availability of a strong, collared, large replacement – and that is exactly what I got. The surgery obviously went very well and there were no complications anytime afterwards, though I will discuss which general anesthetic and post-op pain killers to use next time (when this hip wears out). I haven't noticed any geometry differences from the original and my range of motion is getting better. I walked out of the hospital two days later. The recovery felt rather slow, but then my muscles and tendons were very tight I guess even though I was still running three miles a week before surgery. If I hadn't been so restless the hospital stay would have been agreeable. The nurses were great as were all concerned doctors and therapists.

Three months – backpacked 25 mile round trip to 12,500 ft Mt Conness in Yosemite. I was very cautious and had no problems.
Four months – started running moderately again and went back to fencing. Felt like I had 90% use again.
Six months – Running uphill almost like old times and able to lunge better while fencing. Leg is much stronger. Felt like 90% use again.
Eight months – Leg getting stronger still. Felt like 90% use again. Obviously I had forgotten just how strong my legs used to be.
Ten months – Can actually run like I used to but don't, just to make sure I don't impact the hip too much. Even so I will fence agressively. The hip muscles still get pretty sore after a vigorous work out but that is okay. Feels like 90% use again. I won't feel 100% until I can do one-legged deep knee bends like before, maybe even with a backpack on. I forgot that it took three years for my partially torn ACL to heal completely.

Two more months untill my one year post-op. I'm anxious about what the X-rays will show. I have already put many miles on the new hip and have treated it like the good one, living the active lifestyle I always have. If it shows any wear so far I will be concerned. If it doesn't I will be ecstatic. Just a few years ago I would have been resigned to being crippled and half blind (had a cataract operation). Modern medicine and highly skilled surgeons! Thank-you Doctor Salyaponge and Jamie - and all support personnel!" - M. Stanly

D. Welch at the NBTS (National Brain Tumor Society) 5k walk in May.

“It was a very humbling yet awesome experience, especially since I was able to participate this year with both of my sons at my side. Many thanks to Dr. Salyapongse & my new hips!” – D. Welch

“After a couple of years of pain in my back and hip, I was referred to Dr. Talwar. Dr. Talwar realized the problem was not my back and referred me to Dr. Salyapongse. Dr. Salyapongse explained that I needed a total hip replacement at age 49. I found him to be extremely knowledgeable concerning the leading edge of technology in his field. He answered my questions, calmed my fears and made me feel comfortable with my decision to pursue the surgery. His follow-up care was exceptional and his support staff phenomenal. Five months later I developed an infection (strep b). This time I was even more impressed with Dr. Salyapongse's handling of this urgent situation. He explained my options clearly and at that point I knew that I had picked the right surgeon. My experience has been very positive and I feel he is an asset to your practice. He has given me back my active lifestyle free of hip pain.” – S. Shaw

" I had a knee replace a year and a half ago and now I am getting ready to do my other knee. It is amazing the difference it has made in my life. I was using a walker and now I am walker free!! I am ready for my upcoming surgery in May. I will than have two complete wonderful working legs!! Both Dr Sal and Jamie are incredible and a patient could not for any one better to care for you. Thank you for changing my life." – P.J. Glynn

"2009 - I had been having symptoms of numbness and tingling in my hands, and pain in my upper arms for some time. Not knowing anyone locally for a word-of-mouth suggestion for an orthopedic doctor, I found there were two larger practices in this area. I looked up Webster Orthopedics online and felt, from the reading I did that I felt very positive about making an appointment with a doctor from Webster.

I found out quickly that this was a group from doctors to P.A.s, to assistants and to back and front office staff, that work together, truly as a team to have the reputation that follows them. They are like a well oiled machine - a caring staff whose best interest is for the patient: taking care of their needs, answering questions, making them feel important and comfortable, explaining things, every step of the way, It made it a pleasure to go to the doctor's office. 

I made an appointment to see Dr. Robert Rovner. Through xrays and an MRI I found that I had problems with some of the disks in my cervical (neck) area. I felt, from the beginning, that Dr. Rovner was very thorough, answered my questions, and was a doctor who made me feel like my case was just as important as anyone else's. I felt at peace about having the cervical fusion done. 

My surgery was performed in March 2010. I knew what could be expected during my surgery and my recovery, and though one area took a little longer to heal, I felt encouraged when my questions were answered and any fear of the unknown was removed quickly. I have had health issues for many years, and the osteoarthritis that I have in many areas has caused a need for orthopedic attention.

I have also been under the care and treatment of Dr. Aaron Salyapongse for a bad right knee that is now bone-to-bone. The pain and discomfort, all the physical therapy that just wasn't able to help me, meant that considering a total knee replacement was what lay before me. A daunting thought at best. Again, I have great faith in Dr. Salyapongse's ability and knew this was the next step I needed to take. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, I haven't had the surgery as yet.

I have been under Dr. Salyapongse's care since early 2010, and contniue to see him in regards to my knees. As a patient, I sometimes feel like my questions may sound silly, but he has always taken the time I needed to explain things to me, in a way that made sense and I could easily understand. I KNOW that if things come together and I would be able to have the knee replacement, I wouldn't want anyone else to take care of me, or perform the surgery. 

It's easy to applaud one's doctors when they do such an awesome job of patient care and treatment, while at the same time perhaps take for granted the care and service provided by wonderful front and back office staff. I see my doctors in the Pleasanton and San Ramon offices and I don't want them to be overlooked for the (again) awesome work they do.

I have had situations when I had to make appointment changes "on the day of" or had questions that needed answers, and I was always met with a smile, a welcoming attitude, the answers I needed, while at the same time, the staff was very professional, and yet didn't lose sight of who the patient was, what they needed, and how to keep everything working well and together.

I've worked for different medical practices in my adult life and so I've seen both sides -being a patient, as well as being an employee. It is true, there can be doctors who have adopted a god-like attitude about themselves - it has never been like that in my experiences with Webster Orthopedics.

I would heartily recommend this practice and know that someone coming to W.O. for their care would not be disappointed, and I would never regret having made the suggestion. There is no perfect situation, no perfect office experience, or perfect people. The difference is in attitude. Even if you encounter a situation beyond anyone's control, it is handled in a way that you don't feel upset, but rather, can accept a doctor's day running behind and it taking longer to be seen, or perhaps a phone call returned later than anticipated. Even these situations are handled with care and the desire to work things out for everyone's best interest is what stands out most of all.

KUDOS all around, and no one should be overlooked. I have praise for both offices and the doctors and staff that have taken care of my orthopedic needs." – S. Basye