The RestorePDX team is growing! We’re excited to have another specialist on-board to help diagnose and treat all of your orthopedic, spine, and joint problems. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Kirk Whetstone!
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Whetstone to diagnose and treat your orthopedic, spine or joint problems.
Fast Facts About Our Newest Spine and Joint Doctor:
Name: Dr. Kirk Whetstone (He/Him/His)
University of Washington, Fellow in Pain Medicine
University of Washington, Resident in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Riverside Methodist Hospital, Intern in Preliminary Internal Medicine
Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Doctorate in Medicine (MD)
Capital University, Bachelor’s Degree
Dr. Whetstone has been in the field since 2010 and practicing as a specialist in spine and joint since 2014. He has helped thousands of patients and performed thousands of advanced procedures.
Get to Know Dr. Whetstone
Finding the Perfect Fit in the Pacific Northwest
Dr. Kirk Whetstone was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio but fell in love with the Pacific Northwest after completing his residency and fellowship at the University of Washington (Go huskies!). After completing his fellowship, Dr. Whetstone returned to Ohio to work for OhioHealth, rated one of the top five large health systems in America by IBM Watson Health. In this role he saw thousands of patients with spine and joint issues and helped create new programs and pathways for their treatment.
Last year, while researching practices across the country who specialize in joint, spine, and Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Whetstone came across RestorePDX. He was immediately drawn to the philosophy and breadth of the practice. With ties to the Pacific Northwest (Dr. Whetstone met his husband in Seattle!) he knew RestorePDX would be a perfect fit. After chatting with RestorePDX Founder Dr. Desai, both quickly realized Dr. Whetstone’s clinical background and style of care would be a great fit for RestorePDX. The rest is history!
Dr. Whetstone Specializes in the Management of Non-Surgical Orthopedic, Spine, and Joint Issues
Dr. Whetstone is a Physical Medicine and Rehab (PM&R) doctor, which is a specialty just like pediatrics or cardiology. The focus of this specialty is the management of non-surgical orthopedic, spine, and joint issues like back pain, neck pain, knee arthritis, tendon wear and tear, and sports injuries. PM&R doctors typically provide treatments like physical therapy, injections, and medications, and may direct patients to other trusted providers as well, including chiropractors, massage therapists, etc.
Armed with this specialized perspective and background, Dr. Whetstone works with patients to restore function and improve their quality of life. Achieving this goal means something different for everyone, whether that’s a 20-year-old athlete, 60-year-old weekend warrior, or an 80-year-old who wants to be able to play with her grandchildren at the park. No matter what the patient’s individual needs are, Dr. Whetstone enjoys working with people from all walks of life and setting individualized goals for their care.
Pain relief is possible. Click here to schedule an appointment to discuss your orthopedic, spine, or joint problems.
Harnessing the Power of Regenerative Medicine to Manage Pain and Heal Spine and Joint Pain
After using “conventional treatments” like medication and steroids for years, Dr. Whetstone was drawn to the potential of regenerative medicine treatments. While conventional treatments still have a role for some people, they can have downsides and often only provide short-term relief. Regenerative Medicine (sometimes also referred to as Orthobiologic Medicine) uses the patient’s own cells and growth factors, which can have a powerful healing and/or pain relief effect.
Seeing the healing potential of these treatments, Dr. Whetstone was eager to offer these exciting, groundbreaking, and less invasive treatment options to his patients. His patients’ testimonies are evidence he can treat most spine, joint, and tendon issues with regenerative medicine. Examples include spine disc issues, arthritis in joints/spine, or tendinopathy (tendon wear and tear). While many people can benefit from these treatments, Regenerative Medicine is not one-size-fits-all and an appointment is needed to determine a customized plan of care.
A Collaborative Care Process to Diagnose Your Spine and Joint Problems and Create a Treatment Plan
Dr. Whetstone believes that his top two priorities as a physician are to teach his patients and to identify the correct diagnosis. His goal is to help patients understand the cause of their symptoms, then teach them about the problem and the options available. During each initial visit, Dr. Whetstone conducts a thorough physical examination and reviews records and imaging. Based on this information, he will order additional imaging or complete a work-up when needed.
Then, the most important part begins. Dr. Whetstone will sit down with you to walk through your imaging. Using pictures or models, he will walk you through the situation and talk with you about what is going on. This overview allows Dr. Whetstone to have an honest and transparent discussion with you about all options from A to Z. Dr. Whetstone’s goal is to guide you through the process. He believes that decision-making should be a joint (pun intended!) effort between doctors and patients. He will give you additional resources and reading material or direct you to trusted online websites with accurate medical information so that you can empower yourself with your own research, if you’d like.
Q&A with Dr. Whetstone
We sat down with Dr. Whetstone to get some answers to frequently asked patient questions. If you have additional questions, give us a call at 503-535-8302 or send us an email!
Why should people consider non-surgical options like Regenerative Medicine?
First, it is important to note that surgery 100 percent has a role for some patients. I am honest with patients when I feel that surgery is likely needed. I have a network of spine and joint surgeons who I trust, and I will always do my best to make sure each patient gets connected to a surgeon that can provide excellent care.
However, many people with spine, joint, and tendon issues do not need surgery or may not want surgery for health, financial, or personal reasons. A majority of these people would benefit from an appointment to at least discuss non-surgical treatments and see if Regenerative Medicine might be an option.
“Many people with spine, joint, and tendon issues do not need surgery or may not want surgery for health or personal reasons. A majority of these people would benefit from an appointment to at least discuss non-surgical treatments and see if Regenerative Medicine might be an option.”
Is Regenerative Medicine effective? What would you say to people who are skeptical?
It is healthy to be initially skeptical about any procedure or surgery. As a physician, it’s my job to help answer questions, discuss honest risks and benefits for each procedure, and make sure that any skepticism is relieved and addressed. I tell patients to view an office appointment with me as an “information gathering” session – no strings attached. Many times, patients want to go home and discuss options with family and friends before deciding, which is very normal. I would have these treatments myself and have encouraged my family and friends who are good candidates to pursue Regenerative Medicine, which is really the best testament.
What sets RestorePDX apart? Why did you want to join the practice?
When I first learned about RestorePDX, I got really excited about how cutting edge, innovative, and holistic the practice is. I also really believe in the value and power of regenerative medicine. A lot of the traditional tools that we have used in spine, joint, and pain medicine really are not that effective. For example, a lot of our traditional medications like ibuprofen and steroids have more risk and downsides than doctors originally thought. These treatments certainly have a place in care plans, but we need more innovative medicine and to harness the healing potential of our own bodies.
“I also really believe in the value and power of regenerative medicine. A lot of the traditional tools that we have used in spine, joint, and pain medicine really are not that effective.”
Will patients see you every time they visit? If they need to see another specialist, will you work with them to find the right person?
As the practice of medicine has become more complex, it is nearly impossible for every doctor to be an expert at everything. I will do my best to be a patient’s home base for spine and joint care. However, sometimes one of my RestorePDX partners may have a particular expertise or complete a procedure that I do not, and I’d ask them for help with patient care.
Sometimes patients need surgery, and I will work with them to find a trusted surgical partner who can meet your needs. Medicine is always a team effort!
What can patients expect when they talk with you?
I would describe my communication style as thorough and honest. I believe communication is a two-way street that involves active listening and thorough explanations. I encourage patients to ask questions and express opinions. I try to answer questions in easy-to-understand language. Doctors sometimes slip into medical jargon and I try my best to avoid this. I am also committed to getting back to patients quickly about their healthcare, whether it’s test results or answering questions.
Should patients bring a friend or family member with them to their appointment?
Having a friend or family member attend an appointment can be helpful, especially if the patient is trying to make serious decisions about procedures or when we’re reviewing imaging, as they can provide support. It is nice to be able to bring family, but a trusted friend is great too if the patient is comfortable having medical conversations in front of them.
With our current COVID-19 restrictions, only patients are able to meet in our office. However, we are currently using telemedicine for appointments, making it easy for family or friends to join. I often also write a summary of the visit when the patient feels it would be helpful to convey information to a spouse or loved ones.
Is it safe to visit RestorePDX during the pandemic? Do you offer virtual appointments?
Keeping my patients and my colleagues safe at RestorePDX during the COVID-19 pandemic is my top priority. Currently, we are conducting initial evaluations through secure telemedicine.
What do you do in your spare time?
In my free time I enjoy traveling, gardening, board games, cooking, hiking, college football, and tennis. I also play on several intramural sports teams. My husband, Phil, and I have a dog and enjoy taking her with us while exploring Portland.
Schedule your appointment with Dr. Whetstone!