Dr. Richard K. Ryu

Doctor (M.D.)

Santa Barbara, California Map External Link
Santa Maria, California Map External Link
Specialty:Orthopedics / Sports
Website: santabarbaraorthopedics... External Link
Practice: Dr.Graham Hurvitz, Corporation
Med. School:University Of California, San Francisco School Of Medicine
Grad. Year: 1980

Answers Email: Unknown
Online Appt. Scheduling: N
Accepting New Patients:Y

Profile updated 20/10/13    Submit profile update    Subscribe to profile updates

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (5 is best), based on 31 reviews. Dr. Richard K. Ryu has a good overall rating on RateMDs.com. smile

New! - Questions and answers about this doctor

Orthopedics / Sports-related: hand surgery, arthritis surgery, knee surgery, back surgery, spine surgery, scoliosis, athletic injuries, sports injuries, sprained knees, back strains, broken bones, torn ligaments
The following ratings and comments have not been substantiated by RateMDs.com.
Date Staff Punctual Helpful Knowledge Review Comments
RID: 5462877
09/05/14 2 3 2 4 I had knee surgery to replace an ACL. Dr. Ryu apparently damaged the Sciatic nerve or did something that caused damage to the nerve. Almost two years later I still have severe, frequent shooting pains that travel up and down my leg, just above my ankle to the vicinity of my butt. Dr. Ryu disavowed all responsibility. I never had Sciatica or any similar condition before my accident; never experience this kind of pain during the nearly three months following my accident and leading up to the surgery, but soon after the surgery I started having these pains in my leg. In addition, the area to the right of my knee is completely numb. Both of these conditions are the result of the surgery performed by Dr. Ryu. Because of him, I have what now appears to be a permanent disability. Dr. Ryu has a very poor bedside manner. He treats his patients as if they are morons and he is some kind of genius. Please take my advice and find another doctor. 
Insurance: Workers Comp
RID: 4289183
24/01/14 5 5 5 5 Dr. Ryu is the best! I didn't experience anything negative. Dr. Ryu is excellent surgeon and during office visits were straight to the point. Before the surgery he took time to come and talk with me and assure me everything will go well (as it sure did)! First of all I am fighter and dislocated my shoulder completely (1cm tear). Dr. Ryu immediately recommended surgery. The procedure and recovery was easy and painless (there was a little bit of discomfort, but no biggie). Dr. Ryu had me visit him every 2 weeks for the following 6 months where he took the time to check my range of motion and give me new exercises to recover my strength. I had fun doing the exercises and now 7 months later I am stronger than I ever have been before! I am back in training again, the shoulder is doing really well and I have gained 6 pounds of muscle in last two months without any issues! If you are an athlete and need shoulder surgery have no fear go for Dr. Ryu! 
Insurance: United Healthcare
Paid (or co-pay): $3500
RID: 3642231
25/12/13 5 5 4 5 Still early in my recovery from shoulder surgery (typing with one hand!), but I have two observations about Dr. Ryu: First, he is probably the best surgeon that you will find to do a shoulder procedure. He gave me some video clips of the surgery from the arthroscope and I was shocked at how fast he was able to tie the sutras, especially compared to the other videos I've seen online. Removing the bandages after two weeks, I was almost unable to locate one of the incision points. Second, he is very brief in his appointments – he diagnosed my tear in about 10 minutes (MRI and arthroscope showed that he was correct). I like more explicit instructions, and if you don't know what to ask, he won't tell you – so read up a little on your own, and go prepared with questions when you meet with him. He is straightforward and skilled in what he does – shoulder surgery. But he won't walk you through things, and his office visits are quite curt. 
Insurance: Anthem
20/10/13 SYSTEM: First Name changed from "Richard" to "Richard K." 
RID: 1524678
29/08/11 5 5 5 5 I have had a shoulder and recently a reconstructd knee with Dr. Ryu over the last 13 years. I have observed NONE of the negative situations mentioned. I have found him very concerned, informative and c,ourteous. He is prompt so be there a couple minutes early. Its a big thing with him that you don't wait. He doesn't tend to spend much time with you, as he has reviewed your films and simply gives gives you your options. I don't believe you can do better anywhere in the country! Also, your surgery will be ontime. His nurses and anethesioligist are obviously held to a very high standard. Jim W. 
Insurance: Blue Cross / Blue Shield
RID: 1516447
18/08/11 5 4 1 1 I had a very poor experience with Dr Ryu. When in the office he appeared to be short tempered or frustrated when asked to explain anything. I went in for a PCL construction and was shocked to awake with a reconstructed LCL and moved popletius. My PCL untouched by the surgery still had grade 3 laxity. This surgery was disastrous for the next seven years of my life. I just had the PCL done again by a PCL specialist and was informed my popletius was completely detached which raises serious questions. Dr Ryu, should refer patients to qualified specialist as opposed to aborting surgeries mid operation. So I was charged for a needless surgery and informed about things we already knew from the MRI. Terrible experience with this doctor. 
Insurance: Anthem
RID: 1432722
04/05/11 4 5 1 1 I have a shoulder injury that causes me pain, but I walked out of his office. The man has a major chip on HIS shoulder. He was combative when I asked questions, then downright rude and insulting. Maybe he passed the medical bar, but he has failed in life IMO.  Respond
RID: 1313167
12/12/10 2 5 1 2 I'm so relieved to find other terrible reviews of Dr.Ryu here.When you mention his name everyone says he's the best. I was so excited to be referred to him. I was warned by my acupuncturist that he has bad bed side manners. When I came there he quickly examined my shoulder(1 min)and tells me that I need a MRI. I started to get teary eyed because he was so unfriendly and I do not have insurance.I asked if there was a alternative. He snapped on me and told me that I was a very angry and emotional person that has come to take my frustrations out on him and that he feels uncomfortable in his own office. It was very bizarre and kinda creepy. He repeated himself a few times and I just had to walk out. He didn't charge me. I called to make a complaint and the receptionist was very unprofessional..She said he is too busy and popular to take your complaint. Wow! maybe I should complain to the medical board. I'm finding out through some other docs that he has a bad rep in that manner  Respond
RID: 1255226
21/09/10 5 5 5 5 I have seen several shoulder doctors in Santa Barbara at this point, and Dr. Ryu definitely inspired the most confidence, was the most professional, and was most conservative in terms of recommending surgery, all of which I liked. He really helped my shoulder recover on its own as much as possible. In the end I did need surgery, and because of insurance I had to go to someone else, which I regret. Talking to his patients in the physical therapy offices, it seems that they have better and faster recovery than people who went to other doctors. I think it is really worth going to him if you can. Shoulder surgery is serious and complex, and recovery can be awful - I wish I had realized what a difference it makes. Also, he was very friendly and professional, so I don't agree with some of the reviews here. In any case, you want a good surgeon, not a best friend.  Respond
RID: 1217759
28/07/10 3 5 1 1 Dr Ryu spent less than 2 minutes in the exam room with me. He became extremely agitated when I asked him any questions. After I pressed me for answers, he declared that I was disrespectful and said that "we" could not work together. He told me there would be "no charge" for the multiple x-rays he took of my knee. Very bizarre experience. He accused me of calling him a "narcissist," and told me to find another doctor. Will do !!!!!!!!! 
Insurance: Blue Cross / Blue Shield
RID: 1216880
27/07/10 5 5 5 5 Dr. Ryu did my ACL surgery and was excellent. I went to 3 doctors who all gave me a different prognosis that I didn't believe until I saw Dr. Ryu. He immediately knew what the problem was and how to fix it. It was a standard ACL tear, but I was very confident in his abilities and my scars are the smallest and least intrusive of all my friends who have also gotten the surgery. I would recommend Dr. Ryu to anyone! 
Insurance: Blue Cross / Blue Shield
RID: 1100149
08/02/10 5 5 1 5 When you mention Dr. Ryu to anyone within a 100 mile radius of Santa Barbara you get all the "oohs & aahs". He is the best at what he does. With that being said he is cold, curt, rude, somewhat obnoxious & has a God complex. He is very unapprochable & will not answer most of your questions directly & then acts as though you're an idiot for asking them. It's almost as if his attitude is "I'm the best & you have no right to question me." And if you ever need him after hours be prepared to get blasted! I didn't need a social hour or chit-chat. I needed medical questions answered without being insulted & treated rudely! The surgery was a success but as far as I'm concerned this man is a failure with social skills, has no bedside manner at all, zero compassion & has forgotten how to deal with the human race. 
Insurance: Tricare
RID: 1089150
26/01/10 5 5 5 5 I had to mark the bullets with what I remember from 22 yrs ago....geez, did I really just write that??!! Anyway, back in those days, Dr. Ryu was still doing Ankles. The surgery I needed was one for the medical books and I remember the Physical Therapists were excited to meet "that person with the weird extra bone". Dr. Ryu was very kind and reassuring. Even in my 20's I was very impressed with his punctuality for the surgery and I didn't even think twice about what he was doing - I just trusted him and his skills. Blind Faith if you will. I am now faced with a new surgery on my other ankle and am just sick that Dr. Ryu doesn't do ankles anymore. He was THE BEST, probably still is and I'm sure he's earned more respect that the negative comments I see on this page. If I could get the next best thing to Dr. Ryu for this new surgery, which is a much simpler procedure, I'd going through with it without hesitaion.  Respond
RID: 1051849
07/12/09 3 5 4 5 Dr. Ryu is known as one of the best knee and shoulder surgeons in the area. If you want the best at those things, you go to him. The appointments are short, about 5 minutes long, no exaggeration. I would typically show up 10-15 minutes early to my appointment and be out of there before my appointment time actually started. You need to have all your questions written down beforehand, he will not talk much so you must keep asking him any questions you have before he walks away. I found him friendly enough, he doesn't seem like a jerk or anything, just a very non talkative guy. The surgery went great as did the recovery. I wasn't a big fan of his office staff, Cathy was mostly friendly in person but a nightmare on the phone. I would recommend Ryu to people as long as they are prepared to be very pro-active about asking him any questions you have. 
Insurance: Blue Cross / Blue Shield
RID: 995399
24/09/09 5 5 5 5 I had my ACL repaired with an allograft ligament at age 37. I hiked Half Dome last weekend and go to a local bootcamp three times a week! Dr. Ryu is definately curt but how can you not appreciate a doctor that does not EVER make you wait for him! His appointments are quick, to the point and informative. I would suggest taking a voice recorder because he does not like to repeat himself. But, my recovery was smooth I am fully functional after a year and a half and he really is the BEST. I would definitely go to him again and would have him operate on my children. He knows what he is doing and he cares deeply about doing it well. Lack of personality is totally worth an excess of skill!! 
Insurance: Aetna
RID: 986252
13/09/09 5 5 5 5 Dr. Ryu repaired both of my torn rotator cuff injuries. I couldn't be happier with the results. I agree that hr may not always be very "friendly", but I didn't go to him for a social call or for friendly chats, I have other people with whom I can chat with. I went to him expecting him to perform better surgery on me than any other doctor I could find and he did. I trust his medical abilities and want him to be my surgeon in all cases. 
Insurance: Anthem
RID: 814829
05/03/09 5 5 1 1 Ryu shames his profession. He didn't read the minimal patient forms I filled out. I had a shoulder injury, he commented after viewing the Xrays "It's exactly as I said, torn rotator cuff, that's why you can't sleep at night." I indicated on the forms I have no problem sleeping. I think he just needs to feel he is right, and that he knows everything. He is very arrogant, didn't listen at all to me. He is the opposite of what one would want in a doctor. And he had to insult me, "You're old, what do you need your arm for?" Don't waste your time here, there are some great doctors in Santa Barbara. 
Insurance: Medicare
RID: 810564
04/03/09 4 5 4 5 Dr. Ryu performed Bankart surgery on my shoulder (repair of the IGHL). I think anyone who has gone to him will agree his work is unmatched and professional. Yes, Dr. Ryu has a difficult personality to deal with. He does expect you to take your medical care very seriously and follow your PT to the T. He also does not like to hear you whine about pain, I guess the way he figures it, injuries hurt and so does surgery, get over it. If you listen to him, do your research, ask pointed and direct questions (and do NOT call him at home) you will get along just fine.  Respond
RID: 797283
22/02/09 1 1 1 1 Dr. Ryu is one of the coldest, most clinical human beings I have ever met. His arrogance is unmatched. He is a completely selfish human being who clearly forgotten the Hippocratic Oath he swore to if he ever knew it in the first place. He is so incredibly stolid that he appears mentally unstable. I know he is supposed to be a great surgeon, but there are plenty of other great surgeons who have compassion and respect for their patients. I wouldn’t send my worst enemy to Dr. Ryu for surgery. You are better off seeing Dr. Patch Adams. At least he will listen to your problem before delivering a tirade and having a temper tantrum worthy of a five-year old. Here is a joke that relates directly to Dr. Ryu “ What is the difference between G-d and an orthopedic surgeon? “G-d doesn’t think he is an orthopedic surgeon. Clearly, though Dr. Ryu thinks he’s G-d.  Respond
RID: 772341
24/01/09 5 5 5 5 I would not trust my joints to anyone else. I have had chronic problems with my shoulders due to decades of swimming, etc. I first saw him after my chronic shoulder became acute. His exam was thorough, he asked a lot of questions about what activities I did, and -- very importantly -- he never hurt me. There are some orthos who will take you far beyond your range of motion or jam up your joint to see when the pain goes from bad to excruciating -- Dr Ryu is NOT one of those! I had a MRI and went back to see him. At that time he reccommended surgery but I wanted PT for a while first. So he went along with the PT (Hayashida group is great too) but that didn't help me much. So I had the surgery, did the PT, got full range of motion back. He and his office worked with my insurance since some of the services were out of network and their handling of it was amazing. Dr Ryu does not tolerate tardiness, so be on time. If you have questions, be concise and to the point and he will answer them. 
Insurance: United Healthcare
RID: 734223
01/12/08 3 2 2 3 Dr. Ryu performed arthroscopic surgery on my knee. By the time I was through with surgery I knew he did not care for me as a patient. The knee seemed okay at first. It then began hurting. Still, I tried to avoid going back. My lawyer said I had see to Ryu again to get the agreed-upon Work Comp settlement paid. Being stupidly honest, I told Ryu about the pain on my knee. He accused me of malingering and yelled at me. I left the office in tears. Ultimately I saw an walk-in clinic doctor who told me to use some ice and sent me to a physical therapist who rubbed my knee to remove what she said were adhesions. I never had a problem again.  Respond
RID: 621471
23/06/08 5 5 5 5 Dr. Ryu rebuilt my shoulder many years ago and I couldn't have been happier at the time and am still going strong thanks to him. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I actually thought he was plenty friendly and willing to answer my questions, even though I was just a college student.  Respond
RID: 578021
25/04/08 5 5 5 5 Dr. Ryu has operated on both my shoulders and knees. He is an excellent surgeon and tells like it is. He expects his patients to do their part in the rehibilatation and to follow instructions to help ensure a full recovery. He's the best.  Respond
RID: 474952
02/01/08 5 5 5 5 He certainly isn't going to talk your ear off about your hobbies but he has worked on both of my knees and I'll never go to anyone else. My surgery happened between christmas and new years and he and his staff called me to make sure my recovery was going well. I've had minimal pain and I know the job was done by the best. If I need a chat buddy I'll go to the local bar. Again I can't say enough about him, he's great! 
Insurance: Blue Cross / Blue Shield
RID: 453569
30/11/07 5 5 5 5 Excellent results from the surgery done by Dr. Ryu. He always took the time to answer my questions. I found that if I followed his instructions he was very nice. 
Insurance: Blue Cross / Blue Shield
RID: 437291
31/10/07 5 5 5 5 Dr. Ryu is a perfectionist and he takes his job very seriously. I think he expects his patients to take their medical condition and the healing process seriously as well. I have seen him as a patient, spouse of a patient and mother of a patient and each time he treated me and the patient I was accompanying with courtesy and respect. I would recommend him to anyone who wants a top notch physician. 
Insurance: Blue Cross / Blue Shield
RID: 423992
03/10/07 3 2 1 3 There are plenty of other Docs who are just as competent without the ego and arrogence. Don't waste your time with this guy, find a surgeon who will listen to you and answer your questions without making you feel inferior. 
Insurance: Blue Cross / Blue Shield
RID: 361498
08/07/07 5 5 4 5 I had shoulder and major knee surgery by Ryu and the outcome was perfect. I would recommend Ryu to anyone with shoulder and knee problems. I appreciate the "no small talk", I saw him becaues I had severe pain, I did not want to discuss last nignt's ball game. 
Insurance: Aetna
RID: 350254
20/06/07 3 1 3 Very cold & curt, zero personality. He seems to prefer major surgeries, complete knee blow-outs, etc. If you don't require a total joint replacement, he'll let you know how weak you are and probably tell you to live with the pain until it gets worse. I've heard he's great, but I've never met anyone who was an ongoing patient or anyone ever who liked or respected him. He thinks he's the greatest, and he'll let you know that.  Respond
RID: 345866
14/06/07 5 3 5 He is cold but if you want the best, he is it. He is one of the BEST orthopedic surgeons out there. I worked for his office and here are some tips on how not to tick him off. Be on time for your surgery! not a minute later or he will just simply tell the receptionist to call you and to not bother coming at all. (seriously!) He is a perfectionist in ALL aspects of his work to the point of OCD. He's not a social type of guy, he does what he does best which is surgery and so if your willing to give up chitchat for a great surgery go to him, if not find someone else.  Respond
RID: 324228
20/05/07 5 1 3 The previous poster is exactly right. Ryu is cold, curt, and very unhelpful. He gave me very little information, and generally treated me like I was interrupting some more-important work. He may be the most brilliant surgeon in the world, and he may be the worst, but he is a miserable person. 
Insurance: Blue Cross / Blue Shield
RID: 24079
01/03/06 3 1 2 Wants to be completely in charge, doesn't like to be asked questions. Very cold personally. Despite my impression of him, after the examination, I had generally decided to get the operation. I had one question regarding about if the operation would solve a symptom, so I called him. He answered it and then promptly he said that we don't seem to be getting along. This shocked me. I then said that I simply wanted to understand something, to which he suggested that I get another doctor. After having waited several weeks for the appointment, filling out insurance paperwork, taking time off from work, I was quite angry that it was suddenly all for nothing. I wrote him a letter about it, and he replied with a letter accusing me of many things that did not happen. This doctor added shock on top of shock. So I reported him to the Medical Board of California simply because of the incredible experience. Their reply was he had not done anything under the standard of medical care. 
Insurance: Blue Cross / Blue Shield
* - Rating left by a registered user