Ralph F. Salzer, M.D.

SalzerRalph F. Salzer, M.D., is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. He established Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports and Spine Center in 1987.


He received his undergraduate degree at the University of New Orleans. His medical school training was at Tulane University. In 1986, he completed his orthopaedic residency at Tulane University and affiliated hospitals. He received training and sports medicine at the Houston Clinic in Columbus, Georgia under the direction of Dr. Jack Huston and Dr. James Andrews.
Dr. Salzer established the first orthopaedic practice in Beaufort, which emphasized principles of sports medicine. These principles utilize physical therapy extensively and surgeries are only done in the context of the rehabilitation process. Although many of these techniques were originally developed for athletes, Dr. Salzer has applied these principles to problems which are common to the general population.

Growing the Beaufort Practice

Dr. Salzer had thousands of patients in Beaufort and surrounding counties. He continues to improve himself and his practice techniques with continuing medical education. As his practice has matured, he takes particular interest and pride in teaching his patients about their orthopaedic problems and how these problems are managed by medical, physical therapy and surgical modalities so that patients can become participants in their own health care. A well-informed and educated patient consistently has optimal results in their treatment.

Dr. Salzer and his wife Catherine reside in Beaufort, where they have raised five wonderful children, now prospering adults, and where they continue to enjoy all that the Lowcountry has to offer.

He is board certified and is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the South Carolina Orthopaedic Association.

Medical Philosophy

salzertherapydogDr. Salzer has a broad range of interests in orthopedics and approaches every patient on a global comprehensive basis. What this means is that once the diagnosis is established for structural injury, full consideration is given to the muscular, neurologic and physiological components impacting upon the structural disorder. Whenever possible, non-operative treatment is usually instituted correcting these dynamic factors and improving conditioning and flexibility is done before any surgical consideration. The reason for this is that if these associated problems are corrected, very often the symptoms are associated with a structural component that can be alleviated and controlled without surgery. This is clearly preferable whenever possible, avoiding the risks, discomfort and expense of surgery. If, however, these measures are not satisfactory and the patient proves that structural correction is necessary, the aftermath of the surgery will be much easier having already taken care of the muscular and dynamic factors. It is truly a win-win approach for the patient.

Dr. Salzer’s surgical interests have always been related to sport problems, including arthroscopy of the knee with reconstruction or rotator cuff disorders due to the impingement process. As time has gone on, he has developed a strong interest and expertise in hand surgery, treating a wide variety of hand disorders. Although he was trained to do spine surgery, he focuses on the non-operative conservative management of spine disorders. When surgery is needed, he refers to his partner, Dr. Scott Strohmeyer, fellowship trained in spine.

Additionally, over the past 28 years, Dr. Salzer has literally done thousands of knee and hip total joint replacements. He currently performs all of the total hip replacements in our practice and continues to do knee replacement surgery. These joint replacement surgeries are offered only after a complete course of conservative management has been attempted and when the patient’s medical status permits such a large surgery.