Most medical school students may have an idea of which specialty they would like to go into, but few are as certain as Dr. Christian Eccles was. “I knew from the get-go. I showed up day one at medical school saying, ‘I’m going to be a hip and knee replacement surgeon.’ And everyone is looking at me in disbelief, but I knew exactly what I wanted,” he said. Much of that certainty came from one of his Boy Scout leaders in his hometown of Ogden, Utah who was an orthopaedic surgeon who performed hip and knee replacements. “I always looked up to him, and he would tell me he had the best job in the whole world.” Dr. Eccles, who earned his Eagle Scout award, says the specialty was a perfect fit of being science-driven while mechanical in nature, plus he can help people.
Helping others is an important part of his life. He spent two years after high school in Panama on the mission field for his church and became fully immersed in the culture there. During the last six months of his mission, he was called upon to go to the San Blas Islands to live and work among the Kuna Indians. He says they may have had no running water or electricity and few material goods, but, “They were among the happiest people in the world I’ve ever met,” he said with a smile. “Being able to understand people for their differences and being able to realize there’s more than just what you’ve seen in your life growing up, that’s what amazed me about it.”
Today, he brings that attitude of service and helping others to CMC Orthopaedics. “A lot of my patients are retired, and so they’ve worked their whole lives and now they have all this time on their hands to do what they want to, but they can’t because of arthritis. So, the joy of my job is I get to give them a hip or knee replacement and get them back to doing whatever they want to do.” But he says it’s important to realize that surgery is not the only option for patients. “It’s kind of the last option, but it’s a very good option when you’re absolutely debilitated, and you can’t even walk, and you can’t even enjoy the beach here. Reach out to us. We can always do an exam, get x-rays, and tell you what your options are, and a lot of times that’s not surgery.”
Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and seven-year-old daughter and four-year-old son, golfing, and riding his bike.
Fellowship trained in Hip and Knee orthopaedic surgery at Indiana University Health
Dr. Christian J. Eccles completed his undergraduate education at Weber State University in his hometown of Ogden, Utah. He graduated summa cum laude and was able to dissect cadavers and teach other students anatomy in the lab for two years. He went on to earn his medical degree from Texas Tech University Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. Following medical school, he completed a 5-year Orthopaedic Surgery residency at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Dr. Eccles specializes in hip and knee replacements, including complex primary and revision joint replacements. Dr. Eccles works with CMC Orthopaedics.