Stuart Hutchinson, M.D.

Dr. Stuart Hutchinson has served the Santa Barbara community as a spine specialist and surgeon since 1980. He practices at Alta Orthopaedics, located in Solvang, Santa Barbara, and Oxnard, California. His grandfather was a doctor and his father was a prominent general surgeon in Seattle. As a child, it was clear to him that he wanted to follow the same path in the medical field.

Watching how his father treated people and how much his patients loved him, taught Dr. Hutchinson the importance of connecting with patients on a very human level. He believes that part of the art of medicine is to treat them with care and compassion, and to be sensitive to their needs. That means he takes time to listen carefully to his patients’ concerns and to discern whether issues in other areas — not always physical — are affecting the patient’s overall well-being and ability to heal.

During his 5 years of medical training in South Africa he learned that, given time, patients can often heal without surgery. Some situations require immediate surgery. It’s important to recognize those. But he favors a less invasive approach that steers away from the current trend of offering surgery as the first treatment option.

In 1985 Dr. Hutchinson teamed up with Dr. William Dunbar, to establish the first local center for orthopaedic surgeons who wanted to specialize in more focused areas, such as spine surgery or foot and ankle surgery. Their center grew into what is today Alta Orthopaedics.

Dr. Hutchinson draws inspiration and energy from nature and being outdoors. He likes to play golf and hike the beautiful Santa Ynez mountains. He has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Whitney, and Mount Rainer, and has snow skied in Utah and Colorado. Dr. Hutchinson’s family is close by in Southern California and Arizona.