There’s a spectrum of goals from pain relief to function to competition, so we want to get the patient back to where they see themselves."

Jess Kirby, MD. Orthopedic surgeon at Novant Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

Novant Health has expanded same-day and next-day injury care across the greater Charlotte community. These capabilities reach patients in Ballantyne, Cornelius, Cotswold and Salisbury.

Dr. Jess Kirby

“People are active and doing more, so the need is there,” said Jess Kirby, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Novant Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine - Cornelius. “We’re improving access to serve the community we live in.”

Novant Health orthopedists are caring for a very active population in the greater Charlotte area, with residents playing tennis and pickleball, and water skiing on Lake Norman. With all of that activity, our physicians are diagnosing and treating more shoulder, wrist, knee and ankle injuries.

In providing same-day and next-day injury care, Novant Health orthopedists treat patients covering the whole age spectrum — from young kids who fall off their bikes, to teens who play soccer, to adults who play pickleball. “If someone has an injury and they have a question about it, we’re happy to see them,” Dr. Kirby said.

Here are five goals for Novant Health same-day and next-day orthopedic injury care.

1. See and diagnose patients sooner with specialized care, as an alternative to the emergency room or urgent care.

“If a patient goes to the emergency room for something like a swollen knee, for example, they may wait eight hours because someone with chest pain will get care first,” said Dr. Kirby, whose focus areas include knee, hip, shoulder, wrist and hand. “We can get someone in much quicker to get an X-ray and get a diagnosis as opposed to spending resources and time at the emergency room.”

2. Provide a spectrum of services.

Novant Health orthopedic providers range across different subspecialties for different parts of the body. Orthopedic surgeons and physician assistants provide a full range of services, including imaging, splinting, casting, surgical procedures and joint aspiration. The team can also admit clinic patients to the hospital and operate that same day if there’s an emergency, such as an infected joint. For less urgent conditions like an ankle fracture, the team can reduce swelling and splint it in the clinic, then schedule the patient for surgery the next day.

3. Use ultrasound for improved diagnostics and procedures.

“For ortho same day, we use ultrasound in the office for diagnosing conditions like a large tendon tear, or we can aspirate fluid off of a joint or an abscess, or guide injections,” Dr. Kirby said. “Ultrasound is a good technique for communicating a rough diagnosis for a lot of conditions earlier on, and it may save a patient the need to get an MRI or further imaging.”

4. Use minimally invasive techniques when possible.

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Dr. John Marcel

“Should surgery become necessary, we aim to use minimally invasive approaches and implants that reduce recovery time to a minimum,” said John Marcel, MD, orthopedic surgeon with a subspecialty in foot and ankle reconstruction at Novant Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine - Cotswold. “For example, techniques I use include an internal brace implant for ankle instability, which allows significantly faster return to function and sport. I also use a minimally invasive approach to correct bunion deformity, which uses very small incisions, allows for faster healing and is less painful.

We also utilize physical therapy early in the postoperative recovery process to restore strength and range of motion.”

5. Help patients meet their unique goals.

“Our goal is always to get our patients back to their desired level of activity as quickly and as safely as possible, minimizing the risk of recurrence while preventing an excessive delay in return,” Dr. Marcel said.

“People are doing community sports with neighbors and friends, and they want to do well,” Dr. Kirby said. “So, our goal is to get them back to the level of function they want to be at, whether that’s a more sedentary lifestyle with minimal activity like comfortably getting the mail, or whether they’re playing competitive sports or jogging. There’s a spectrum of goals from pain relief to function to competition, so we want to get the patient back to where they see themselves.”

Novant Health is ready for referrals.

The Novant Health orthopedic team is now taking referrals for same-day and next-day injury care across the greater Charlotte area. “We will work patients in for sure, and take care of them as quickly as we can,” Dr. Kirby said.

To work with Novant Health’s same-day and next-day orthopedic team or to refer a patient, please call Novant Health at 704-384-0189.