It’s called the Novant Health Orthopedic Fracture Clinic. But the scope of care at the Charlotte office stretches far beyond mending broken bones.
As the medical director of the clinic, Dr. Todd Hall explains the clinic’s strategy is to help patients in every aspect of their recovery as it relates to their physical, emotional, financial and nutritional situations. And it meshes perfectly with Novant Health’s philosophy of treating the whole patient. The clinic aims to meet patient needs in one setting instead of them having to go to multiple specialists.
“We want to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for our trauma patients by offering multimodal treatment,” Hall said. “Instead of concentrating on just the patient’s surgery and post-operative healing, we strive to also address the emotional and mental effects of the injury during the recovery process.”
That’s why the clinic has a clinical health psychologist, Dr. Deanna Denman as a core part of the care team. It’s a rarity in orthopedic medicine in the U.S.
In addition to orthopedic trauma surgeons, there are several physician assistants who contribute to the care of the clinic’s patients. One physician assistant is dedicated to osteoporosis and bone fragility issues to help patients work toward preventing future fractures. Additionally, the clinic can help guide patients who may need a social worker, are dealing with nutrition issues or having financial difficulties. Some patients live at the poverty level, and an injury that keeps them from working can quickly lead to financial difficulties.
The fracture clinic team, led by Hall, is available to diagnose and treat fractures, tears and sprains on a walk-in or by-appointment basis. If you have recently had trauma-related orthopedic surgery at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, you will receive your post-operative care at the fracture clinic.
The providers at the Novant Health Orthopedic Fracture Clinic recognize that some patients deal with chronic pain and depression while others struggle with pain medications. Therefore, Hall and the other providers formulate a treatment plan that minimizes narcotics and includes multiple other techniques that are helpful in alleviating pain.
Denman can be very helpful to patients who have difficulty coping with their injury or pain. “With counseling, we can help wean patients off pain medication earlier than they otherwise might,” Hall added. “We can help patients lead meaningful lives after their trauma.”
Hall also mentioned that traumatic injuries and fractures have become worse in recent years. One reason: Faster automobiles. They lead to higher-impact crashes. Due to the increased protection offered by modern cars, “We have people who are surviving their accidents now, when they would not have in the past,” said Hall. “Another (reason) is that even though we have seatbelts, we have a whole set of fractures that happen because of airbags that go off,” he said. “This includes a lot of hand, wrist and arm fractures.”
Improved care at the scene of the injury and more rapid transport of patients to an emergency room translates into more survivors, and Hall wants to treat every aspect of recovery related to their orthopedic injuries.
Additionally, the clinic also takes on cases of “cold trauma,” patients who may have been treated by another provider but continue to have issues months or years after surgery. “We'll take over those cases and revise the treatment plan, which might include additional surgery,” Hall said. “We’ll keep going with them until they've healed.”
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