Medical Services and Specialties

Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute offers patients exceptional care for a wide range of injuries and conditions. Our healthcare professionals treat thousands of people every year, allowing them to regain pain-free stability and mobility. While we see many patients, we tailor treatment to the unique needs of each individual who comes to us for help.

To make sure we deliver the best results, our staff uses the most modern diagnostic and medical equipment available. Our surgeons possess extraordinary skills and are adept at the latest minimally-invasive procedures. Other staff members – doctors, nurses, physical therapists, pain experts – are equally capable in their fields. While we can handle a wide range of orthopaedic situations, we have especially strong experience in sports medicine and adolescent and juvenile conditions. Plus, we recognize the importance of attentive, compassion care. In fact, this is longstanding tradition at all Bon Secours facilities.

Broadly speaking, the Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute can handle routine and emergency care for conditions and injuries of the:

Pediatric medicine always calls for compassion, understanding and patience. At Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute, our health care team has all these qualities plus a “special touch” with children and their families. We know how young bones mature and how important their development is. So, we do all we can to ensure that children grow up healthy, strong and able to enjoy comfortable, active adult lives.

Our skilled physicians regularly deal with “everyday” breaks and strains as well as more complex conditions. As we do with older patients, we take time to develop accurate diagnoses and recommend treatments suited to every individual’s unique needs. When it comes to children, we also believe that good care is a partnership between us, our young patients and their parents.

Your elbow works constantly. You use it all the time for everything from throwing a ball to painting a porch or lifting a bag of groceries. In fact, your elbow is so vital that when it’s injured life can become challenging – if not impossible. Fortunately, Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute offers a wide range of surgical options to deal with injuries of this important joint.

Located at mid-arm where three bones meet, the elbow can break, sprain and experience the ravages of arthritis and overuse. Symptoms vary with each specific situation. Yet, generally speaking, your elbow may need medical attention, if:

  • It hurts intensely.
  • You have reduced range of motion or stiffness.
  • Bruising or swelling occur near it.

Physicians often do not choose surgery as the first way to deal with elbow problems. Typical initial options include rest and medication. However, if a condition persists, surgery may be the most appropriate course.

Our surgeons carefully choose the procedure best-suited to any given medical situation. In some elbow cases, the optimal solution is arthroscopic surgery. This is a minimally invasive technique, requiring only several small incisions. Through them, a doctor inserts a tiny camera and works with small instruments. Arthroscopic surgery often results in less pain and quicker recoveries than open incision procedures.


In the elbow, osteoarthritis happens when cartilage, a flexible connective tissue, is damaged or worn. This occurs either through injury or the aging process. The best surgical solution depends on the condition. Corrective options range from smoothing rough surfaces to replacing joints. In some cases, arthroscopic surgery is an excellent approach to an osteoarthritis condition. 

Fractures and Sprains

Falls, twisting injuries and an object hitting the elbow can cause fractures. Doctors opt for surgery to remove bone fragments or when a bone has pierced skin or when a break alters bone alignment or stability. Surgical solutions vary depending on the fracture’s nature, but pins and wires, or plates and screws may be used to realigned bones. Therapy often goes with surgery as do scar massage, ultrasound, heat, ice and splints. Sprains rarely require surgery, unless a ligament, which connects bones, is torn. 

Joint Replacement

Falls, twisting injuries and an object hitting the elbow can cause fractures. Doctors opt for surgery to remove bone fragments or when a bone has pierced skin or when a break alters bone alignment or stability. Surgical solutions vary depending on the fracture’s nature, but pins and wires, or plates and screws may be used to realigned bones. Therapy often goes with surgery as do scar massage, ultrasound, heat, ice and splints. Sprains rarely require surgery, unless a ligament, which connects bones, is torn. 

Tennis Elbow

“Tennis elbow” is an inflammation of the tendons joining forearm muscles to the elbow’s exterior. People who use their elbows repeatedly and vigorously may need this operation.  Most patients are between ages 30 and 50. During the procedure, a surgeon removes damaged muscle and connects healthy muscle to the bone. Frequently, the operation requires a large incision. Therapy is critical to sound recovery. Fortunately, “tennis elbow” surgery enjoys a success rate of about 85 percent. 

Tommy John Surgery

Tommy John Surgery is named for the first professional athlete to undergo this procedure successfully. The medical term for this operation is ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction. Located inside the elbow joint, this ligament can be torn by overuse and repetitive stress. Athletes, especially baseball pitchers, often suffer damage to the ulnar collateral ligament. Reconstruction of it involves grafting, using a tendon. This tendon may come from the patient or an organ donor. Recovery rates are excellent for this surgery, ranging from 85 to 90 percent. Physical therapy is necessary to ensure optimum use of the elbow following an operation. 

Dozens of emergencies happen everyday in Central Virginia, and Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute is well-equipped to deal with them. Our medical staff is first-class – well-trained, experienced and devoted to compassionate care. Our state-of-the-art facilities feature the most modern diagnostic and treatment technology available. We know how to alleviate pain, repair bone and tissue, and start patients on the road to recovery.

If an accident occurs – whether a person falls, tumbles in a basketball game or one car hits another – we can deal with any orthopaedic attention a patient may need. We are particularly adept at handling injuries to the arms, legs, hands, feet, pelvis, spine and major joints.

So, if you or a friend or loved one needs orthopaedic care that cannot wait, be sure to choose the capable professionals at Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute.

We punish our feet constantly – in marathons and volleyball games, with too-tight shoes and high heels, on ski slopes and city pavements. Just walking around the home or office takes about 9,000 steps daily. That adds up to about 115,000 miles in a lifetime. We do all this to our feet, and more, and that puts a lot of strain on one of the most complex, intricate and finely tuned parts of our body. Small wonder, then, that the feet and ankles suffer a lot of injuries and conditions.

If your feet or ankles need medical attention, then Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute is the right place to come for advice and care. We treat a wide range of problems that occur at every stage of life. Our physicians not only handle fractures but also other conditions that affect the heels, toes and tendons.

In many cases, feet and ankle issues can be easily corrected with early intervention and simple treatments. Sometimes, the solution is as simple as wearing more comfortable shoes. Of course, our capable staff can address even the most challenging situations and, when needed, conduct surgery supported by the most recent advances in medical research and technology.


Bunions result from wearing tight, narrow shoes and high heels. As a result, 90 percent of bunion cases in the United States affect women. A bunion is a sore bump on the foot where the big toe and foot meet. Fortunately, in early stages of this condition, it’s easily corrected by getting wider shoes. Advanced cases, when walking is difficult and painful, may require surgery. Generally, bunion procedures move bones, ligaments, tendons and nerves into a natural and comfortable position. These operations often are done on an outpatient basis. Yet, patients may face extended recovery periods.

Diabetic Foot Problems

Diabetics frequently develop problems. The condition causes nerve damage, which mutes pain signals. In addition, blood flow problems can delay healing. This can lead to infections, ulcers and, sometimes, amputations. The wisest course for diabetics is to care for their feet, to check them daily and to seek medical care quickly for even the smallest cut or blister. Diabetics also may suffer foot deformities that can lead to fractures and bone disintegration. Our medical staff is well aware of diabetic foot conditions and the need for prompt effective treatment. Individuals suffering from diabetes will find that the experts at the Orthopaedic Institute can serve an important role on their health care team.

Foot and Ankle Fractures

Your feet contain almost one quarter of all your body’s bones. So, breaks occur often in this area. They happen for a wide range of reasons – car and sporting accidents, falls and dropped heavy objects. Doctors use many treatments for fractures, too many to describe here. Yet, in all cases, they strive to help a patient regain mobility and stability. Basically, that means realigning bones and protecting them while they heal. Technology, especially x-rays and CT scans, plays a key role in diagnosis. Physical therapy frequently is an important part of care, and our doctors and therapists work together closely to aid patients. At Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute, our medical experts have wide experience with all sorts of fractures and an impressive record in caring for patients and helping them return to active lives.

Hammer Toes

This condition’s name perfectly describes its appearance. A toe – either the second, third or fourth one – will bend at the middle joint so that it looks like a hammer. This comes from two causes: ill-fitting shoes or a muscle imbalance. If caught early, the situation often can be solved with new, roomier shoes. Exercise also can help. For more advanced situations, your physician may recommend surgery. Specific procedures will depend on the nature of and severity of the condition. However, operations often are done on an outpatient basis. Recovery times typically are short.

Heel Pain

Heel pain is common and has many causes. Typically, these problems are easily solved by rest or simple exercises. Pain may occur in two places – beneath or under the heel. Inflammation of tissues on the foot’s bottom produces pain beneath the heel. Common causes include bruises, injury to tissue connecting toes and heel bone (referred to as plantar fasciitis), or calcium deposits resulting from extended plantar fasciitis. Under-the-heel pain comes from inflammation where the Achilles tendon meets the heel bone. Regardless of the source of heel pain, our physicians can quickly diagnosis your condition, treat it and, literally, get you back on your feet – free of pain.

Nerve Disorders Neuromas

Although sometimes described as a tumor, neuromas really are the thickening of a nerve leading to a toe, usually the third or fourth one. Irritation, traumas and excessive pressure cause this condition. High-heels are a common culprit. Neuromas do not appear as a lump. However, pain, numbness and burning sensations indicate their presence. Like many other foot problems, larger shoes and inserts can correct this one. In some cases, injections are needed. Surgical options vary. Surgeons may remove part of the nerve or release tissue around it.


The Achilles tendon is the largest one in your body and is vital for any movement especially that needed in athletic activities. This tendon is prone to injury, often from overuse. Symptoms include pain, swelling and irritation. Doctors use a wide range of nonsurgical treatments for this condition: rest, icing, medications, physical therapy, injections, supportive shoes and various exercises. Persistent Achilles tendonitis may call for surgery. The specific type of procedure depends on the location, nature and severity of the tendonitis.

Total Ankle Replacement

This surgery may be a good option for patients who have a seriously injured ankle and are suffering pain because of it. Injury typically comes from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bone fractures and arthritis caused by earlier surgery. During the procedure, a surgeon will enter the ankle from the front and remove damaged portions. These are replaced by artificial ones made of plastic and metal. These parts typically last a decade. However, their durability depends on the patient’s activity levels. During recovery, patients may wear a brace to stabilize their ankle. After the operation, many people enjoy good range of motion for their ankle and a close-to-normal gait. However, individuals who have this procedure are cautioned not to participate in high-impact activities.

Orthopaedic care for joint conditions can change people’s lives – for the better. At Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute, we have decades of experience with helping individuals regain pain-free mobility and stability. In the course of a year, our surgeons will perform thousands of procedures that have a huge positive impact on patients and their families.

Our doctors, nurses and therapists routinely use the most modern advances in medical science and technology to benefit joint patients. For example, whenever possible, our physicians opt for minimally invasive surgery. This is one of the most impressive achievements of modern medical technology. Basically, a surgeon uses small incisions during a procedure. A tiny camera will go through one incision, allowing the doctor to see inside the patient via a large display screen. Other incisions are used to insert tiny instruments that the physicians use during the operation. Minimally invasive surgery has many major advantages. It allows for rapid healing and reduces pain and infection risks. We also ensure that our medical staff has access to state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and information on important medical developments.

Fractures, Sprains and Strains

Sprains occur when ligaments, which connect bone to bone, tear or stretch. Often, this happens when a joint is knocked out of position. Strains are muscle and tendon injuries. Tendons connect muscle and bone. These injuries may occur from overuse, extreme stretching or too much muscle contraction. Treatment for both conditions is similar. Mild cases respond well to rest, icing, compression and elevation. Severe cases may need surgery or immobilization followed by rehabilitation.

Joint Fractures

Bones break for several reasons: overuse; a trauma, such as a fall or car wreck; or osteoporosis, a disease that weakens bones. Doctors treat fractures based on their type and severity. Some breaks are simple, requiring only stabilization by a splint or cast. Others need surgery. Treatment depends on the severity and type of fracture, but some cases may require stabilizing bones with pins, screws or plates. When a broken bone pierces the skin, both the fracture and the wound require medical attention. Simple breaks may heal in weeks; more complex ones may take months.

Reconstructive and Joint Replacement

Today, surgeons can replace joints, freeing patients from pain and restoring their ability to move easily. Not only can doctors replace knee and hip joints, but they also can do the same with ankle, elbow, and shoulder. Total replacement occurs only in cases where pain is severe and no other option is available. Normally, joints function painlessly and easily because cartilage at the ends of bones provides a smooth surface for movement. If cartilage is damaged by disease or injury, joint function can become painful and difficult. When replacement is needed, the surgeon first removes damaged bone and cartilage. These then are replaced with an artificial joint made of metal and plastic. Patients see the best results, if they follow a therapy and exercise program after the operation.

Complex Revision Joint Replacement

Artificial knees and hips can wear out. They do so for several reasons: the knee/hip area is injured, the artificial joint becomes loose or bearing surfaces become worn. When any of these occur, surgeons must address the problem. Operations can be complex and require surgical skill, experience and sound judgment. In some cases, the artificial joint requires only a slight adjustment. Other times, the entire existing joint must be replaced. Regardless of their complexity, these operations often result in good outcomes that allow patients to return to their normal daily activities.

Congenital Abnormalities

These are conditions that people are born with. Our doctors treat a variety of them, including foot deformities, limb defects, hip dysplasia and hand and bone conditions. Treatments depend on the specific condition and its severity. However, in all cases, our goal is to reduce pain and to allow patients to enjoy healthy and active lives.

Bone Grafting

Grafting simply means using bone or a replacement material to fill a hole in a bone or space surrounding a break. Surgeons use bone grafts to treat breaks, fuse vertebrae, correct deformities and treat bone cancer damage and defects due to congenital disorders. Grafts aid can induce bone growth, form new bone or provide a foundation for bone growth. Bone for a graft can come from the patient, a cadaver or, sometimes, another living donor. Bone grafts are a valuable means of treating a wide range of conditions and returning patients to active, pain-free lives.

The hand is a marvel. It has only 27 bones. Yet, it can pitch a baseball at 100 miles per hour, play an elegant Bach concerto on a piano and spread peanut butter and jelly across a slice of bread. Hands are critical to our daily lives. Yet, they also are prone to injury and disease.

Fortunately, Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute has a lot of skill and experience in caring for the hand, fingers, wrist and arm. Our physicians regularly treat fractures, sprains, carpal tunnel syndrome and many other conditions. In some cases, rest and medicine can help a patient. Other times, surgery is the only answer.

Regardless of the situation, you can rest assured that our doctors are able to evaluate carefully each patient and recommend care that best fits his or her situation.

Conditions &Treatments


This condition is extremely common in the hand and wrist. Arthritis may be caused by severe trauma or diseases, like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Patients suffering from arthritis lose cartilage between their joints. Cartilage is a tough connective tissue that covers bones, providing a smooth surface between them. If cartilage becomes worn, bone movement can become difficult and painful. Depending on the situation, treatment options may include medicine, injections, splinting and surgery. Surgical procedures vary greatly. However, common ones are joint replacement and fusion. The latter involves fusing a joint so movement does not occur there.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common problem. It results from pressure on the median nerve. It runs from the wrist through a narrow area – the carpel tunnel -- to the hand. The condition is linked to overuse of the hand and wrist, and repetitive motion. That’s why it afflicts people who spend a lot of time using keyboards and computer mouses. Typical symptoms include numbness, tingling, a weakened grip and nighttime discomfort. If caught early, carpal tunnel syndrome may be effectively dealt with by rest, physical therapy, bracing or injections. Advanced cases may require surgery. Often, the best solution involves cutting the carpal ligament. This reduces pressure on your median nerve. After the operation, most patients experience a relief from the condition’s symptoms.

De Quervain Syndrome

Typically, this condition occurs from overuse of your thumb or wrist. This can cause thumb tendons to become irritated and swollen. When tendons swell, their movement becomes restricted in the narrow area they pass through near the wrist. Symptoms for De Quervain’s tendinitis include pain and swelling on the thumb side of the wrist, and numbness on the back of the thumb and index finger. Treatment for milder cases can include icing, medication, injections and rehabilitation. Advanced cases may require surgery. In these circumstances, surgeons will expand the constricted space around the tendons.

Fractures and Sprains

A fracture is a broken bone. A sprain is an injury to a ligament, which connects bone to bone. Fractures and sprains of the hand and wrist occur everyday in the most routine ways. People slip on ice, fall off a skateboard or trip during a morning jog. The resulting injuries run from the simple to the complex. Treatment depends on the specific bones or ligaments involved, the damage’s severity, the patient’s age and the doctor’s careful evaluation. Setting a bone and applying a cast may be enough. Or, surgery may be the wisest course. Regardless of what is called for the Orthopaedic Institute’s staff has the knowledge and technology to deliver superior, effective and compassionate care.

Trigger Finger and Thumb

This condition prevents you from straightening your finger. Trigger finger occurs when tendons controlling your hand experience restricted movement. Symptoms may include swelling, pain, a lump in your palm and a tendency for a finger to lock before suddenly popping into place. Treatments may include rest, medicine, injections and surgery. To understand the surgical procedure, you need to know that the tendons controlling your hand are in your forearm. They reach your hand by passing through a tunnel known as the tendon sheath. Sometimes the tendons become enlarged, making passage through the tunnel difficult. If this happens, a surgeon will widen it. Most surgical patients experience immediate relief, although complete recovery may take months.

Wrist Arthroscopy

Surgeons use arthroscopy to examine and to treat problems in the wrist. This technique involves making a small incision, inserting a miniature camera through it and viewing inside the wrist on a large TV screen. If necessary, a doctor can operate, using small instruments mounted near camera. Physicians use arthroscopy on the wrist for procedures required for chronic wrist pain, fractures, carpal tunnel syndrome, ligament repairs and removal of cysts. Arthroscopic surgery typically leaves little scarring and allows for rapid recovery and pain reduction.

Bon Secours orthopaedic surgeons have helped thousands of people suffering from hip damage enjoy active lives free of pain. In fact, our Orthopaedic Institute has a nationally recognized program that integrates medical excellence with sound physical.

Hip damage can come from several sources. For example, a fall or osteoporosis may cause a fracture. Arthritis or an injury can cause severe harm that makes even the simplest tasks extremely difficult.

Hip replacement surgery involves removing a diseased or injured bone and cartilage. This material is replace with an artificial hip joint. Most patients who have hip surgery are between ages 60 and 80. However, our physicians carefully evaluate every individual’s needs before making recommendations. Besides considering age, they also weigh your pain, disability and general health. Please keep in mind that not everyone dealing with hip problems needs surgery. However, you may be a good candidate for replacement surgery, if:

  • Hip pain restricts your everyday activities, like walking or getting out of a chair.
  • Medications provide little pain relief or cause undesirable side effects.
  • Physical therapy doesn’t relieve pain.
  • Stiffness limits your ability to move or lift your leg.
  • Pain is constant.

Hip replacement surgery enjoys a high success rate – 90 percent. Recovery times vary, but most patients start resuming normal activities within six to eight weeks. Physical therapy can play an important role in helping you regain stability and mobility.

In all cases, our physicians and therapists collaborate closely with patients to ensure that the best decisions are made and the best outcomes achieved.

Total Hip Replacement

During this procedure, your surgeon removes damaged cartilage and bone. This operation typically requires several hours. The damaged material is replaced with an artificial joint made of metal, plastic or ceramics. Artificial joints come in a wide range of designs. Yet, all share two features --  a ball and a socket -- replicating nature’s system.

Anterior Hip Replacement

This proven surgical method can allow for quick recovery, reduced pain and a speedy return to regular activities. During an anterior operation, the doctor works from the front of the hip between muscles. So, none are cut. Typically, a single incision about four inches long is all that’s needed.

The knee is your body’s biggest joint. It bears most of your weight and makes possible any motion in any direction – up and down, forward and backward, and side to side. Because of the knee’s importance, it’s not surprising that if damaged it can slow you down or even stop you.

Today, excellent options exist to repair knee injuries. Doctors can replace part or all of this joint. These operations enjoy excellent success rates and extremely low levels of complications. Surgeons at Bon Secours perform more than 1,000 of these procedures every year. As a result, we are one of the leading health systems in the United States for knee replacements.

For most patients, knee surgery provides significant pain reduction and increased mobility. Naturally, physical therapy is a key part of the healing process. At Bon Secours, our therapists can start you on the path to recovery within hours of an operation.

Knee damage can come from several sources. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and sports injuries are common causes. While most knee surgery patients are 55 and older, it may be a good choice for anyone experiencing:

  • Acute pain when you’re active or resting
  • Continued discomfort despite medication
  • Joint deformity
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Severe stiffness
  • No improvement from other treatments.

Total Knee Replacement

With this procedure, a surgeon removes damaged bone and cartilage. This is replaced with an artificial knee made of metal and plastic. These joints are a big improvement from the earliest models. Depending on the situation, physicians may be able to use minimally invasive techniques. These require only small incisions, involve only slight disruption of muscle and soft tissue, and allow quick recovery. Once the new joint is in place and before closing the incision, your doctor will move your knee gently to ensure your artificial joint is working properly.

Partial Knee Replacement

This also is known as unicompartmental knee replacement. Basically, it involves replacing one part of your knee, which has three compartments. This approach works best when knee damage is limited. This surgery involves removing damaged cartilage and using metal and plastic parts to allow smooth knee functioning.

The neck does a lot of work. With just seven bones, it supports your head and protects the nerves that carry brain signals to the rest of your body. In addition, your neck is remarkably strong and flexible. Because of all it does and its relatively unprotected location, the neck can suffer stress and injury. Problems can involve muscle, bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves.

The doctors at Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute are experienced in dealing with all kinds of neck injuries whether they occur in a car accident or on a playing field, or are due to aging or congenital conditions. We use the most modern diagnostic equipment available, ranging from X-rays to computer tomography (CT) scans to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

In all cases, we work closely with patients to understand their conditions and needs, and to develop treatment programs that address both. Fortunately, many neck problems do not require surgery. In fact, we can treat these cases with pain medicine, icing, physical therapy and/or use of a cervical collar.

Conditions & Treatments

Neck Pain

Neck pain is a common complaint. That’s not surprising when you realize how much stress the neck can experience. The source of discomfort can vary greatly. It can include: pinched nerves, arthritis, spinal cord compression, infection, tumors and abnormalities in soft tissues, bones and joints. Given the wide range of possible causes, pain treatment can take several forms. Nonsurgical approaches range from wearing a soft collar and doing physical therapy to using ice, heat, injections and oral medications. Surgical procedures also vary, and the decision to use them depends on the condition and the patient’s age, general health and pain level.

Congenital Deformities

Congenital muscular torticollis, in layman’s language, means an infant is born with a twisted neck. The chin points to one shoulder; the head tilts to the other. This occurs when one of a child’s neck muscles – the sternocleidomastoid – is short, causing the head to angle to one side. Experts do not know why this happens. Fortunately, 90 percent of these cases can be treated through exercise.

Sprains & Fractures

Broken necks are common in America due to traffic accidents and sports injuries. Physicians always treat these seriously because damage can affect the vital spinal cord, located in the neck’s vertebrae. Patients must get immediate treatment for neck fractures from medical professionals. Care varies with the location and severity of a break. Options range from wearing a neck brace for a few weeks to surgery followed by extended recovery.

Like ligaments elsewhere in the body, those in the neck can get stretched or torn, resulting in a sprain. Typically, for healing, these injuries only require time and mild non-surgical treatments. Care options are icing, taking pain relievers, massaging, using ultrasound and/or exercising. Doctors also may recommend patients wear a soft collar to support the head and to aid in healing.

At one time or another, just about everyone’s shoulder gets hurt. Work, play, accidents and chronic conditions take their toll. In fact, thousands of Americans get injured daily, and about 7 million of us see the doctor every year for shoulder problems. Many patients are professional and amateur athletes – swimmers, weightlifters, pitchers. Others are housewives, painters, cleaners and backyard gardeners.

Shoulder damage takes many forms. Fractures are common. So are dislocations when bones on either side of a joint get out of alignment. Tears of ligaments, tendons and muscle happen too.

Treatment varies. In many cases, rest and healing followed by exercise are all that’s needed. Other times, surgery can fix a problem. Regardless of the problems, physicians often immobilize the injured area and recommend rehabilitation.

At Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute, we help people with shoulder injuries everyday. We’ve been doing so for a long time. All that experience means that we can help you with whatever bothers you from simple aches and pains to fractures and sprains. Our state-of-the-art facilities allow us to replace joints and to perform operations using minimally-invasive techniques.

Conditions & Treatments

Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery

Arthroscopic surgery is one of the greatest advances in modern medical technology. Using tiny incisions, surgeons insert a small camera through which they can study an area in the body and operate on it. This minimally invasive approach allows for thorough examination, careful diagnosis and precise surgery. The procedures also results in quick healing and reduced pain and threat of infection. In the shoulder area, arthroscopic techniques are used for rotator cuff repair and surgery for impingement and instability. Each operation is different. Rotator cuff procedures typically involve bringing together muscles and attaching tendons to bone. Impingement surgery deals with tissue removal and possibly cutting a ligament and shaving bone. Instability surgery focuses on repairing part of the shoulder joint and ligaments.

Fractures and Sprains

Shoulder fractures typically involve the collarbone, shoulder blade and upper arm bone. Fortunately, surgery is rarely called for. It is necessary when bones are not aligned or a broken bone pierces the skin. In other situations, the affected area is immobilized, pain medicine is provided and therapy follows healing. Sprains, likewise, don’t often require surgery. Physicians usually can rely on rest, icing, medicine, immobilization of the affected area and rehabilitation.


Three forms of arthritis can affect the two joints of the shoulder: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and post-traumatic arthritis. In all cases, the main symptom is pain, which often is brought on by activity. To diagnose these conditions, doctors relay on a physical examination and X-rays. If arthritis is in an early stage, your physician may recommend physical therapy, rest, applying moist heat and icing any inflamed or painful areas. Surgical options depend on the type, stage and severity of the arthritis. However, surgery often is highly effective in reducing the discomfort associated with arthritis.

Joint Replacement

As with joint replacements elsewhere in the body, ones for the shoulder involve removing damaged tissue and installing an artificial joint, usually made of metal and plastic. Shoulder replacements are not as common as those for the knees and hips. Yet, the surgical procedures and man-made joints for shoulders are every bit as sophisticated and reliable. Replacements commonly are required due to fractures or chronic conditions, like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Patients may need a new joint, if they are experiencing pain, restricted movement, stiffness, atrophy of shoulder muscles and grinding or catching sensations in the shoulder. After replacement, many patients report reduced pain and greater range of motion. Rehabilitation always is an important part of the recovery process.

The typical human spine has about 30 bones. And, every one of them – individually and collectively – matter. The spine lets us stand tall and bend low. It supports our head, shoulders and upper body. It also protects the spinal cord -- the vital path for signals between brain and muscles. In short, the spine is a sophisticated, essential network of bone and nerves that is, at once, solid and flexible, delicate and sturdy, strong and vulnerable.

For all its strength, the spine can experience problems: breaks, sprains, diseases and various conditions. Fortunately, we now have more options for spinal care than at any time in human history. At Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute, we routinely employ modern diagnostic tools for spine care. Not only do we have x-rays but also magnetic resonating imagery (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT) that give cross-sectional views of the spine. Our patients also have access to nationally-recognized pain management experts. They can provide a wide array of medicines and treatments to ensure comfort and to aid recovery.

In addition, we make sure that our patients have access to a wide range of medical professionals. For example, when needed, our orthopaedic surgeons work closely with neurosurgeons. Our patients also can receive help from nationally-recognized pain management experts. They can provide a wide array of medicines and treatments to ensure comfort and to aid recovery.
Our doctors have mastered state-of-the art treatments. In some cases, we pursue nonsurgical treatments, including rest, exercise, physical therapy, casts or braces. We also use various injections when appropriate. Epidural steroid injections, for instances, can be an effective short-term way to reduce back pain as well as tingling and numbness. These injections work by reducing inflammation around irritated nerves. Patients also may receive non-steroid anti-inflammatory medications. These also can decrease inflammation and pain. The type and dosages vary depending on each patient’s individual case.

Conditions & Treatments

Adult/Adolescent Correction of Spinal Deformities - Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine to either side of the body. The curve can resemble a “C” or a “S.” This condition’s cause often is unknown, and treatment typically is unneeded. Care options depend on the patient’s age and the condition’s severity. Adolescents whose bones still are growing may benefit from use of a brace to prevent the curve from becoming more acute. Surgery for adolescents aims at preventing later disfigurement and restriction of the heart and lungs. Surgeons will try to reduce curving and may opt for fusing vertebrae. Adult patients may experience discomfort. This usually is addressed with exercise, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medicine. If surgery is needed, the doctors will try to realign the spine, which may require removing vertebrae, and may fuse vertebrae. 

Degenerative Spinal Disease and Disc Herniation

The spine has vertebra stacked atop another. Sandwiched between vertebrae is a cushion – a disk of cartilage. These disks serve as shock absorbers. Each disk has a soft interior and firm exterior. Herniation occurs when the soft interior pushes through the firm exterior. This can irritate nerves in the spinal canal. That can result in pain, numbness and weakness in various body parts.  Often, herniation occurs when disks lose flexibility from degeneration due to aging. As this happens, disks tend to tear or rupture. Fortunately, the overwhelming majority – 90 percent -- of herniated discs do not require surgery. Instead, rest, physical therapy, over-the-counter pain medicine and alternate use of cold packs and heat are all that’s needed. If required, surgical options may include fusing vertebrae, laminectomy to enlarge the spinal canal or microdiskectomy to relieve pressure on an affected nerve.


This minimally invasive technique is used when a vertebra has a compression fracture, a type of vertical break. A surgeon makes a small skin incision and places a tiny tube through it. Using the tube and small instruments, the doctor makes a hole in the vertebra. He then inserts into the bone a balloon-like device at the tube’s end and gently makes a cavity in the vertebra with it. The physician removes the device and fills the cavity with a quick-drying cement-like substance. This procedure relieves pain, stabilizes the break and allows for a quick return to normal activities.

Lumbar Disc Surgery

The lower five vertebrae of your backbone comprise the lumbar spine. Sometimes, the cartilage disks in this region are damaged, requiring medical attention. Up and down your spine, vertebrae are stacked on atop another. Sandwiched between vertebrae is a cushion – a disk of cartilage. These disks serve as shock absorbers. Each disk has a soft interior and firm exterior. Herniation occurs when the soft interior pushes through the firm exterior. This can irritate nerves in the spinal canal. That can result in pain, numbness and weakness in various body parts. In rare cases, a “ruptured disk” can affect bowel and bladder control. Herniation occurs for several reasons:  aging, smoking, not exercising, driving a lot, improperly lifting heavy weights and repeated movements that stress the spine. Fortunately, most patients do not need surgery.  Instead, rest, physical therapy, over-the-counter pain medicine and steroid injection aid recovery. Surgery usually involves a microdiskectomy to relieve pressure on an affected nerve. During this procedure, a surgeon removes the herniated part of the disk and any fragments in the area.

Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery

This is one of the great advances of modern medicine. Minimally invasive surgery involves the use of tiny incisions and small viewing devices and instruments that allow surgeons to see and to work within a patient’s body. These procedures replace open surgery, which involves large incisions. Compared to open surgery, minimally invasive operations allow for quicker healing, less muscle disruption and lower infection risks. Minimally invasive techniques are used for various spinal operations, including those for ruptured discs, scoliosis and compression fractures. 

Spinal Fractures

These injuries are serious and demand a physician’s care. They also can take many forms. For instance, a traumatic event, like a car wreck or a fall from a height, can lead to fractures. Plus, young athletes are prone to stress fractures brought on by putting too much pressure on the lower back. Older adults may suffer from osteoporosis, which weakens vertebrae. Once this occurs, pressure on a fragile spine bone may cause a vertical break, known as a compression fracture. These injuries affect about 700,000 people annually. Because spinal fractures vary greatly, so do treatments, which depend on a break’s type, location, cause, and severity. The mildest cases may heal with little more than rest, medication and, perhaps, use of a brace. When surgery is needed, doctors want to fit bone together, allow early movement and relieve pressure on nerves and the spinal cord.

Spinal Stenosis

This occurs when the spinal canal narrows and the spinal cord and nerves are squeezed. The results vary with where the narrowing occurs. However, typical symptoms include a drop in endurance for walking or other activities, pain from standing too long and numbness, tingling and weakness in the arms and legs. In rare cases, patients may experience reduced bowel and bladder control. Often, spinal stenosis comes with aging. Obesity, poor posture and high impact sports also may cause it. In most situations, treatment is simple: rest, physical therapy, over-the-counter pain relievers and steroid injections. If needed, surgeons will widen the spinal canal to relieve pressure on the cord and nerves.

Spinal Tumors

A spinal tumor is a growth in bone or in or near the spinal cord. These growths can be either cancerous or noncancerous. Symptoms vary but back pain is a frequent one. Doctors use several approaches to get an accurate diagnosis. Both MRIs and CT scans are valuable medical tools, and biopsies are another option. Given the variety of spinal tumors and places they may grow, treatments range widely. Under the best circumstances, however, a tumor is easily reached and nowhere near a nerve. If this is the case, surgeons simply remove it.  Radiation therapy may be used on inaccessible tumors or those close to nerves. Chemotherapy also may be appropriate.