When Grandview Medical Center relocated to Highway 280, Southlake Orthopaedics Sports Medicine & Spine Center opened its second office in a new 9,000-square-foot space. Since then, it has continued to grow to meet demand and offer patients a broader range of services at this location. With the recent addition of its own MRI facility, the office is now twice its original size, with a total of 18,000 square feet.
"Our growth has come in stages as we expanded to care for more patients, added more physicians to our staff and worked toward making the care process more convenient for our patients," Michael Blum, MD, a founding partner of Southlake Orthopaedics, said.
"Having our own MRI facility on site speeds the diagnostic process, which means we can begin treatment faster, ease pain faster and start patients moving toward recovery. They don't have to wait for an appointment at another facility or find another location."
Since orthopaedic patients frequently have mobility and pain issues, being able to have imaging done where they are saves them the ordeal of having to make extra trips from the car to the office and back.
"Two other needs that prompted previous expansions were for on-site physical therapy and occupational therapy." Blum said. "Particularly when patients have surgery, rehab can make a tremendous difference in how quickly they recover and how much function they regain. Thirty years ago, a hip or knee replacement meant a week or more in the hospital. Now we have them up walking the same day and they are released within a day or two.
"Rehab is so important to achieving the best outcome. Having physical therapy and occupational therapy facilities available at a familiar location should encourage them to get the rehab they need. It should also simplify tracking their progress and may save extra trips, which is especially important for patients from out of town."
Between its Grandview and Hoover offices, Southlake Orthopaedics treats a large number of patients from southern Jefferson and Shelby counties. However, patients are referred from all over Alabama as well as other areas in the southeast.
"We offer a full range of orthopaedic care at both offices," Blum said. "In addition to three general orthopaedic specialists, we have physicians who specialize in foot and ankle care, podiatry, hand and upper extremity conditions, the back and spine, and nonsurgical care. Our sports medicine specialist takes care of school and college athletes as well as injuries from recreational activities."
Southlake Orthopaedics also makes use of physician extenders including a nurse practitioner and nine physician's assistants to improve patient access. "When a patient has a chronic condition and may need to see someone quickly, our nurse practitioner could be a good option. Our physician assistants also do an excellent job in expediting care." Blum said.
The practice also has an osteoporosis clinic. "Ideally, we like to help patients get an early start protecting their bones before problems develop," Blum said. "Sometimes their primary physician recognizes they are at risk, does a workup and sends them to us. Other patients may have suspicious fractures and risk factors, and their physician asks us to do a full work up and evaluation. Osteoporosis can become a serious problem, especially in women as they age."
A great deal can be done to prevent or slow the progression of osteoporosis. Preventing fragile bones from breaking can make a big difference in quality of life. When the bone is a hip, it could even be life saving, since hip fractures tend to correspond with an increased risk of mortality.
With the new MRI and the expanded office size, Southlake Orthopaedics is well prepared to meet patient needs. "As advances in care come along and new needs arise, we'll be ready to meet them," Blum said.