By Nathan Prewett
For the Tribune
BIRMINGHAM – Seven years ago, Birmingham saw the founding of one of its largest Orthopedic practices, OrthoSports Associates. OrthoSports specializes in treating injuries to the shoulder, knees, hips, hand, wrist, foot and ankle. Whether you’re an athlete, a weekend warrior or anyone with a problem in their muscle skeleton system, OrthoSports Associates is dedicated to helping the surrounding community.
“OrthoSports Associates was established in 2011 by an elite team of surgeons that have been serving the community for decades,” said Administrator Bethany Sweatt. “Their goal was to form an exceptional team of providers who can offer the highest quality of care to patients by offering a full range of orthopedic services within the convenient scope of one practice.”
The orthopedic team has eight locations in the Greater Birmingham area, one of which resides very near to Trussville at St. Vincent’s East on Medical Park East in Birmingham.
The St. Vincent’s East team of physicians includes: Dr. Michael Martin who specializes in knee and shoulder; Dr. Grady Maddox who specializes in hand and wrist, Dr. Scott Morris who specializes in foot and ankle, Dr. Karl Hofammann specializes in general orthopedics and Dr. Gwen Williams who specializes in rheumatology.”
The additional locations are located at the following facilities: St. Vincent’s Birmingham, Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham, Citizen’s Baptist Medical Center in Talladega, St. Vincent’s St. Clair, Gardendale Medical Center, St. Vincent’s 119 and Hoover Medical Plaza.
According to Administrator Bethany Sweatt, the physicians of OrthoSports Associates are board certified and fellowship trained. They are a team of physicians with diverse training and specialties carefully crafted to provide a full scale of service to the Trussville community. Many instantly think of the athlete when they hear OrthoSports Associates because they have become so well-known and respected among the sports community but the group has specialists that treat a large volume of work-related injuries, adults facing complex hand problems such as TFCC (triangular fibrocartilage complex) , foot injuries such as flat foot arthritis and achilles and peroneal tendonitis, as well as aging seniors with joint pain.
“We are available to assist on any and all problems a person may have with their muscle skeletal system, often with same day or next day appointments” said Dr. Michael Martin who specializes in knee and shoulder conditions. “A large number of people who seek orthopedic treatment with me are involved in sports, oftentimes non-professional. Most are casual athletes and weekend warriors but we are trained to treat the entire spectrum of orthopedic problems from minor to severe trauma and non-traumatic orthopedic complications.”
As part of OrthoSports Associates dedication to providing exceptional care, they recognize the value of investing in leading technology such as diagnostic ultrasound and digital x-ray.
“We use top of the line digital x-ray equipment and can evaluate problems with diagnostic ultrasound technology,” said Martin
By offering revolutionary imaging systems they are able to enhance the patient experience so patients can expect an increase in diagnostic confidence, faster exam times and lower radiation with their imaging solutions.
But imaging is not the only investment the OrthoSports team feels is valuable for the patient experience.
“We believe some of the most valuable conservative treatment and post-surgical treatment often comes from therapy. For this reason unlike many orthopedic offices, we invested in hiring Physical Therapists and Certified Hand Therapists to coordinate care directly with our physicians. The physicians are able to establish customized protocols with the therapists that enable patients to receive higher quality care and maximize recovery.” Sweatt said “Patients love coming into therapy and seeing their surgeon walking through. It is the comfort of knowing they are under that same umbrella of exceptional care and that the physician is right down the hall to assist when questions arise.”
The staff at OrthoSports is actively involved in community events and charity drives to benefit people suffering from certain illnesses. In particular, they have taken part in Light the Night, which is an annual charity drive by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society that is dedicated to raising funds in the fight against cancer.
“We are invested in this community and make it a priority to serve in every possible way,” Sweatt said. “The community is more than our patients; it is neighbors, friends, and people we truly care for. Most recently we sponsored a team in the Lakeshore Foundation’s Amazing Race. Our physical therapists teamed up to compete against other local teams to help build awareness of the capabilities of people with physical disabilities.”
Certain activities such as sports will occasionally result in injuries, and these injuries are sometimes serious, requiring immediate care. In the case of an emergency, OrthoSports offers immediate assistance to people in need of urgent care.
“We are happy to offer same day appointments for urgent issues and we provide emergency coverage through our St. Vincent’s East Emergency Room Department,” said Martin.
Martin continued by expressing the importance of conditioning. He said “Consistent conditioning is the most important step for prevention of injuries. Conditioning can include working out, dieting and getting plenty of rest. Special equipment must remain in good condition whether it is gym equipment you train with or ensuring running shoes are properly fitted.”
Insurance is another common concern patients may have. “OrthoSports is contracted with the major insurance payors in our community,” said Sweatt. “We have our own dedicated billing team that understands the complexity of reimbursements and escalating healthcare costs.
Patient care is always our focus. Our educated billing team is available to answer any questions or concerns that patients may have during the course of their treatment.”
When asked about the future, Sweatt said the group is always looking for opportunities to expand and support the growing need for orthopedic care in the community.
“We are adding a new orthopedic surgeon here in Trussville who specializes in the treatment of joints to care for the growing population that suffers from arthritis and joint pain. We look forward to serving the Trussville community for many years to come and as it continues to grow and evolve we will continue to recruit additional surgeons.”
The OrthoSports Associates office at St. Vincent’s East is located at 48 Medical Park East, Suite 255 and can be reached at 205-838-3090.