By Hillary Eames
Thursday, April 22, 2021
A combination of skilled physicians and advanced technologies help provide quality orthopedic care to the community.
Together, the four physicians and three physician assistants at Auburn Orthopedic Specialists can boast approximately 90 years of orthopedic experience. With expertise in a variety of fields ranging from hand and wrist surgery to sports medicine to joint replacement, these providers can meet the majority of patients’ orthopedic needs at Auburn Community Hospital.
“We aim to provide a high quality of care for patients close to their homes,” says Michael Wilson, MD, MBA, orthopedic surgeon at Auburn Orthopedic Specialists and Deputy Chief Medical Officer at Auburn Community Hospital. “When patients and primary care physicians can have the majority of orthopedic issues treated at a community hospital, that’s a great convenience to them both.”
“We have a comprehensive team of specialists who provide exemplary orthopedic care in joint replacement, sports medicine, and upper and lower extremity surgery,” says Brian D. Tallerico, DO, Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at Auburn Orthopedic Specialists. “We have four fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons, including Dr. Wilson and myself.”
Dr. Wilson brings several years of experience as a foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon to Auburn Orthopedic Specialists, including serving as Chief of Foot and Ankle Surgery at Harvard and founder of the Harvard Fellowship of Foot and Ankle Surgery in 1995. Dr. Tallerico has nearly two decades of experience, including serving as a surgeon in the United States Navy.
“We’re still making additions to our group,” Dr. Wilson says. “We hope to include a fellowship-trained sports medicine specialist who can provide sports medicine for adults, as well as high school- and college-age patients, which will be a huge benefit to the community. We’re also hoping to expand our capabilities in hand surgery. Roughly 25% of emergency department visits are related to hand and wrist trauma. It would be greatly beneficial if patients could receive treatment here for the majority of their hand problems.”
Comprehensive Patient Care for Joint Replacement
One of the services offered at Auburn Orthopedic Specialists is the total joint replacement program, in which physicians at Auburn Orthopedic Specialists work with referring primary care providers and patients to ensure excellence in care from diagnosis to rehabilitation.
“When a patient is referred to us for joint replacement, they may come to us with X-rays from a primary care provider, or we can do them on-site,” says Steven Kieb, DMSc, PA-C, physician assistant at Auburn Orthopedic Specialists. “We’re able to schedule most patients for joint replacement surgery within one month.”
“Preparation for joint replacement includes a comprehensive workup and optimization of each individual patient for their upcoming joint replacement, which includes not just the referring provider but other consultants as well,” Dr. Tallerico says. “We include cardiologists, rheumatologists, pulmonologists, physical therapists and nutritionists. It’s a multidisciplinary approach.”
The expertise of providers at Auburn Orthopedic Specialists is matched by the leading-edge technologies available for orthopedic care, ranging from advanced MRI to minimally invasive surgery. The facility offers hip and knee replacements using the Mako robotic-assisted system, with Dr. Tallerico spearheading the efforts to procure the technology.
“The technology follows the capabilities of each surgeon,” Dr. Wilson says. “With Dr. Tallerico, a highly qualified joint surgeon on board, we were inspired to purchase the system to meet his needs.”
The Mako system is a robotic surgical system that offers high-precision, minimally invasive joint replacement surgery. Before each procedure, the orthopedic surgeon takes a CT scan of the patient’s hip or knee joint. Using those images, the Mako system helps develop a personalized surgical plan unique to the patient’s anatomy. AccuStop technology guides the surgeon according to the plan during the procedure, helping the surgeon avoid healthy tissue and allowing for smaller incisions.
“We do a lot of in-office education for patients about what to expect before, during and after joint replacement surgery, so I will often explain how the Mako improves outcomes,” Kieb says. “After surgery, the majority of patients stay one or two nights in the hospital, and most are up and walking the evening of their surgery.”
Auburn Orthopedic Specialists uses the most up-to-date version of the Mako system, making it the most advanced joint replacement surgical system within the community.
“Patients who undergo surgery with the Mako system can expect shorter hospital stays and less pain following surgery,” Dr. Tallerico says. “Referring providers should also know that the Mako system offers increased accuracy with bone cuts and resections, as well as improved accuracy with joint implant positions, ultimately leading to better patient function.”
Specialized Care in the Finger Lakes
Auburn Community Hospital offers a wealth of specialized services to the Finger Lakes region. When patients in Cayuga County and surrounding areas need high-quality, patient-centered health care, they do not have to travel far. Auburn Community Hospital (ACH), a not for-profit facility, provides both acute and general hospital services to the population of 80,000. Roughly 95% of ACH physicians are board-certified in one or more specialties, ensuring that the majority of patients can access the care they need close to home.
“At Auburn Community Hospital, our vision is simple. We will provide the best outcome for every patient, every time,” says Scott Berlucchi, President & CEO, Auburn Community Hospital. “We want you to know that we are always challenging ourselves to make the healthcare experience better for our patients, physicians and staff, and ultimately our community.”
“We’ve upgraded to arthroscopic ankle surgery, as well,” Dr. Wilson says. “We’ll be offering ankle replacements in the future as we gain the ability to do cartilage repair and bone deficits in the foot and ankle. We’ll also expand our capabilities with shoulder replacements as we continue to move forward.”
The Future of Local Orthopedic Care
Providers hope to expand the facility’s orthopedic capabilities to ensure the majority of the community’s needs can be met in one convenient location. From investing in innovative technologies to selecting skilled and experienced physicians and staff, Auburn Orthopedic Specialists will work with local primary care providers to deliver high-quality orthopedic care.
“I think Auburn Orthopedic Specialists is going to be a very exciting service to the community within the next generation,” Dr. Wilson says. “We’re aggressively building the breadth of and quality of our orthopedic services to ensure patients’ problems can be addressed near their homes.”
Excellence in Orthopedic Hand Care
Kathi Teixeria, MD, board-certified orthopedic specialist at Auburn Orthopedic Specialists, boasts several years of experience in orthopedic hand surgery, an especially beneficial practice to the many laborers and factory workers of the community. With ultrasound-guided Sonex Health MicroKnife hand surgery, Dr. Teixeria is able to treat patients with hand issues so they can return back to work with limited down time.
“This procedure is done under local anesthesia,” Dr. Teixeria says. “Patients walk in dressed in their street clothes. They sit in a procedure room on a reclining-type chair, put their operative arm out on a table, and about 15–20 minutes later, their surgery is done. They get up, walk out and drive home themselves.”
The Sonex Health MicroKnife’s incision is three to four millimeters in length with no stitches required. Most patients can return to their normal activities three to five days after their surgery.
“A lot of people are hesitant to have carpal tunnel surgery because they don’t want to be out of work for three to four to six weeks, but it may not be necessary if they qualify for the Sonex Health MicroKnife surgery,” Dr. Teixeria says. “If a physician has patients who may qualify, I encourage them to send their patients to us so they can learn more about the Sonex Health MicroKnife technique. Patients may be pleasantly surprised that they don’t have to limit their activities for that long after carpal tunnel release surgery.”