It may shock you to know that there are close to 350,000 hip fractures in the U.S. each year, costing more than $10 billion to treat; by 2040, that cost is expected to climb to more than $240 billion. Research also shows that dedicated fracture programs are able to optimize outcomes and reduce costs.
Health First Holmes Regional Medical Center opened the Center for Fracture Care this past July as part of the Level II Trauma Center. It is the only one on the Space Coast, bringing to the area a level of care and expertise that patients used to have to go to major metropolitan areas to find. By prioritizing specialty care for patients with fractures based upon age, fracture type and co-morbidities, the Center’s surgeons, physicians, physician assistants, nurses and therapists work together to maximize outcomes for patients while minimizing the length of their hospital stay, and therefore, the expense.
Brevard’s only fellowship-trained orthopedic traumatologist and fracture specialist, Dr. Dan Segina, commented on the Center’s focus, “Every fracture patient is unique and at the Center for Fracture Care, our treatment is focused on the individual. With that being said, there are also commonalities that allow us to formulate treatment options best suited for specific types of fractures within specific age groups. These procedures have been practiced at other facilities and hospitals with data collected validating their use with regard to fracture care. Providing expedited high-quality care is at the core of what we do at the Center for Fracture Care. It has been demonstrated over and over again that this approach maximizes patient outcome, minimizes complications, and provides for the most cost-effective delivery of care. We are extremely pleased to be able to offer these services right here in Brevard County.”
Traumatology and fracture care is a subspecialty within orthopedics, which requires additional training beyond a standard orthopedic residency. An entire year is dedicated to diagnosis and treatment of individuals with complex fractures and injuries. These injuries are commonly seen in motor vehicle and motorcycle accidents. However, complex fractures can occur (particularly in our elderly population) from simple falls.
Snowboards, Skis & Surgeons Another key member of the team, Dr. John Perry, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, also serves as the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team physician. However, it wasn’t a job he found. According to Dr. Perry, “The team actually found me while I was developing the orthopedic program at Mammoth Hospital in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. I have been working with the team for about 12 years and will be soon traveling to France with them. Working with the team is both exciting and rewarding. I truly enjoy taking care of the athletes and managing their injuries, which can be life threatening at times. Since medical services aren’t always state-of-the-art in other countries, you really have to be prepared for anything in those situations and I am fortunate to be on hand to help.”
Looking toward the future and where technologies like hip replacement devices could go, Dr. Perry said, “Barring financial constraints by federal and state agencies, the sky is the limit regarding the future of joint replacement. We continue to improve the components of these replacements by making the implants stronger and making the bearing surfaces as friction-free as possible. This allows us to improve longevity and minimize problems that can occur when implants wear out, while surgical advances help us reduce post-operative pain.”
Commenting on the most challenging aspect of his practice, Dr. Segina said, “It revolves around the need to have my ‘A Game’ available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. The rewards are continuous as patients come to me with a need for orthopedic care, and I am able to collaborate with our talented team to hopefully help them return to their previous quality of life. I truly enjoy watching my patients not just survive but thrive after an injury.”