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Orthopedic Clinic Keeps Patients Happy and Active

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Darren Cason, from Fallon, Nevada, applies a posterior upper-extremity plaster splint to a Sailor in Naval Hospital Pensacola’s Orthopedics Clinic. The Orthopedics Clinic treatment for a wide range of injuries.

Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Brannon Deugan
Naval Hospital Pensacola

Naval Hospital Pensacola’s (NHP) Orthopedics Clinic offers treatment for a wide range of injuries to assist beneficiaries with orthopedic needs.

Orthopedics is the care and study of bone diseases as well as the repair and treatment of bones and musculoskeletal injuries.

“Orthopedic care is a huge need,” said Lt. Cmdr. Johnathan Williams, an orthopedic surgeon, NHP. “A large percentage of all emergency room and urgent care center visits are orthopedic complaints, and here at the NHP Orthopedic Clinic we are happy to treat these patients once diagnosed.”

According to Williams, the Orthopedics Clinic is primarily concerned with two missions. The first mission focuses on active duty patients while the second mission is geared toward retirees and service member’s families.

“For the active duty patients, it is important to maintain or return patients as quickly as possible to full duty status so they can continue their mission,” said Williams. “Our second mission is to help retirees and the families of service members to maintain or return to active and healthy lifestyles.”

The Orthopedics Clinic covers a wide span of orthopedic services to aid patients with living active and healthy lives. The clinic provides consultations and surgeries to include the hands, knees, hips, shoulders, feet and ankles.

“We offer too many surgeries to name,” said Williams, from Killeen, Texas. “But the majority of what we see here is orthopedics sports related injuries and arthritis.”

Sports related orthopedic injuries can include ankle sprains, tennis elbow, anterior cruciate ligament injuries, meniscus tears and shoulder dislocations. Arthritis refers to the wear and tear of joints from a previous injury or age related changes. NHP’s Orthopedics Clinic is capable of providing full services on these conditions and more.

A common injury that is seen in the Orthopedic Clinic is broken bones. Broken bones need to be immobilized with a cast or splint to allow proper healing.

“Casting and splinting is our standard way of healing patients with broken bones,” said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Darren Cason, an orthopedic technician. “Casting and splinting is an art form. It is a skill that is learned over weeks and weeks of applied practice, and this is important to learn because the correct immobilization of the injury allows healing so the patient will not need surgery.”

According to Cason, from Fallon, Nevada, three to five splints are applied daily to patients as well as continued practice and training to ensure the art form is developed and maintained.

“We do everything orthopedics related except for the spine,” said Williams. “We are willing and eager to provide care for our patients in the community.”

The Orthopedic Clinic is available to all TRICARE and Department of Veteran Affairs beneficiaries on a referral only basis. Patients will need to see their primary care provider to discuss referral options. For more information on receiving a referral to the Orthopedics Clinic, please contact the Health Benefits Office at 850-505-6709.

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