It’s the end of an era. Physicians Regional Medical Center, formerly St. Mary’s, announced it will be closing at the end of 2018. Knoxville Orthopaedic Clinic (KOC), the oldest and largest specialty orthopaedic practice in East Tennessee, is proud of its long history serving the community from that North Knoxville facility.
But KOC also has a history of changing with the times. Today, KOC’s 29 physicians treat patients at their four office locations in addition to Parkwest Medical Center, University of Tennessee Medical Center, Turkey Creek Medical Center, North Knoxville Medical Center, Jefferson Memorial Hospital, and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.
And there’s another choice. Back in 2010, the doctors at KOC opened their own outpatient surgery center on the Fort Sanders West campus, conveniently located near the intersection of Kingston Pike and Pellissippi Parkway. Knoxville Orthopaedic Surgery Center (KOSC) was the region’s first orthopaedic ambulatory surgery center, and it remains the only one to this day. Over the last nine years, the number of surgical procedures that can be done on an outpatient basis has continued to grow, so KOSC is continuing to grow, adding two more operating rooms that will be ready for patients in January.
Sports injury repair, hand and foot surgery, and spine procedures have been done at KOSC since the beginning. Partial knee replacements started there in 2016, with total knee and hip replacements following last year. Total shoulder replacement at the outpatient surgery center began this year.
“I was nervous when I arrived,” admits Leslie Wall, who recently had a partial knee replacement at KOSC. “But the ladies who greeted us were very calm and inviting. I had the same nurse with me from the time I got there until I went home. I’ve had other operations before, and I’ve never experienced that quality of care. I won’t go anywhere else if I need surgery in future.”
There’s plenty of free by-the-door parking, so no long walks or trouble finding the check-in desk. In the comfortable waiting room, family members are given a pager that updates them on their loved ones’ status throughout the process.
“KOSC is a state-of-the-art facility with exceptionally trained staff,” says executive director Beth Russell, MSN RN. “The experience is individually tailored to an orthopaedic patient’s needs. We offer a very safe environment for outpatient surgery, with an overnight option if needed, at a lower cost to the patient.”
The surgery center treats people of all ages, from two years old on up. Most are healthy and active, so the goal is to get them back to living the life they love. That means the fastest possible recovery with the least amount of pain.
“We’re able to be much more efficient in terms of minimizing the amount of time people have to spend here and letting them get back home, where they feel the most comfortable,” says KOC spine surgeon Dr. Luke Madigan. “And we have low infection rates because patients come here just for orthopaedic surgery. We’re not treating people with other serious health issues in the same facility.”
A KOC office and physical therapy are located right next door to the surgery center, so experienced therapists are always available to help patients before they’re discharged.
“Here, we can control the entire process for our patients, from pre-op consultation to their rehab and recovery,” says Dr. Matthew Nadaud, joint replacement surgeon with KOC. “In our changing healthcare environment, more and more people are wanting this kind of streamlined service. We needed to expand to meet that demand and serve our patients to the best of our ability.”
As the area’s leading orthopaedic experts for nearly 80 years, the physicians of Knoxville Orthopaedic Clinic will continue to stay at the forefront of their field, which includes giving their patients the best options for cost-effective, quality care throughout East Tennessee.