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Shouldering On: Lawrence General’s Collaborative Orthopedic Surgery Program Focuses on High-Quality Results for Patients

You know you’re in trouble when the simple human act of waving hello is associated with pain. “It’s hard to describe the experience of living in constant pain,” says power plant engineer Mike Andreoli. “I would spend most of my time trying to find a ‘happy spot’ for my shoulders. I lived with it for decades.” 

The Hudson, New Hampshire, resident could not drive without pain, nor could he perform simple tasks in the yard. After years of enduring increasing pain, he found Pamela Jones, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Lawrence General Hospital who specializes in the delicate work of repairing shoulders. 

“She’s unbelievable,” Mike says with a smile. After undergoing a total replacement of his right shoulder and then his left the following year, he exclaims: “I have no pain! To have that pain gone after all those years, it’s just hard to articulate how it’s changed my life. The other day I suddenly realized I had put my arm around my wife’s shoulders, without even thinking about it. Something so small and yet so important!”

 A new partnership. Joint replacement and other orthopedic surgery, including hips, knees, shoulders, and spine surgery, are all part of a unique new partnership among Associates in Orthopedics, Orthopaedics Northeast, and Lawrence General Hospital. The co-management agreement allows for close collaboration in the development of an orthopedic surgery program that offers a comprehensive experience, from pre-surgical patient education, to peri-operative best practice standards, standardized post-surgical rehabilitation, and continuous quality and outcomes monitoring and improvement. 

“The consistency we are building is key to great outcomes,” comments Dr. Jones. “In this partnership, we are agreeing to work together, share our best techniques, and establish standards for patients that we all follow in order to achieve consistent, high-quality results for our shared patients. Best of all, this type of approach has proven to provide better results at a lower cost to patients.” 

“The navigated orthopedic experience ensures early contact with patients to provide frequent, timely, and accurate communication of information, expectations, and shared goals,” adds Liz Coulter, Inpatient Rehabilitation coordinator at Lawrence General. “Developing stronger patient relationships earlier in the process has resulted in higher patient satisfaction, fewer complications, improved post-surgical pain management, decreased lengths of stay, and earlier return of function.” 

Care close to home. The power plant where Mike works supplies electricity on Longwood Avenue, the home of several of Boston’s storied academic medical centers. He knows them well. However, “Lawrence General was my choice,” he says. “There’s been a lot of upgrading. They have the new Santagati Center for surgery. And, Dr. Jones is there, so that’s where I was going.”

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