Types of Providers
The number of successful orthopedic surgeries performed at the Swedish Orthopedic Institute makes it a national leader in the field. Our highly professional, multidisciplinary treatment teams provide comprehensive, personalized care for patients from diagnosis and treatment through recovery. Teams are led by board-certified orthopedic surgeons or physiatrists (physicians who specialize in rehabilitation).
Orthopedic physicians who practice at Swedish are known for their vast experience and knowledge and are among the most skilled in the nation. Swedish orthopedic surgeons have helped develop state-of-the-art joint-replacement instruments and methods now being used worldwide. Physicians at Swedish are also at the forefront of sophisticated procedures and are working to pioneer the latest, safest orthopedic techniques, high-tech instruments, tools and treatments.
Orthopedic surgeons are medical doctors (M.D.) who are certified in surgical medicine with a subspecialty in orthopedics. Orthopedic surgeons specialize in surgical procedures to reconstruct or repair joints, bones and muscles. They also provide medical treatment for orthopedic concerns. An orthopedic surgeon must have a four-year undergraduate degree, four years of medical school and five or six years of residency devoted to the surgical treatment of problems with the musculoskeletal system. An additional one- or two-year fellowship is earned by surgeons who focus on a subspecialty, such as hips, spine or other specific area of the body.
Swedish’s orthopedic surgeons offer the region’s most experienced and skilled surgical treatment, performing more than 6,000 surgeries annually. Some of these are “minimally invasive” surgeries, which allow surgeons to remove bone fragments, repair tears and complete other procedures through tiny incisions. Other surgeries — including total joint replacements, knee-ligament reconstruction and neck and spine operations — are much more complex.
Swedish surgeons are skilled in virtually every orthopedic procedure available and collaborate regularly with other specialists and subspecialists to exchange information and ensure that each patient receives the very best care possible.
Physiatrists are medical doctors (M.D.) who are certified in rehabilitation medicine by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and specialize in the diagnosis and comprehensive nonsurgical management of all types of musculoskeletal injuries. A physiatrist must have a four-year undergraduate degree, four years of medical school and three or more years of residency.
Swedish’s renowned physiatrists are experts in evaluating and treating all types of injuries — from a dislocated shoulder to a slipped disc — without surgical intervention. Their approach to treatment focuses on physical therapy and rehabilitation. They offer a full range of progressive treatment options, from cortisone injections to a sophisticated spine procedure that can tighten injured tissue within a disc.
At Swedish, physiatrists carefully develop a patient's rehabilitation plan in coordination with a team of other doctors and health-care professionals. For instance, it’s not uncommon for physiatrists to interact with a patient’s family doctor, neurosurgeon and cardiac specialist to help a patient recover from a stroke. Physiatrists also work closely with the patient's family who are also an integral part of the team.
Podiatrists are doctors of podiatric medicine (D.P.M.) who have gone to a four-year college that focuses on the foot and ankle. Podiatrists also complete a one- to four-year surgical residency in problems of the foot and ankle.
Orthopedic nurses serve as vital links on the treatment team, working closely with physicians, patients and other team members to coordinate the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic concerns. They also play a key role in patient education.
Nurses in the orthopedic units at Swedish are specially trained and exceptionally skilled in anticipating a patient's needs and preventing any problems that may arise. Their extensive experience and knowledge help to achieve the best possible outcome for a patient recovering from an orthopedic procedure.
Physical therapists are experts in how the body’s muscles, joints and other parts move and work together. They are trained in proper body mechanics, including range of motion, flexibility, balance, coordination and strength.
Swedish physical therapists are certified and experienced in providing appropriate therapies that are tailored to each patient. These may include electrotherapy, ultrasound, manual-therapy techniques or therapeutic exercise. Therapists work with the patient and other members of the treatment team to help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities.
Occupational therapists play an important role in helping patients gain or recover day-to-day skills after an injury, illness or other related challenges.
Swedish occupational therapists are skilled in assessing and treating the special needs of patients. They serve a valuable function on the treatment team, by helping patients get back into daily life at home, work or school. Therapy can include exercise, special equipment, modified working or living environments, counseling and education.
Coordinated care specialists
Coordinated care specialists at Swedish are also known as discharge planners. Discharge planners are experienced social workers who specialize in helping patients (and their families) plan for care after their procedure and hospital stay. They are knowledgeable about community resources and provide assistance with paperwork, lodging, transportation and various other needs throughout the treatment process.
Depending on a patient’s individual needs, a team may also include physicians and professionals with other special training, such as cardiologists, internal-medicine physicians, neurologists, neurosurgeons or pain specialists.