By Lorelei Lawson
Taking the time to provide the best and most personalized care to each and every patient is the hallmark at Premier Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, with offices in Hattiesburg and Laurel. This dedicated team of Board Certified, Fellowship trained medical professionals at Premier goes the extra mile to ensure that every patient benefits from their years of specialized care and experience. That dedication to their patients is what sets Premier Orthopaedics apart from the crowd.
The practice began when orthopaedic surgeons Dr. Thomas Baylis and Dr. Jeffrey Burns stepped away from a larger physician group to branch out on their own in December 2008. At the urging of some other physicians, they decided to partner up and establish an orthopaedic surgery practice. “I was tired of being in a multi-specialty group, and I thought about leaving Mississippi altogether,” said Dr. Burns. “But I had known Dr. Baylis for two years. He’s a good doctor , he’s got a good heart and provides the best treatment options for his patients.”
The partners, now in business together for almost six years, have built a strong reputation in the community with their caring approach and personalized treatment programs for their patients. If a patient does require surgery, it is important they understand what to expect before and after surgery. The benefits and risks involved with the actual surgical procedure will be discussed, as well as the rehabilitation process after the surgery. This type of high quality patient care insures that each person is knowledgeable about their condition and comfortable with every decision involved with their health care.
The surgeons at Premier Orthopaedics also take time to help out their fellow physicians who have patients needing orthopaedic evaluations or treatments outside of office hours. “If they have a patient at night or on the weekend, we’ll drive to the family practice doctor’s office and see that patient there.”
Dr. Jeffrey Burns
Dr. Burns started out his post-graduate studies with a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with thoughts of obtaining his doctorate degree in organic chemistry and working as a research chemist. After a change of plan, and after doing some volunteer work, he graduated from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 1999 and completed his general surgery internship and orthopaedic surgery residency at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He then traveled to the Florida Orthopaedic Institute in Tampa, FL, to complete his fellowship training. “I did nothing but hips and knees for a year,” Dr. Burns said. “I must have done six to eight hundred.”
Now, Dr. Burns is breaking new ground in Mississippi as one of the only surgeons in the state using the Praxim robotic-assisted system for total knee replacement. The robotic system can plan the surgery down to the finest detail without the need for pre-surgery CT scans or MRIs. The system can precisely replicate each surface of the patient’s damaged knee using computer software. Then, Dr. Burns can plan the size, position and orientation of the implant before making any bone cuts. Once the planning is complete, the Praxim Robotic Cutting Guide is attached to the patient’s knee, allowing the surgeon to customize each individual cut to precisely match the patient’s specific anatomy insuring the best possible placement of the implants.
The Praxim Computer Assisted Navigation System featuring Apex Robotic Technology (ART) should help implants last longer. His training in Tampa was also where Dr. Burns perfected his technique for less invasive hip replacement, which cuts down the pain and recovery time formerly associated with hip replacement surgery.
There are three main approaches for hip replacement: the posterior, or rear, method, which requires cutting through large muscles; the lateral, or side, approach; and the anterior, or front technique. “I have done all three approaches, and I don’t know why you would do it any other way than the anterior approach,” Dr. Burns said. “If you have had an injury in the past or have a major deformity in the bone, it might not be the best way, but in well over 95 percent of cases we can go in through the front.”
Anterior approach patients typically have a drastically reduced recovery time. “I have had quite a few people come in three weeks after their surgery, and it’s not uncommon to see them come in with no walker or cane,” Dr. Burns said. “With the other two approaches, they might be using a walker or cane after six weeks. Everyone is different, but for the young healthy patient with good strength, it’s just amazing how well they do.”
Dr. Burns cites two examples of how this anterior approach has significantly improved the lives of two of his patients. “I saw one man a few years ago that drove a big tour bus, and we had him back to work in five weeks,” Dr. Burns said. “I treated another man several years ago in his early 30s who had bad hips from childhood. He worked for an oil pipeline company and walked through the woods all day. We did one hip, and three weeks later, he asked when we could do the other hip. Within eight weeks total he was back to work at his job.”
Physician Assistant Steve Ryder
An integral part of the team at Premier Orthopaedics is Physician Assistant Steve Ryder, who evaluates and develops personalized treatment plans for patients under the guidance of the team’s surgeons. His road to a career in medicine began after he earned a master’s degree in exercise physiology from the University of Southern MS. While working as a graduate assistant, he completed internships at both Forrest General and Southern Heart. At Southern Heart, a nurse practitioner mentioned he had all the experience and requirements to become a Physician’s Assistant, and he made the switch. “As a Physician Assistant, our training is in family medicine,” Ryder explains. “After graduation our training can continue in any medical specialty.” With Dr. Baylis as his supervising surgeon, Ryder is putting his background in exercise physiology to good use as he sees and treats patients for Premier Orthopaedics. Mid-level providers extend the care of our supervising physicians. We can treat basic fractures, do casting and splinting, and see and evaluate our post-surgery patients.” In addition, Ryder often scrubs in with one of the surgeons to assist in procedures.
A confirmed sports nut, Ryder still roots for his alma mater, Rutgers, but has formed allegiances with teams closer to his home in Hattiesburg. “College and pro football are my passions,” Ryder said. His wife, Jodi, works for Southern Mississippi, so, “I can’t root for Mississippi State,” Ryder joked, but I do try to catch an LSU game.
Premier care at Premier Orthopaedics
The dedicated Board Certified, Fellowship trained team at Premier Orthopaedics is ready to help their patients with a wide range of orthopaedic services, from cysts and simple fractures, to ACL repair, arthroscopic shoulder repair, fractures of the hand, foot, ankle, leg or arm, and total joint replacement. Patients who choose Premier Orthopaedics know they can count on Dr. Thomas Baylis, Dr. Jeffrey Burns, Dr. Stephen Treacy, or Steve Ryder, PA-C to give them the best individualized care they need for a successful outcome.
For more information on Premier Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, or to schedule an appointment, please call 601-296-2100 or visit their website at premierorthopaedic.com.
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