Whoever said retirement means slowing down hasn’t met 70-year-old Helen Akers of Geneseo. “If I’m not working out at the gym, then I’m on the move, driving to one sporting event after another to cheer on my 10 grandchildren,” she says. “I just love going to their games, so we put a lot of miles in and around the Quad Cities.”
Fit and Fabulous at 70 Years
This self-appointed family cheerleader has regained both her strength and stamina after undergoing two separate orthopedic surgeries for pain in her spine and knee. “No one has time for pain in their life and that included me,” recalls Helen. Although young at heart, as with many Baby Boomers, Helen was experiencing the pains of aging with deteriorating disk cartilage in her neck and osteoarthritis in her knee — both of which threatened to put her on the sidelines during her best years with her family.
“My neck and shoulder were the first to give me trouble. I had numbness in both arms and then the pain just got worse. I went from doctor to doctor for treatment and the pain was just limiting my life. It hurt so much I couldn’t sleep,” Helen recalls.
Dr. Michael Berry, a fellowship-trained spine surgeon from ORA Orthopedics, discovered Helen suffered from a pinched nerve in her neck that required surgery. “Pinched nerves caused radiating pain down her arms. I performed what’s called an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, which is the common procedure to treat Helen’s condition,” he explains. Dr. Berry removed Helen’s bulging disk and deteriorated cartilage between her vertebrae and took the pressure off her nerve. He then fused her bones together with a small plate and screws to lock in place. “When patients wake up, they typically feel instantaneously better,” says Dr. Berry.
Same-Day Surgery, Faster Recovery
It isn’t unusual for seniors Helen’s age to experience joint and bone pain, and her knee was no exception. Deteriorating cartilage from arthritis meant a total knee replacement that has restored strength and movement as well. “Wear and tear over the years can cause the loss of cartilage around a joint like the knee,” explains Dr. Mark Stewart, an ORA surgeon specializing in sports medicine, and arthroscopic and joint replacement surgery. To get Helen moving again, Dr. Stewart performed a total knee replacement, removing the old cartilage and inserting a high-grade implant into her knee joint — all while preserving the majority of her ligaments, muscles, and tendons. The surgery requires small incisions, a short hospital stay, and Helen was up and moving the same day. “I tell my patients they are able to return to biking and swimming very quickly.” Helen is fully recovered now and back to her routine of gym workouts and attending sporting events.
ORA Orthopedics — the QC Leader in Orthopedic Care
From active seniors like Helen to amateur, elite, and professional athletes, to even the smallest child who will overcome bone and muscular challenges, more than 10,000 patients are treated each year by ORA’s trusted 27 physicians in a practice that now serves a large part of the bi-state region.
ORA mobilizes its team of physicians and staff to put their diverse expertise and vast resources to work and get patients back to life. “Our mission is simply to ensure our patients reach their fullest potential and restore as much strength and movement as possible, all with the least amount of risk,” says Joseph Martin, MD, President.
“Our philosophy of care begins with respecting each patient and understanding their goals, so that in partnership with us, they receive the best possible outcome,” he adds. “Our experienced physicians and staff are specially trained in all aspects of orthopedic care so that we can offer a variety of innovative surgical and practical non-surgical options backed by sound advice.”
ORA has become the region’s leading orthopedic practice after more than 50 years of building on the expertise and the community commitment of its physicians. “Most of our physicians grew up in the Quad City region and have come home to raise their families and improve our area’s quality of life,” says Ken Brockman, CEO.
Eight Centers of Orthopedic Excellence
ORA’s practice is built around eight centers of excellence that focus specifically on treating their related conditions. These centers are the Foot and Ankle Center, the Hand Center, the Hip and Knee Center, the Pediatric Center, the Shoulder and Elbow Center, the Spine Center, the Sports Medicine Center, and the Total Joint Center.
ORA’s Sports Medicine Center is the largest sports medicine practice in the region, as amateur and elite athletes in every generation find that the more active they are, the more injury prone they become. ORA’s sports medicine physicians are also team physicians for every professional and collegiate organization in the Quad Cities, as well as virtually every area high school in both Iowa and Illinois. ORA’s on-site physical therapy also ensures care and rehabilitation is closely coordinated between doctors and physical therapists for a safe and quick return to the activities athletes and patients love.
ORA’s Total Joint Center is also growing and offering treatment that puts patients on their feet and back to life. Adds Dr. Stewart, “better diagnostic and imaging technology, as well as minimally invasive surgical techniques like arthroscopy, have transformed the way surgeries are performed. When I started practice, incisions were about six to eight inches, and it’s now about half that or less.” The result — the majority of ORA’s patients undergo same-day treatment and surgeries, smaller incisions, and faster recovery — all while enjoying the highest standard of care in the region.
Just ask Helen Akers, who represents a generation that is aging more healthfully and staying active longer than ever. “I often wonder why I endured pain for so long, when both of my surgeries have left me stronger. I am so grateful to both Dr. Berry and Dr. Stewart for getting me back on my feet. Life is too short to live with pain, and family time is too precious to waste.”
Celebrating 50 Years
What started as two small practices in both Davenport and Moline nearly a half century ago, now encompasses seven locations in the Quad City area. While its main offices are based in Bettendorf and Moline, there are additional locations in Davenport, Durant, and DeWitt. Illinois satellite locations include Silvis and Geneseo.
For injuries such as broken bones, strains and sprains, sports or work-related injuries, ORA has also recently opened a new after-hours orthopedic injury clinic at its main office on 53rd in Bettendorf. Urgent OrthoCARE has in-house digital X-ray to help treat and diagnose your injury at the time of your visit. MRI services are also available.
To learn more about ORA Orthopedics, visit www.qcora.com, and for ORA events and patient success stories, follow us at www.facebook.com/ORAOrthopedics. For questions or to schedule an appointment, please call 563-322-0971 (Iowa) or 309-762-3621 (Illinois).
ORA Orthopedics by the Numbers
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ORA Orthopedics Centers of Excellence
The practice’s Centers of Excellence features specialty-trained physicians in the following areas:
Foot & Ankle Center
Feet contain more than 100 bones, tendons, muscles, and ligaments and form 33 joints. ORA physicians are specialists in foot and ankle pain and problems, and treat such injuries as ankle fractures, plantar fasciitis, and tendonitis. From sprains and sports injuries to surgery for bunions and fractures, ORA ensures you put your best foot forward.
Common problems for hands and wrists include arthritis, tendonitis, carpal tunnel, or other fractures and dislocations. Many hand and wrist problems can also be treated non-surgically with splints, casts, cortisone injections, or physical therapy. ORA physicians offer superior care, hands down.
Hip and Knee Center
Osteoarthritis, the loss of cartilage in the hip or knee joint from wear and tear, is common. Young athletes can also suffer cartilage or ligament tears that can sideline them for months. ORA’s hip and knee specialists perform common procedures including hip and knee replacements, hip and knee arthroscopy, and revisions to get patients back to life and doing things they enjoy.
Children can suffer from a number of common orthopedic injuries, including broken bones, fractures, and growth plate trauma. ORA’s physicians are also specially trained in pediatric orthopedics to treat conditions such as clubfoot, scoliosis, and neuromuscular challenges.
Shoulder and Elbow Center
ORA physicians who specialize in the shoulder and elbow provide comprehensive treatment for a number of problems. Common shoulder injuries include tendonitis, bursitis, osteoarthritis, and muscle tears. Elbow injuries can also be painful and treatments are available for tennis and golf elbow, as well as cubital tunnel syndrome.
Most people will experience back pain at least once during their lifetime. Experts at ORA’s Spine Center are specially trained to treat back and neck pain, injuries and other conditions such as degenerative and herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and bone spurs.
Sports Medicine Center
More area professional and amateur athletes trust ORA to treat their sports-related injuries and manage their recovery than any other orthopedic practice in the region. Combining advanced treatment methods with one-on-one attention and on-site physical therapy to coordinate your comeback, ORA is dedicated to getting you back in the game.
Total Joint Center
ORA’s joint replacement specialists have extensive experience in all aspects of joint care. Joint replacement surgery entails replacing a severely diseased joint, most commonly the hip, knee, or shoulder, with an artificial implant. Recent advancements in joint replacement surgery include more durable implants, less invasive surgical techniques, and quicker recovery.
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