Why Choose a Specialist?

April 10th, 2020

Delaware Orthopaedic Specialists: We Are Specialists

In decades past—and even today at many orthopaedic practices—it was not uncommon for the same surgeon to work on more than one area of the body. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons was founded in 1933 and a surgeon who trained as an orthopaedist performed a wide range of surgeries, from foot and ankle to knees and spine.

Not so at DOS: The physicians at Delaware Orthopaedic Specialists (DOS) are all specialists who work within their own concentrated area of expertise.

As medical knowledge continues to expand at an increasingly rapid pace, specializing in a particular field of medicine or surgery has become more common and, according to the specialists who work at DOS, necessary.

“Thirty years ago, there was limited fellowship training in particular specialties,” says Joshua Vaught, CEO at DOS. “Our orthopaedic surgeons are Fellowship trained and work exclusively in a specialty area.” This means they receive additional training in their chosen area of specialty within the broader field of orthopaedics. Their surgical experience has been honed over years of study, training and hands-on work with hundreds, even thousands, of patients.

Why is fellowship training an important distinction for patients who need orthopaedic surgery?

Spread among their six office locations, DOS surgeons see an average of 600-650 patients each day, or close to 150,000 patients each year. The orthopaedic total joint specialists at DOS each perform, for example, more than 600 total hip and knee replacements each year. “If a surgeon at another practice is performing 50 replacements each year, that means our surgeons are performing more of these surgeries in three years than another might do in his or her entire career,” says Vaught.

Fellowship Training in Specialized Areas at Five Locations

Each of the orthopaedic surgeons at DOS is Fellowship trained, and the specialty areas at the practice are:

• Foot & Ankle
• Hand, Wrist & Elbow
• Joint Replacement
• Spine
• Sports Medicine
• Trauma

Services, With A Focus on Patient Satisfaction

Services include full imaging with onsite MRI and ultrasound. Starting in 2017, DOS served as a test site for General Electric’s MRI equipment and software. DOS continues to use the most state-of-the-art machines and software for diagnosis and evaluations. “The software is what makes the difference,” says Vaught, “and ours includes a component that allows imaging of metal joints as well.”

All surgeons at DOS encourage patients to be actively engaged in their own healthcare. “We want you to feel comfortable in your medical treatment, and that’s the partnership we enter into with our patients,” says Vaught. “If you have a surgery, it will take longer to recover if you are not engaged in the plan, physical therapy and home exercises, for instance. Two-way communication is very important and, even though we are a surgical group, we discuss all treatment options, surgical and non-surgical, in a collaborative partnership with our patients.

Sports Medicine and Total Joint Replacements

Two areas of growing concentration at DOS are sports medicine and total joint replacements.

DOS physicians donate more than 250 hours during the sports season to help ensure the safety and proper medical care of athletes at more than 20 local high schools. The Sports Medicine doctors also serve as Team Physicians for the Wilmington Blue Rocks and the Delaware Blue Coats.

The number of total joint replacements needed in the United States is increasing because so many baby boomers need them. This is one of the reasons why orthopaedic surgeons who are not specialists often perform them. DOS joint replacement specialists are active members of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons. These Fellowship-trained surgeons perform more primary and revision joint replacements each year than any other individual orthopaedic surgeon in the state of Delaware.