Orthopedic Services

Southeast Alabama Medical Center's orthopedic program has a strong reputation of providing specialized orthopedic and rehabilitation services to assist patients of all ages. Patients with physical disabilities can achieve optimal mobility and performance to enjoy life to the fullest degree possible.

We use a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach that tailors treatment to meet each patient's individual needs. Our services include acute orthopedic care in a specialized inpatient orthopedic unit as well as:

  • Orthopedic Surgery Education Program
  • Joint Replacement Center
  • Geriatric Fracture Program
  • Rehabilitation Services

Working with Southern Bone & Joint Specialists, a group of independent orthopedic surgeons who are members of our medical staff, our orthopedic center provides the highest quality care in a supportive and caring environment. Patient experience is enhanced in our newly remodeled orthopedic unit with a staff that has specialized training and advanced certification in orthopedic care. A specialized geriatric fracture program addresses the specific needs of our older patients.

For more information about orthopedic services, call SAMC at 334-712-3336 or 1-800-735-4998.


The anterior or frontal approach to total hip replacement has gained in popularity among surgeons and patients who see it as less invasive, with a quicker recovery period compared to traditional hip replacement.

Southern Bone & Joint physicians, independent orthopedic surgeons, are performing this technique with the surgical team at SAMC.

Using the anterior approach allows for hip muscles to be moved out of the way instead of cut; the replacement of joint cartilage and bone is performed by going between the hip muscles that help hold the hip joint in place. Smaller incisions, which can be glued and not stitched or stapled, are possible, and the procedure spares muscle tissue and results in fewer complications such as dislocation of the new ball joint. Leaving the muscle intact provides greater joint stability.

The anterior approach reduces hospital stay and allows for quicker rehabilitation. Patients can bear weight soon after the surgery.

The procedure is appropriate for patients who are active and eager to return to work and their daily activities as quickly as possible. It is not recommended for obese patients or those with conditions that don't allow manipulating the hip without cutting muscles.
Hip replacement is a surgical procedure to replace a worn out or damaged hip with an artificial joint (prosthesis). This surgery may be considered following a hip fracture or for someone who has severe pain due to arthritis.

An average of 150 artificial hip replacement surgeries are performed yearly at SAMC. 

Hip replacement may become necessary if activities such as walking, sitting, or even resting become painful. The goal of hip replacement surgery is to replace the parts of the hip joint that have been damaged and to relieve hip pain that cannot be controlled by other treatments.

Kay McDurmont
New Brockton, Ala.

Diagnosis: Degenerative joint disease
Treatment: Anterior Hip Replacement

I wish everybody could have this type of surgery. I had no stitches or staples. The incision was glued. I know this procedure is different, but I feel like it was the Lord that got me through it all. 

I was able to get up and start going a week after surgery. I could do my own exercises and everything. I didn't have any pain. I have a pool, so I am looking forward to swimming and getting out walking.

Before the surgery, I was in pain. My children did my grocery and Christmas shopping because it hurt so bad for me to get up, sit down and walk. I gained weight because I couldn't get around. It hurt to sit, stand, get my leg in the car ... there were lots of tears and frustration.

Now I can go anywhere. I can go all over the store, get my groceries, go home and unload it and cook a meal. I haven't been able to do that in some time.

I am glad to have had the anterior hip replacement. My daughter, who is a nurse, wanted me to have this kind of surgery. She said I would not have pain and she was right.

For most orthopedic diseases and injuries, there is more than one form of treatment. Treatment may involve medications,5568OrthopedicEducation medical devices such as casts or splints and/or therapies such as exercise or surgery. Physicians will discuss the various and appropriate treatment options with each patient to select the best treatment plan possible.

Should the need for surgery be determined, SAMC's orthopedic surgery education program will help prepare patients and their caregivers. SAMC's innovative approach has proven successful in reducing the recovery period and returning patients to the activities of daily living through regained strength, independence and confidence.

Even before admission, an orthopedic case manager, a physical therapist and an occupational therapist begin to prepare patients and their families for what to expect during the hospital stay. Recommendations will be provided regarding adaptive equipment for use at home, exercises that will be important and helpful during rehabilitation, fall prevention and what to expect during at-home recovery.


Patients may be admitted to the hospital through the Emergency Department or as a referral from a physician. Streamlined admission processes ensure that patients receive care as quickly as possible. Effective pain management is one of our primary goals from the time you arrive. In addition to pain management through the use of medication, we aim for early surgical treatment when necessary to relieve pain.


We take surgery very seriously. Therefore, we exhaust all other available forms of treatment first. In the event that surgery is required, rest assured that you are in the hands of some of the most skilled orthopedic surgeons in the Southeast. 


Our anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists are highly skilled specialists in treating orthopedic patients. Anesthesia may be general or spinal. The anesthesiologist, in conjunction with you and your family and physicians, choose the most appropriate anesthetic.

Post-Operative Care

Recovering from orthopedic surgery presents challenges not always encountered with other surgical procedures. Rehab is an important aspect of post-operative recovery, allowing the patient to return to a comfortable level of activity. At Southeast Alabama Medical Center, we do everything possible to ensure a safe and easy recovery.


Most patients are able to return home after surgery but may require continued rehab, which is available in a variety of ways. Rehab services can be provided in the comfort of your own home. Some choose to travel to outpatient rehab facilities. If needed and recommended by the doctor some may need those rehab services provided in a nursing home or rehab hospital. Case Management is available to assist with any of these arrangements during your hospital stay.


Joint replacement is needed when an arthritic or dysfunctional joint causes severe pain and inhibits patient mobility.9100JointReplacementCenter Joint replacement surgery is most common in knees and hips. SAMC takes a comprehensive approach to joint replacement with the goal of helping each patient regain independence by returning to work and other daily activities with little or no pain.

The patient's health, comfort and recovery are collectively our number one priority. Each patient is treated by a team of professionals who are specialists in total joint care. Every detail, from pre-operative teaching to post-operative exercising, is considered and reviewed with the patient. A Joint Care Case Manager will plan an individualized treatment program and help guide the patient through it.

Each patient's team includes the director of orthopedics, physicians and nurses, the Joint Center coordinator, orthopedic case managers, physical therapists and occupational therapists, all of whom specialize in total joint care. The patient's personal care team will work with the patient and their family/caregiver(s) in helping the patient achieve the best possible outcome from joint surgery.


At Southeast Alabama Medical Center, we specialize in treating knees – whether it’s an ACL injury, a meniscal tear, posterior cruciate ligament injury, runner’s knee or arthritis. Our physicians specialize in getting you back on your feet.


More than 35,000 people fracture a hip every year. And beyond that, other maladies like inflammatory arthritis of the hip and osteoarthritis of the hip are common. Our caring team develops a plan to address reducing pain and increasing the range of movement. We also help with coordinating a total hip replacement when necessary.


The shoulder is vulnerable to all kinds of strains, tears and stresses. We can help alleviate pain with the help of our physician partners at Southern Bone and Joint Specialists.  Whether it’s shoulder pain, a rotator cuff tear, or arthritis of the shoulder, we have the means, staff and skill set to deal with the problem quickly and effectively.