A FULL-SERVICE ORTHOPEDIC FACILITY ENCOMPASSING MEDICAL, SURGICAL, AND THERAPEUTIC TREATMENT IS ONE OF MAIMONIDES MEDICAL CENTER’S MOST RECENT AND BOROUGH-VITAL INNOVATIONS
BY JESSICA JONES-GORMAN • PHOTOS © AMESSÉ PHOTOGRAPHY
A little more than a decade ago, the administration at Maimonides Medical Center recognized the intrinsic need for comprehensive orthopedic services in our densely populated county.
“It was a universal truth that Brooklyn residents would routinely migrate outside of the borough to seek orthopedic care,” noted Dr. Jack Choueka, the hospital’s Chair of Orthopedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Services, who was instrumental in developing the institution’s nationally recognized Bone and Joint Center. “Here we were with this quality program, with all of these quality doctors, and not getting the recognition we deserved from patients within our own borough. So, we formed a vision for a high-end, one-stop center where patients could receive all of their bone and joint services in one location.”
It was a concept the healthcare institution had tossed around for years: building a centralized site for orthopedic care where patients could visit a doctor, radiologist, therapist, and even have surgery all in one building, simplifying the process and offering collaborative care. In 2013, that center finally came to fruition.
“Initially the building was going to be just an endoscopy center, but we made a solid case for its expansion into a full service orthopedic facility,” Choueka recalled. “We started with one full floor and 17 exam rooms. Within a few months we had outgrown that space and took over an additional floor. Last year, we opened up another nine exam rooms to accommodate the 45,000 patients we see annually.”
Choueka, who was born at Maimonides Medical Center, grew up in Brooklyn and attended the Columbia School of Engineering before switching gears and enrolling in medical school at SUNY Downstate. He completed his internship at New York University Medical Center, his residency at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, and his fellowship at the University of Chicago Hospital. He returned to Maimonides in 1998, citing a love for the nearby community, and the borough more broadly.
“I knew the culture here…felt a comfort in this community,” he said. “And I knew there was a sparsity of well trained orthopedic surgeons, specifically in my specialty of hand and upper extremity care.”
Named Maimonides Chair of Orthopedics in 2006, Choueka specializes in orthopedic, hand, elbow, and shoulder surgery and treats a wide variety of conditions, including arthritis, broken bones, carpal tunnel syndrome, congenital hand problems, nerve injuries, rotator cuff disease, and sports related shoulder, elbow, and wrist problems. He serves as president of the New York Society for Surgery of the Hand, and is former president of the Brooklyn Orthopedic Society. He is the recipient of numerous research grants, and presents his work at national and international meetings. He has published articles on a variety of topics, including rotator cuff and flexor tendon repair and new devices and techniques in orthopedic surgery.
Choueka’s medical philosophy is to avoid surgery if at all possible, but if it is necessary, to utilize minimally invasive procedures, which allow patients to get function back more quickly.
“Technology in orthopedic surgery and advancement in the implants we use have really exploded over the years,” he said. “Twenty years ago, I could not have imagined that we’d be doing the things we’re doing now…sophisticated computer assisted surgeries and the creation of patient specific instrumentation, in which we are literally building the instrument specific to a patient’s anatomy. These are just a few of the groundbreaking developments we commonly use now. The advances are so incredible, and will only continue to grow, adding that Maimonides Bone and Joint Center is at the forefront of such advances.
“The simplicity of having every kind of orthopedic treatment from medical to surgical to therapeutic is priceless for patients,” Choueka said. “And over the past few years, we’ve recruited orthopedic specialists in spine, foot and ankle, hand, trauma, oncology, and microsurgery to our program. These doctors are all highly trained leaders in their fields and we all work closely together. We have frequent conferences to discuss patient care and offer the most advanced treatments in each and every one of our fields.”
The Bone and Joint Center’s dedicated fluoroscopy room, imaging facilities, electromyography (EMG) and neurophysiological testing capabilities, updated ultrasound technology, and a staff of pediatric and adult orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists, pain management specialists, rheumatologists, sports medicine doctors, and spine surgeons, all on site, make those advanced treatments possible. The ambulatory surgery center, likewise located within the building, provides a relaxed atmosphere for patients to have their procedures. A full service therapy facility will open shortly on the ground floor, allowing them to recover in the same location.
“We simply offer the best quality and collaborative care in the city,” Choueka concluded. “And it’s an honor and privilege to serve the needs of this community. This entire staff is passionately dedicated to the improvement of their patients’ lives. That’s what makes this center and this program a success.”
Maimonides Medical Center
4802 10th Avenue / 718.283.6000 / maimonidesmed.org