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Trinity’s new Joint and Spine Center outlined

March 18, 2009
By PAUL GIANNAMORE, Business editor

STEUBENVILLE - Trinity Health System is beginning to do for joint and spine injuries what it's done for cancer patients - give them the chance to be treated well locally without having to head out of town for relief.

Joann Mulrooney, vice president of nursing services, explained the new Trinity Joint and Spine Center to members of the board of trustees of the Community Improvement Corp. during its monthly meeting held Tuesday in the boardroom at Trinity Medical Center East.

Mulrooney said that, as was the case with cancer patients before the advent of Trinity's Tony Teramana Cancer Center, surveys found many local residents going out of the area for treatment of joint and spine cases.

Mulrooney said about 1,000 orthopedic and spine cases were leaving the area annually, with about 480 of those being for spine treatment or surgery. There was no full-time spinal surgeon in the area, she said, and not enough orthopedic physicians to cover the emergency room's needs 365 days a year.

Trinity recruited Dr. Jeff Shall, an orthopedic and spinal surgeon with 20 years' experience from Cleveland. He joined Dr. Kumar Amin to develop the Trinity Joint and Spine Center. The center includes them and a physiatrist, Dr. Milton Swaby. Trinity invested in the latest spine surgery equipment and uses digital recording of X-rays that enables doctors to immediately be able to review them. Physical therapy is adjacent to the spine center physicians' offices at the new Medical Pavilion at Trinity Medical Center West, and bracing services are available there, too. A patient could be able to be diagnosed, receive plans for physical therapy and leave the hospital with a needed brace all in one day, Mulrooney said.

For inpatients, the physical therapy services are available near the new private rooms at the Medical Pavilion and for longer-term inpatient rehabilitation, services are provided at Trinity East.

The Trinity Joint and Spine Center, with the motto "Pain should be temporary," is able to treat a wide range of orthopedic, joint, spinal and sports injuries, Mulrooney said. Minimally invasive surgery options are available. She said the Consumer Guide to Ohio Hospital Quality already had given Trinity's hip and knee replacement program the highest rating available.

The center has been open for about two months and already has treated 55 patients who otherwise would have had to leave the area for care, Mulrooney said.

For information, call the Trinity Joint and Spine Center at (740) 283-2062.

(Giannamore can be contacted at

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