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Life of an Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon

From the Show: Staying Well
Summary: Orthopedic trauma surgeons encounter anything from small injuries like falls to major injuries like gunshot wounds while working in the ER.
Air Date: 5/19/14
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Jan Szatkowski, MD
Jan SJan P. Szatkowski is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in polytrauma injuries (multiple traumatic injuries) in post-traumatic reconstruction (repair of arthritis or deformity caused by injuries). Additionally, he provides general orthopedic care.

In performing fracture surgery, Dr. Szatkowski offers minimally invasive surgery or other treatments that will spare soft tissue (muscles and tendons). He is skilled in middling in minimally invasive pelvic surgery guided by fluoroscopy (real-time moving x-ray imaging).

He performs arthroplasty (hip and knee replacement) and revision surgery of a previous surgery and treats complications of trauma such as deformity, delayed/non-union and loss of function.

Dr. Szatkowski prides himself on working with and fostering a team approach to effectively diagnose and successfully treat all patients to ensure the highest quality of life moving forward and complete patient satisfaction. He emphasizes honest communication with patients, treating patients as an entire person, rather than just the immediate medical problem.

His current research is examining techniques for treating humerus and tibia (upper arm bone and shin bone) fractures to speed healing and return of function. Dr. Szatkowski currently serves as an assistant professor in orthopedic surgery at Rush University Medical Center and is an attending surgeon at Cook County Hospital where he is a chairman in orthopedics.

In these roles, he treats complex injuries, helps train orthopedic surgery residents and stays current about new developments.
Life of an Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon
An orthopedic surgeon is called upon to treat patients suffering from the most serious and often life-threatening types of injuries. An orthopedic trauma surgeon treats traumatic injuries that affect a person's bones or joints and may also treat muscles and cartilage.

In many cases, this type of surgeon treats patients who have been injured in car accidents, falls, and other types of accidental injuries. Orthopedic surgeons may also treat those who have suffered injuries as a result of physical attacks.

As a potential patient, what are the most important elements you have to look at when first entering the emergency room?

It's sometimes overlooked, but all of those doctors and nurses work as part of a team. If you're calling 911 or if you're entering the doors of an ER, there are several different layers of medical professionals that are working together to make sure your health is taken care of.

You'll likely see an orthopedic surgeon more frequently after a surgery to follow up with post-surgery appointments and physical therapy.

Are there any new approaches to orthopedic surgery?

Orthopedic surgeons are always looking for better ways to heal the patient and advance recovery at a much quicker pace, all while still maintaining optimal health.

What are some of the challenges an orthopedic surgeon faces on a daily basis?

Jan Paul Szatkowski, MD, shares what it's like being an orthopedic trauma surgeon at Cook County Hospital. Dr. Szatkowski also discusses some of the advancements in orthopedic surgery.

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