Conditions & Services

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation at Howard University Hospital provides comprehensive musculoskeletal treatment and care of adults and children with bone, joint or connective tissue disorders. Our services are provided by an expert team of orthopaedic surgeons with subspecialty expertise, physiatrists, rheumatologists, physical therapists and occupational therapists – all in one location for your convenience.

Conditions We Treat

Our board-certified orthopaedic surgeons practice general orthopaedics, with some specializing in fractures, sports medicine, arthroscopy, foot and ankle, hand and upper extremity surgery, joint replacement and arthritis surgery, and surgery of the spine.  Utilizing our state-of-the-art orthopaedic medical facility, our team of orthopaedists is complemented by an exceptionally skilled support staff of registered nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nutritionists/dietitians, orthopaedic technicians and social workers. Our team of physiatrists also works with restoring the health and functional abilities of people after acute illness or injury such as stroke, spinal cord injuries, heart surgery, amputation, joint replacement, sports injuries or spinal disorders. The most common conditions we treat are:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If you experience hand numbness and pain, you could have carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tissues surrounding your tendons in the wrist swell and put pressure on your nerves. These tissues are called the synovium. The synovium lubricates your tendons and makes it easier for you to move your fingers. The swelling of the synovium narrows the confined space of the carpal tunnel, and over time, crowds your nerve.

Our department offers both surgical and non-surgical treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. Non-surgical treatment may include wearing a brace or splint at night, anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injections or changing or stopping the activity that may be causing your symptoms. Surgical treatments may include endoscopic surgery which means the surgeon makes a small skin incision and uses a small camera to assist in the procedure. This reduces your time of recovery and comfort.

Read more about carpal tunnel syndrome »

Trigger Finger

If you have limited finger movement, this may be caused by trigger finger. Trigger finger is when you try to straighten your finger, but it locks or catches before popping out straight. The tendon becomes momentarily stuck and you might feel a pop as the tendon slips through and your finger will suddenly shoot straight out. The tendon can become irritated as it slides through the tendon sheath tunnel. As it becomes more and more irritated, the tendon may thicken and nodules may form, making its passage through the tunnel more difficult.

Our team of specialists offers both surgical and non-surgical treatment of trigger finger. Non-surgical treatment includes anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injections, rest or a splint to keep your finger in a neutral position.

Read more about trigger finger »

Bunions

You may have a bunion if the joint that connects your big toe to your foot has a swollen, sore bump. Bunions can be in the family, but mostly occur from wearing tight shoes. According to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, nine out of ten bunions happen to women and nine out of ten women wear shoes that are too small.

Most bunions can be treated without surgery; however prevention is always best which means never wear shoes that do not fit. If your bunion has progressed to the point where you have difficulty walking, or experience pain despite special shoes, you may need surgery.  Our department offers surgery to realign bone, ligaments, tendons and nerves so your big toe can be brought back to its correct position. Our orthopaedic surgeons have several techniques to ease your pain.

Read more about bunions »

Painful Flatfoot

Flatfoot is common in children, however you can acquire flatfoot later in life as well. A variety of foot problems can lead to adult acquired flatfoot deformity, a condition that results in a fallen arch with the foot pointed outward.

Flatfoot can be treated with orthotics and braces. If you have tried orthotics and braces without any relief, our experienced orthopaedic surgeons can help with the pain and deformity.
Read more about painful flatfoot »

Diabetic Foot

Most foot problems that you may face if you are a diabetic arise from two serious complications of the disease: nerve damage and poor circulation. The lack of feeling and poor blood flow can allow a small blister to progress to a serious infection in a matter of days. The outcome can range from hospitalization for antibiotics to amputation of your toe or foot. If you have diabetes, careful, daily inspection of your feet is essential to your overall health and to prevent damage to your foot. If you fracture a bone in the foot, you may not realize it because of nerve damage. Continuing to walk on your injured foot results in more severe fractures and joint dislocations.

The goal of our orthopaedic surgeons is to heal the broken bones, as well as prevent further deformity and joint destruction. Our department offers both surgical and non-surgical treatment of diabetic fractures. Non-surgical treatment includes custom shoes, a cast or cast boot to protect foot and ankle. Surgical treatment is recommended if the foot deformity puts you at a higher risk for ulcers, or if protective shoes are not effective.

Read more about diabetic foot »

Fractures and Dislocations

Fractures and dislocations such as trauma to the shoulder are common. They may result from a fall onto the shoulder or a car accident. Types of shoulder injuries include fractures, dislocations and soft-tissue injuries. Fractures are when bones break. Dislocations are when the bone on the opposite side does not line up and soft-tissue injuries are when you have tears to your ligaments, tendons, muscles and joints such as rotator cuffs and labral.

Our department offers both surgical and non-surgical treatment of fractures and dislocations, including fractures of the clavicle, proximal humerus, scapula and shoulder separations.

Read more about fractures and dislocations »

Back Pain

Almost everyone will experience back pain or low back pain at some point in their lives. This pain can vary from mild to severe. It can be short-lived or long-lasting. However when it happens to you, back pain and low back pain can make many of your everyday activities difficult to do.

Back pain varies. It may be sharp or stabbing. It can be dull, achy, or feel like a "charley horse" type cramp. The type of pain you have will depend on the underlying cause of your back pain.

Our specialists will examine your back, discuss your medical history as well as use imaging tests to determine the cause of your back pain. In general, our treatment regimen for back pain falls into one of three categories: medications, surgery or physical medicine such as physical therapy, braces, chiropractic or manipulation therapy, traction and other exercise-based programs.

Read more about back pain »

Herniated Disc of the Neck or Lower Back

Your spine is made up of small bones, called vertebrae, which are stacked on top of one another. Muscles, ligaments, nerves, and intervertebral disks are additional parts of your spine. When you develop a back or neck pain that does not go away within days. This may mean there is an injury to a disk. These can be disk tears or disk herniation which refers to a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (disks) between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack up to make your spin.

Our specialists will examine your back, discuss your medical history as well as use imaging tests to determine the cause of your back pain. In general, our treatment regimen for back pain falls into one of three categories: medications, surgery or physical medicine such as physical therapy, braces, chiropractic or manipulation therapy, traction and other exercise-based programs.

Read more about herniated disks »

Spinal Stenosis

A common cause of low back pain is spinal stenosis. When you age, your spine change. These normal wear-and-tear effects of aging can lead to narrowing of your spinal canal. This condition is called spinal stenosis. When stenosis occurs in your lower back, it is called lumbar spinal stenosis.

When the space around your spinal cord narrows, it puts pressure on your spinal cord and the spinal nerve roots, and may cause pain, numbness, or weakness in your legs.

Our experienced orthopaedic specialists offer both surgical and non-surgical treatment of spinal stenosis. Non-surgical treatment includes:

  • Physical therapy
  • Traction
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Steroid injections
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic manipulation

Surgical treatment includes laminectomy and spinal fusion followed by rehabilitation. Laminectomy involves removing the bone, bone spurs, and ligaments that are compressing your nerves. A spinal fusion is when two or more vertebrae are permanently healed or fused together.

Read more about spinal stenosis »

Rotator Cuff Tear of the Shoulder

A rotator cuff tear is a common cause of pain and disability among adults. A torn rotator cuff will weaken your shoulder. This means that many daily activities, like combing your hair or getting dressed, may become painful and difficult to do. There are two main causes of rotator cuff tears: injury and degeneration. A degenerative tear is the result of a wearing down of the tendon that occurs slowly over time.

Our treatment goal is to reduce your pain and restore function. We have several treatment options for a rotator cuff tear. The best option is different for every person. In planning your treatment, we will consider your age, activity level, general health, and the type of tear you have.
Our department offers both surgical and non-surgical treatment of rotator cuff tears. Non-surgical treatment includes rest, activity modification, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, strengthening exercises, physical therapy and steroid injection. Surgical treatments are recommended if your pain does not improve from any of the non-surgical methods and most often involves re-attaching your tendon to the head of humerus (upper arm bone).

Read more about rotator cuff tears »

Torn Ligaments of the Knee

One of the most common knee injuries is an anterior cruciate ligament sprain or tear. Athletes who participate in high demand sports like soccer, football, and basketball are more likely to injure their anterior cruciate ligaments.

If you have injured your anterior cruciate ligament, we may recommend surgery to regain full function of your knee. This will depend on several factors, such as the severity of your injury and your activity level.
Our team of experts offers both surgical and non-surgical treatment of torn ligaments of the knee. Non-surgical treatment includes a brace to protect your knee from instability and physical therapy. Surgical treatments include rebuilding the ligament in which our specialists will replace your torn ligament with a tissue graft. Another is surgery to rebuild the ligament using an arthroscope for small incisions. This may reduce your recovery time.

Read more about torn ligaments of the knee »

Arthritis of the Hip and Knee

Aching joints are common in arthritis. When you have rheumatoid arthritis, your joint lining swells, invades surrounding tissues, and produces chemical substances that attack and destroy the joint surface. Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects joints on both sides of your body in the hands and feet, as well as the hips, knees, and elbows. Without proper treatment, rheumatoid arthritis can become a chronic, disabling condition.

There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, however our team of experts provides a number of treatment options that can help relieve joint pain and improve functioning. Our treatment plan is tailored to your needs and lifestyle. Our team of experts includes rheumatologists, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, rehabilitation specialists, and orthopaedic surgeons.

Read more about arthritis of the hip and knee »

Muscle Strains and Joint Sprains

When you are physically active and participate in sports, you can injure the soft tissues of your body. Even simple everyday activities can damage your ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Some of the soft-tissue injuries you are most likely to experience include:

  • Sprains - a simple stretch or tear of the ligaments, usually ankle, knee or wrist
  • Strains – an injury to a muscle or a tendon, usually in your foot or leg
  • Contusions – a bruise caused by a blow to your muscle, tendon, or ligament
  • Tendonitis – an inflammation in a tendon or in the covering of the tendon
  • Bursitis – swelling or irritation of the fluid-filled sac called the bursa located between bone and tendon or muscle
  • Stress injuries – tiny breaks in the bone if it is stressed by overuse

Our team of experts offers both surgical and non-surgical treatment of these injuries depending on your individual case.

Read more about muscle strains and joint sprains »

Residuals of Stroke

The residual effects of a stroke can be devastating to both the individual and their family. A stroke occurs when blood vessels carrying oxygen to a part of the brain suddenly burst or become blocked. When blood fails to get through to the affected parts of the brain, the oxygen supply is cut off and brain cells begin to die. Once a patient has completed the initial treatment or discharged from care, there are a number of late effects that need ongoing treatment. These include cognitive, speech and language deficits.

At the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation, our speech therapist assesses, diagnoses, treats and helps to prevent disorders related to speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice, swallowing and fluency. See Speech and hearing disorders below.

In addition, our occupational therapists work with a diverse group of people of all age categories that will require the kind of care that leads to independent, productive, and satisfying lives due to physical, social, emotional, or developmental issues.

Amputee Problems

There are several problems associated with amputees that are addressed by our team of physiatrists. A sample of those key problems are:

  • Delayed healing
  • Problems in shaping of the residual limb (the body part that remains)
  • Contractures (shortening of muscle or joint)
  • Chronic wound sinus
  • Painful residual limb
  • Adherence of skin to bone
  • Insensitive skin
  • Poor fit
  • Degenerative arthritis (chronic breakdown of cartilage in the joints)
  • Fracture

Speech and Hearing Disorders

If you are afflicted by a speech or hearing disorder, your impairment may range from any of the following problems:

  • Inability to produce speech sounds or not clearly enough
  • Speech rhythm and fluency problems, such as stuttering
  • Voice disorders, such as inappropriate pitch or harsh voice
  • Problems with understanding and producing language
  • Cognitive communication impairments, such as attention, memory and problem solving disorders
  • Swallowing difficulties

At the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation, our speech therapist assesses, diagnoses, treats and helps to prevent disorders related to speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice, swallowing and fluency.

For hearing disorders, our audiologists will measure and evaluate your ability to hear sounds, test for middle ear disease, treat you with balance problems and size you for hearing aids. Audiologists provides the expertise to you and your family for the following:

  • Learned and spoken language
  • Hearing loss and the impact on your ability to learn and speak
  • Evaluation of hearing loss and what causes that impairment
  • Treatment related to the ear and hearing
  • The proper use of hearing aids
  • Lip reading and sign language techniques

Programs & Services

The department offers a full range of surgical and nonsurgical treatment of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system: bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves. All of our physicians are board certified or board eligible.  They use the most advanced techniques and technology to provide state-of-the-art care to our patients.

Total Joint Replacement

Overview
We strive to relieve the pain and bring you comfort caused by the damage done to your cartilage. Where there is severe soreness, you may have a tendency to avoid using the joint which may lead to weakening of the muscles around the joint and making mobility of the joint problematic.  Following physical examination, and possibly some laboratory tests and X-rays, the extent of damage to your joint will be determined and joint replacement will be considered if other treatment options do not relieve the pain and disability.

Hours of Operation
Phone: (202) 865-7677

Appointments/Scheduling
Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Locations
Physician - Vacant
2041 Georgia Avenue N.W.
Suite A
Washington, D.C. 20060

Contact
Sabrina Jones-Brown – Clinic Supervisor

Orthopaedic Trauma

Overview
Severe injuries that lead to significant disability fall into the category of trauma. Typically, those trauma cases derive from motor vehicle accidents, falls, burns, knife and gunshot wounds and sports or recreational injuries. Trauma often results in fractures and dislocations. When you arrive with such injuries present at the emergency department of the hospital, our orthopaedic traumatologist will provide surgical or non-surgical care as needed.

Appointments/Scheduling
Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Phone: (202) 865-7677

Locations
2041 Georgia Avenue N.W.
Suite A
Washington, D.C. 20060

Contact
Sabrina Jones-Brown – Clinic Supervisor

Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery

Overview
Our hand and upper extremity surgery team provides full-service care for all hand, wrist and elbow injuries and diseases.

Hours of Operation
Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Phone: (202) 865-7677

Locations
Dr. Robert Wilson

2041 Georgia Avenue N.W.
Suite A
Washington, D.C. 20060

Contact
Sabrina Jones-Brown – Clinic Supervisor

Orthopaedic Spine

Overview
Our orthopaedic spine surgeons typically provide non-operative and surgical treatment of spinal problems. Our team has special expertise treating certain spinal problems such as scoliosis, degenerative disorders, and spinal fractures.

Hours of Operation
Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Phone: (202) 865-7677

Locations
Dr. Dapo Ojeyemi

2041 Georgia Avenue N.W.
Suite A
Washington, D.C. 20060

Contact
Sabrina Jones-Brown – Clinic Supervisor

Sports Medicine

Overview
Our team of sports medicine specialists focuses on treating athletic injuries of the musculoskeletal system with a special emphasis on arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder and knee.

Hours of Operation
Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Phone: (202) 865-7677

Locations
Dr. Terry L. Thompson

2041 Georgia Avenue N.W.
Suite A
Washington, D.C. 20060

Contact
Sabrina Jones-Brown – Clinic Supervisor

Foot and Ankle

Overview
Our foot and ankle specialists provide solutions for foot and ankle pain, injuries and deformities. Our foot and ankle surgeon achieves resolution of symptoms and restoration of function through the most advanced non-surgical therapies, surgical procedures and state-of-the-art technology.  Common operations performed include: ankle arthroscopy, bunionectomy, foot and ankle fracture repair, ankle arthroplasty and fusion, deformities correction, tendon repair and toe arthroplasty.

Hours of Operation
Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Phone: (202) 865-7677

Locations
Dr. Shelton McKenzie

2041 Georgia Avenue N.W.
Suite A
Washington, D.C. 20060

Contact
Sabrina Jones-Brown – Clinic Supervisor

Physiatry

Overview
Our physiatry team has a multi-disciplinary, comprehensive approach to the diagnosis, medical management and rehabilitation of disabilities resulting from injury or musculoskeletal disease. Physicians in this field, or physiatrists, are focused on maximizing a patient's functional performance and independence.

Hours of Operation
Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Phone: (202) 865-7677

Locations
Dr. Janaki Kalyanam
Dr. Vaul Phillips

2041 Georgia Avenue N.W.
Suite A
Washington, D.C. 20060

Contact
Sabrina Jones-Brown – Clinic Supervisor

Physical Therapy

Overview
Our physical therapy team provides evaluation, assessment, and treatment of individuals with limitations in functional mobility or physical impairment or loss of function.

Hours of Operation
Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

For Appointments/Scheduling
Phone: (202) 865-1183

Contact
Hugh Springer, Manager

Occupational Therapy

Overview
Our occupational therapists work with a diverse group of people of all age categories that will require the kind of care that leads to independent, productive, and satisfying lives due to physical, social, emotional, or developmental issues.

Hours of Operation
Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

For Appointments/Scheduling
Phone: (202) 865-1183

Contact
Serita Poindexter, Supervisor

Speech Language Pathology

Overview
Our speech therapist assesses, diagnoses, treats and helps to prevent disorders related to speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice, swallowing and fluency. If you are afflicted by a speech or hearing disorder, your impairment may range from any of the following problems:

  • Inability to produce speech sounds or not clearly enough
  • Speech rhythm and fluency problems, such as stuttering
  • Voice disorders, such as inappropriate pitch or harsh voice
  • Problems with understanding and producing language
  • Cognitive communication impairments, such as attention, memory and problem solving disorders
  • Swallowing difficulties

Appointments/Scheduling
Monday – Friday
9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Phone: (202) 865-4700

Audiology

Overview
Our audiologists will measure and evaluate your ability to hear sounds, test for middle ear disease, treat you with balance problems and size you for hearing aids. Audiologists provides the expertise to you and your family for the following:

  • Learned and spoken language
  • Hearing loss and the impact on your ability to learn and speak
  • Evaluation of hearing loss and what causes that impairment
  • Treatment related to the ear and hearing
  • The proper use of hearing aids
  • Lip reading and sign language techniques

Appointments/Scheduling
Monday – Friday
9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Phone: (202) 865-4700