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Orthopedic and Spine Center of Excellence

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The newly remodeled fifth floor of St. Vincent Healthcare is now the Orthopedic and Spine Center of Excellence.

The $8.4 million project began in November 2011, and nearly two years later, is open for patients to enjoy. One of the main goals was to create a space for family and caregivers in the same room as the patient, to create a warm and healing environment during the recovery process.

"Any surgery is uncomfortable so the more things you can make the experience nicer, the easier it'll be to recover. And the comfort, a lot of it is space that we added. And that allows the whole team to work in there without it being so claustrophobic and on top of each other," says John Wilson, a St. Vincent Healthcare Orthopedic Surgeon and President of Ortho Montana.

Some patients have already been able to take advantage of the luxurious new center, including patient Irene Baker. Baker suffered from Adult Degenerative Scoliosis for years, and learned to deal with the pain.

"People get older. Sometimes, they develop scoliosis that was not present as an adolescent," says Dr. Anthony Roccisano, Bakers Orthopedic Surgeon from St. Vincent Healthcare.

"I couldn't hardly do anything anymore. It was just kind of making me a prisoner to my back," says Baker, who underwent Scoliosis Reconstruction in September. "They had to go into my back and put spacers in between all the disks, everything was compressed and crooked."

It was a procedure so long and complicated, it needed to be split into a two-day surgery.

"It does take quite a bit of time for patients to overcome the surgery. It's not a quick recovery. And they need extensive physical therapy as well to kind of maximize their outcome," says Roccisano.

Baker was able to stay at St. Vincent's new Orthopedic and Spine Center of Excellence, where she received a great deal of post surgery comfort.

"Makes you feel good staying at a place that's so nice and everybody was so caring. I really appreciate it," says Baker.

After years of dealing with the pain, and only a month after surgery, Baker is seeing a huge difference in her pain level and body.

"Now, I'm straight and I've gained two inches in height since I've had my surgeries," says Baker. "I really do feel that this surgery has been life changing for me."

Dr. Roccisano is one of the only Orthopedic Surgeons in the region to perform the minimally invasive Adult Degenerative Scoliosis Reconstructive Surgery.

The Orthopedic and Spine Center of Excellence was funded in part by private donors and proceeds from the 2011 Saints Gala.