Oakwood’s ‘Ortho University’ provides simple answers to complex questions

DEARBORN — When is a lingering pain a problem?

Everyone experiences a nagging ache in their hips, shoulders or knees every now and again, but it can be difficult to determine the source of those problems and how best to treat them.

Oakwood Healthcare Inc. will offer new free informational classes through its Oakwood Ortho University. The first in the series, called Joint Class 101, will be offered from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center in Dearborn. It is free to the public.

The class is designed to help patients understand what is happening to their bodies and understand all their options on how to best handle those issues.

“People make better health care decisions when they are equipped with information,” said Mary Zatina, senior vice president of government relations, corporate planning and communications for OHI. “Our physicians know a great deal about the anatomy of the human body, the causes of joint pain and the many options for addressing joint pain.

“Through Joint Class 101, a panel of physicians and therapists will share their extensive knowledge in simple terms that everyone can understand. Joint pain can be a serious quality of life issue and we want everyone to know exactly what their options are so they can resume active lives without the pain.”

Those options can range from doing nothing, to self-care strategies using over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, to physical therapy or surgery, but those with lingering pain don’t necessarily have to worry about going under the knife, said Dr. Marc Milia, who specializes in shoulder injuries.

Milia should know. A former football player who appeared in three Rose Bowls with the Michigan Wolverines, he sees patients from ages 14 to 85.

“Just because I’m a surgeon doesn’t mean I tell everyone who comes through the door that they need surgery,” he said. “I let them know about the non-surgical options available to anyone. There are a lot of other options besides surgery.”

The classes will take place every two weeks, either at OHMC or at Oakwood Southshore Medical Center in Trenton. They will feature a moderator along with primary care physicians, surgeons or physical medication and rehabilitation physicians talking about a variety of joint-related issues as well as a question and answer period. Attendees can expect information in language that is easy to understand.

“We support our patients with a wealth of educational materials, classes and care path ways that enable them to determine how best to beat shoulder, hip or knee pain,” said Sandra Sneed, othropedics service line leader for OHI. “Our emphasis is on teamwork—from primary care physicians to therapists and specialists—working together to help patients regain their quality of life.”

The first program is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at OHMC. The next program is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on April 21 at OSMC. To register for the class, call (800) 543-WELL or go to www.oakwood.org.