Orthopaedic Services Still Available in Minden

March 30, 2015

Article courtesy of The Minden Press Herald by Bonnie Culverhouse.

Former patients of Minden Orthopaedics won’t have to worry about driving to Shreveport with their orthopaedic problems.

Michael Austin, PA-C will continue to help those patients, during – and after – a time of transition as Dr. Timothy Talbert moves his practice to Shreveport and a new orthopaedic surgeon joins the staff.

“We are keeping the orthopaedic service in the community,” Austin said. “We don’t want people to have a gap – be without care – between now and August when our new physician gets here.”

Wednesday, April 1, Austin will take control of the clinic once known as Minden Orthopaedics, 216 West Union. The name will change to Minden Medical Center Orthopaedics.

“It’s the same building … the one all our patients know,” he said.

As a physician’s assistant, Austin can perform many of the same functions as a doctor.

“I can see new and existing patients, as well as surgery follow-up patients in the clinic setting,” he said. “That includes history-taking skills to determine the problem and the mechanism of injury, order appropriate X-rays, review the results and determine diagnosis by physically examining the patient with special orthopaedic tests approved by the American Academy of Orthopaedics Surgeons.”

Austin can also order therapy, which may be inpatient, outpatient or home health from various agencies of the patient’s choice.

“I can order additional diagnostic testing such as, nerve conduction studies, ultrasound, CT scan and MRI to confirm diagnosis and assist in a plan of care,” he said. “If surgery is a consideration, your case will be discussed with the surgeon of your choosing – keep in mind, Dr. Talbert has graciously agreed to continue operating every other Tuesday at Minden Medical Center through April and May.”

In August, Dr. Mark D. Wilson will be joining the Minden Medical Center family to continue the orthopaedic surgical needs of the community; however, until then, Austin says there are many steps the patient can take before resorting to surgery.

“I am a bridge between Talbert leaving and Wilson coming,” he said. “And I have treated patients for years before we ever had to do anything surgical.”
As a physician’s assistant, Austin can prescribe medications.

If a patient is in the hospital or is involved in an accident that requires emergency room care,
Austin is available in those situations.

“I can see inpatient and emergency room consults, which may include straightforward splinting of fractures, closed reduction and splinting of fractures, needle aspiration of joints for diagnostic testing to determine infection, gout or other pathology,” he said. “Whereas we did not see patients at the clinic every day before, now we will see them in the clinic, Monday through Friday. In all, I can see 30 to 40 patients a day.”

Austin moved to Minden in 1995, starting his medical career as a paramedic with Bayou Ambulance. He graduated from PA school in 2002 and began working with Talbert in 2004.

“I’ve been there ever since,” he said. “I love surgery. I love fixing things.”