Surgeons hope to better integrate procedures with rehabilitation

[caption id="attachment_12336" align="alignright" width="360" caption="Dr. Raymond Severt and Dr. Kai-Uwe Mazur"][/caption]

SANTA ROSA - Established in Sonoma County more than 60 years ago, Santa Rosa Orthopedics has launched the region's first "Hand Center" aimed at integrating rehab and surgery procedures.

The multi-specialty group's service is meant to offer patients a continuum of care that incorporates surgery care and recovery therapy.

"Hand care is routinely disconnected between surgery and after-care, and often if the therapist has a question it is difficult to get an answer from the surgeon directly," said center occupational therapist Jennifer Henshaw-LeFever.

"Having this kind of integration better ensures that the patient is getting the right care and positive outcome."

The center is the only one of its kind north of San Francisco and was officially formed with the addition of Dr. Raymond Severt, the group's second hand surgeon with a Certificate of Added Qualification in hand surgery.

"We both had similar outlooks and expertise, and I just said to him one day, 'We could create something really exceptional by working together,'" said the group's first CAQ-certified surgeon Dr. Kai-Uwe Mazur, who also created his own line of medical devices for upper extremity care under the banner Sonoma Orthopedic Products.

Dr. Mazur said he decided to form the hand center after seeing a significant increase in the number of hand and wrist injuries, which comprise about 60 percent of workers' comp claims. The increase can be traced due to an aging population but also is likely the result of excessive text messaging, Blackberry use and spending all day on the computer, he said.

The group provides rehabilitation from a 10,000-square-foot facility at 131B Stony Circle, which includes nine exam rooms, an MRI scanner, X-ray, casting room, exercise equipment and large physical therapy studio.

In addition to occupational therapy and surgeries, the group also provides sports injury care and includes six other surgeons in addition to Drs. Mazur and Severt.