Restoring Active Lifestyles

Don’t let pain or injury keep you on the sidelines of your own life.

If pain or injury is holding you back from living the life you want, SVMC Orthopedics can help. The team of board-certified providers is here to provide the individualized treatment and compassionate care you need to get back to leading the life you love. SVMC Orthopedics offers state of the art diagnostic and treatment services, including non-surgical options and same-day joint replacement. 

If you suffer from severe or chronic hip, knee, or ankle pain, total joint replacement may be the best solution. Your orthopedic surgeon will help you understand your options and how joint replacement surgery can help to not just relieve your pain, but get you back to leading a full and active life.

Whether you need a hip replacement or knee replacement, surgeries are performed at SVMC with a rehabilitation program developed in conjunction with our Sports and Therapy department. We offer both in- patient and out-patient therapy options. Some patients are able to return home from a joint replacement surgery on the same day. For patients requiring additional recovery time, the Centers for Living & Rehabilitation (CLR) located on our campus can provide additional extra nursing care and therapy before returning home to fully independent care.

Because getting back to living is the ultimate goal of spinal surgery, the reduced recovery time required by minimally invasive surgery makes it an ideal option for many. 

At SVMC, you’ll be treated by a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon extensively trained in performing minimally invasive spine procedures and creating customized treatment plans. In some cases, you’ll be up and about in a few hours and back to work in a matter of days or weeks, not months.

Injuries to the rotator cuff are not only painful, they can be life limiting. When possible, the fellowship-trained surgeons at SVMC will attempt to treat your injury through non-surgical means, which may include physical therapy, medication, or injections. If those efforts are unsuccessful, your physician may recommend surgery here at SVMC. Utilizing the latest in arthroscopic technology, your repair can be made with only a slight incision, reducing your recovery time and chance of infection.  For more complicated injuries, a more involved surgery or even joint replacement may be necessary.

Regardless of your procedure, your care will continue post-surgery with a comprehensive rehabilitation plan developed in conjunction with our Physical Therapy department.

In addition to being delicate and complex, your hands and wrists are essential to your daily life. At SVMC, we appreciate that an injury or problem can limit your ability to work, play, and generally enjoy life. From fractures and arthritis to deformities and carpal tunnel syndrome, our providers can care for you. They can create a custom treatment plan using the most advanced surgical techniques, devices, and rehabilitation programs to help you maximize function and minimize pain for the best results possible.

The average person experiences two bone fractures in their lifetime. But as common as they are, every fracture is unique. From complex and stress to oblique and greenstick, at SVMC we diagnose and treat fractures with the specific cause and needs of the patient in mind. On-site imaging technology allows us to quickly assess your need and move quickly to begin the mending process. Depending upon the nature and cause of your injury, we may develop a continuing care plan to reduce or eliminate the chance of future injury.

Whether you’re a competitive athlete or a weekend warrior, our board-certified, fellowship-trained sports medicine specialists can help relieve your pain and get you back in the game or back to your everyday routine.

Our first approach is always conservative, meaning you won’t endure unnecessary treatments or care for your injury. We use the latest techniques and methods to resolve your issue in a manner that’s appropriate for you and your lifestyle.

If your injury does require surgery, it can be performed here, close to home where you can rest and recover in comfort. As part of your care, we’ll develop a personalized recovery plan utilizing the talents and facilities of our on-site Physical Therapy department. Together, we’ll help you recover faster, improve your strength and performance, and reduce the potential for future re-injury.

SVMC Physical Therapy

SVMC Occupational Therapy

Arthritis Today

National Osteoporosis Foundation

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

American Medical Society for Sports Medicine

Yoga instructor Jane Jezouit had increasing pain in her hip to the point that she had difficulty teaching her yoga classes. In this video, she describes the care she received from SVMC Orthopedics and Dr. Michaela Schneiderbauer to get back to her active self.

Les Jorgensen's hip pain made it difficult for him to walk from his living room to his kitchen; never mind enjoy the activities he loves. After a hip replacement with Dr. Michaela Schneiderbauer, MD, of SVMC Orthopedics, he walks 18-holes of golf three times a week, pain free.

Celia Bahny and her family are very active. Unfortunately, Celia suffered a broken arm (in the same spot twice!) which slowed her down for a spell. Today, she is fully recovered with help from Dr. Matthew Nofziger of SVMC Orthopedics. In this video, Celia and her mother, Holly, discuss her care with Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and how we helped get her back to their active lifestyle.


Avid hiker and guide Keld Alstrup relied on Dr. Matthew Nofziger and the expert team at SVMC Orthopedics to relieve his knee pain and restore his active lifestyle. Now he's back to "peak performance."


Deborah Slaner Larkin talks about the care she received from Southwestern Vermont Medical Center Orthopedics and Sports Medicine and Dr. Suk Namkoong.


332 Dewey Street, Bennington, VT 05201
Phone: (802) 442-6314
Fax: (844) 526-1901

Monday – Friday:  8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For directions to SVMC Orthopedics, click here.


    Marijuana-Related Stomach Disorder on the Rise
    Administrator Account
    / Categories: WELLNESS, 2020

    Marijuana-Related Stomach Disorder on the Rise

    A newly recognized condition is showing up more and more in our local Emergency Department. Patients come in with severe nausea and vomiting for several days. Often, they report multiple prior episodes over months or even years. The symptoms include unremitting pain in the upper abdomen, persistent nausea and vomiting, and a hot shower or bath is the only thing that brings them relief. The length of these symptoms is variable but can last for up to a week at a time and be completely disabling.

    In the past, we had a poor understanding of what caused these symptoms and how to treat them, because they tended to be very resistant to even the most potent pain and nausea medications we have.  We would direct our evaluation to pursue the most common and serious diagnoses, and often came up empty handed. We would test for problems with the stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas and bowels, test for pregnancy, and often even get CT scans in an effort to make a diagnosis.  For years patients would be tentatively diagnosed with cyclical vomiting disorder, irritable bowel, gastroparesis or gastritis due to our poor understanding of this disease entity. Patients would often have to come to the ER several times during an episode for hydration and electrolyte replacement due to the severity of the symptoms. The next step would be a trip to the gastroenterologist, although they usually had little  success in diagnosing the problem.

    Now, we understand that for many people presenting with this pattern of symptoms, the cause is related to cannabis use, or more specifically, high levels of the tetrahydrocannabinoid (THC) molecule in cannabis products.

    The marijuana that we have access to today is not the same natural marijuana that people used decades ago. It has been highly modified and bred to have extraordinarily high levels of the psychoactive molecule, THC.  Now legal for recreational use in 10 states, it is perceived of as largely harmless for most casual users and, in years past, it may have been. Strains sold today can have up to 10 times the amount of THC as is found in the naturally occurring variant. THC is stored in our body fat, and can accumulate to very high levels there. We have receptors throughout our body for THC, known as the endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in our natural response to pain and stress. These receptors are concentrated in the brain and the stomach/intestines. When they get overloaded, bad things happen.

    This newly understood condition can occur among people who use marijuana as little as once or twice a week. It’s called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS). It is characterized by these repeated episodes of severe nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting that returns every few weeks or months.

    CHS, first reported in 2004, is difficult to diagnose for many reasons. First of all, there is no test that can be used to make the diagnosis. Also, many doctors are unfamiliar with it and do not know the right questions to ask, and patients sometimes are reluctant to disclose marijuana use history. In addition, for reasons that are poorly understood, it doesn’t affect all chronic, long-term users. Moreover, longtime marijuana users don’t think to report their use of marijuana. They figure that they have used marijuana for years without any negative effects, but the onset of CHS doesn’t occur for a long time after people have been using marijuana regularly.

    The condition has three stages:

    • During the early stages, people typically experience morning nausea, urges to vomit, and stomach discomfort. These symptoms may last for hours to days and recur over months or years. Knowing its anti-nausea effects, people sometimes increase their use of marijuana during this time.
    • The hyperemesis stage is characterized by episodes of intense and persistent nausea and vomiting. People in the hyperemesis stage have the urge to shower or bathe in hot water far more frequently, as it relieves the symptoms.
    • Finally, during the recovery stage, patients feel better, return to normal eating patterns, and resume a regular showering routine. Recovery can last from days to months before symptoms return. 

    Clinical guidelines for the diagnosis, treatment, or management of CHS do not currently exist. The only way to confirm the diagnosis is to discover whether symptoms abate when the patient stops using marijuana. However, because THC can accumulate to high levels and is stored in our body fat, it can take weeks to months of complete abstinence to notice a difference. Many people resume use during this time because they do not fully appreciate this time-frame, feel that they need the marijuana to control the nausea, and resist the belief that marijuana can cause these symptoms.

    If left untreated, severe prolonged vomiting can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances in the blood, which can cause rare complications including confusion, muscle spasms or weakness, seizures, kidney failure, abnormal heart rhythms, and shock. Other conditions, like food poisoning, can cause very similar symptoms, although those are often accompanied by diarrhea, whereas CHS usually is not. It is critically important to understand that marijuana users, even those with known CHS, can have other serious causes of stomach pain and vomiting, and should always seek medical attention when those symptoms develop.

    For help quitting marijuana, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit their online treatment locator

    Adam Cohen, MD, is the director of Emergency Medicine and an Emergency Medicine physician at SVMC.


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