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.


    Treating Arthritis of the Hands
    / Categories: WELLNESS, 2021, Orthopedics

    Treating Arthritis of the Hands

    If you’ve experienced pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion in your hands, there’s a good chance arthritis may be to blame. Over 91 million* U.S. adults experience some type of arthritis by the time they reach age 85.

    According to Dr. David Veltre of SVMC Orthopedics and Northern Berkshire Orthopedics, “Arthritis of the hands is particularly frustrating as we rely on our hands to help with so many daily tasks. From brushing our teeth and buttoning a shirt to turning a door knob and picking up a ringing phone, our hands are especially key to allowing older adults to maintain their independence.”

    Common types of arthritis of the hands

    While there are over 100 types of arthritis, the types that most typically affect the hands are osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, and trauma-induced arthritis.

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is far and away the most common type we see,” says Veltre. Often referred to as ‘wear and tear’ arthritis, he notes it occurs when, “The smooth layer of cartilage on the end of your bones that cushions your joints and helps them to slide easily against one another, gets worn down. The resulting bone-on-bone contact causes the inflammation that contributes to the pain and stiffness of arthritis.”

    Veltre adds that OA of the hand most often happens where the thumb meets the hand at the base of the wrist, in one of the top joints of the fingers, or in the middle joint of the fingers.

    “Without treatment,” he says, “OA gets worse over time which is why it’s important to get a diagnosis and a treatment plan as soon as possible.”

    Unlike OA which is due to physical changes in the cartilage, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is the result of an autoimmune condition.

    “RA occurs when the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue that protects the joints,” says Veltre. “While the cause of RA is not clear, it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors and most often occurs between the ages of 40 and 60 but even children may develop it.”

    Veltre also treats patients experiencing post-traumatic arthritis in the hands. “This occurs after a person has damaged their hands, sometimes many years earlier, often through a sport-related injury, a fall, or an accident. Injuries like these can damage the cartilage or the bones of the hand and change the mechanics of how the various joints work. The altered structure often makes joints wear out more quickly than normal.”

    The signs and symptoms of arthritis

    While the cause of OA, RA, and post-traumatic arthritis are different, the symptoms can be very similar.

    They include:

    - dull burning pain in joints with movement or at rest

    - joint swelling 

    - joint stiffness

    - joint deformity

    - warmth in the joints

    - grinding in the joints

    - limited range of motion

    - reduced strength

    “In most cases, once you develop symptoms of arthritis they worsen over time,” says Veltre. “Certain ‘triggers,’ like cold weather, stress, changes in barometric pressure, and repetitive motion can make symptoms worse.” He adds, "There's no cure, but there are a lot of ways to protect your joints and feel better. The first step begins with diagnosis.”

    Diagnosing and treating arthritis of the hand

    Diagnosing arthritis often involves a combination of patient history, physical examination, X-ray or MRI results, and, if your doctor suspects rheumatoid arthritis, a blood test may be ordered. Understanding when your symptoms started, what makes them worse, and what makes them better will help with the diagnosis.

    Veltre notes, “In the earliest stages, patients have a lot of success with over-the-counter medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory gels and cream, and splinting during times of overuse or at night if night-pain is an issue.”

    He also notes that some patients find relief applying ice or heat to the affected joint. “Hand therapy with a certified hand therapist can also help patients regain strength and mobility.”

    Veltre adds, “Again, there is no cure for arthritis. The noted treatments can provide relief but as the condition progresses, they may become less effective.” In those instances, cortisone injections may be prescribed. “For some patients, injections can provide relieve for weeks or even months. But they do have side effects, such as weakened ligaments, so they’re not a long-term solution. As a last resort, surgery to fuse or replace the joint may be considered. It all depends which joint is impacted. Regardless of the treatment prescribed, the goal is always to help patients regain or retain as much use of their hands as possible and maintain their independence.”

    To learn more about treatment options offered through SVMC Orthopedics, visit or call 802-442-6314.

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