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.


    Vaccine Update
    Administrator Account
    / Categories: WELLNESS, 2020

    Vaccine Update

    Infectious Disease Specialist Marie George, MD, of SVMC Infectious Disease, dives in to the complex and fascinating field of vaccine development and how it affects the potential for a COVID-19 vaccine.

    How many COVID-19 vaccines are in development now, and how are they similar or different from one another?

    There are 135 different COVID-19 vaccines in development at companies, universities, institutions, research labs, and partner groups around the world. There are four major ways to develop a vaccine, and every method is in use.

    • Genetic vaccines, which use the virus’s own RNA or DNA
    • Viral vector vaccines, which use a different virus to get COVID-19 genes into cells
    • Protein-based vaccines, which use the proteins found on the outside of the virus
    • Weakened virus vaccines. This type of vaccine has been very successful for developing resistance to many other diseases and is considered the safest form of vaccines.

    The most exciting difference between the vaccines is a potential breakthrough in vaccine delivery. Traditionally, all vaccines have been liquids injected deep in the skin, but one contender from the University of Pittsburg uses a finger-tip-sized patch, including 400 tiny needles made of sugar and applied to the skin like a Band-Aid, to deliver the protein-type vaccine.

    In all cases, the vaccines are meant to either recruit cells to kill the virus or make antibodies against the virus. Some vaccines also include adjuvants, or ingredients that help strengthen the immune response among those who receive the vaccine.

    What are the steps to getting a vaccine developed and produced?

    • Once the vaccine is designed and initial doses produced, the first step is preclinical testing, when the vaccine is tested in animals, ideally primates. If a vaccine stimulates a response and is found to be safe, it moves on to Phase I.
    • During Phase I the vaccine is tested in a small number of humans to determine if it’s safe.
    • Phase II involves more humans to see if the vaccine creates a measurable immune response. Scientists continue to evaluate safety throughout the entire process. 
    • Phase III, the clinical phase, is last. This stage aims to measure the vaccine’s effectiveness, whether it actually protects vaccinated people who are exposed. A vaccine can be effective in two ways: either it keeps a person from becoming infected at all or it lessens the risk of developing serious illness.

    How long does the development process usually take?
    Typically, each phase takes months to years. The average time to complete them all is 4 – 5 years. In the case of COVID-19, scientists have been encouraged to combine phases to complete development faster. The most promising projects have even been given additional government resources and reduced regulatory pressure to generate the vaccine “at warp speed.” As a result, infectious disease experts expect the vaccine for COVID-19 to take a lot less time. It is still too early to predict the release of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

    What are the risks and challenges of developing a vaccine quickly?
    Under typical circumstances, scientists would evaluate the vaccine’s effectiveness in large groups with people of all ages and with different medical conditions over an extended time. In this case, though, they are measuring antibodies and ensuring that the antibodies neutralize the contagion. This is called an “immune correlate.” Once identified, they are make educated assumptions, like whether the number of antibodies produced will be sufficient against the threat and how long the protection will last. While we would always prefer to have all the time we needed, scientists are performing a risk-benefit analysis. Because the benefit of having a vaccine is so high and the risks relatively low, they have decided it’s worth speeding up the process.

    Do you expect one clear winner? Is there a chance that no effective vaccine will emerge?
    There is a very high likelihood that several of the vaccines in development will work to prevent disease and come into use. Over a few years, one may emerge as most effective, and companies may shift from making the less effective versions to the more effective one. And there is a small chance that no vaccine will emerge as safe and effective. But given how large the effort is and the different technologies being employed, infectious disease specialists are hopeful and optimistic. 

    Research for vaccines can fail—like those for SARS a few years ago, for instance. In that case, it was because the disease diminished on its own, the need for the vaccine decreased, and funding was cut. COVID-19 is not going anywhere. The interest, funding, technology, and partnerships are in place. It seems likely that at least one vaccine will be found.

    What is your prediction regarding when a vaccine will be available at all and when one will be available locally?
    That’s a hard one. It depends on how easy the approved vaccine is to make. What’s remarkable in this case is that some companies are already producing millions of doses of vaccine, even before regulatory approval. They are the types that are relatively easy and inexpensive to make. The companies are betting that the vaccine they are making will be proven safe and effective. Once approved, they will have a head start on manufacturing and distribution. 

    Vaccines will be made available first to areas with high levels of infection. Vermont and the surrounding areas have relatively low levels of infection, so it may be a while. Those who are most susceptible, older people, for example, will also be prioritized.

    How would you imagine an effective vaccine would change our behavior in society?
    Whether a vaccine will allow us to “return to normal” depends on how effective it is, how long it lasts, and its availability. Also, it might provide only partial immunity. Our mitigation efforts—handwashing, masking when near those outside our household, and keeping 6 feet from others—are our best defense right now and are likely to remain so for a long while into the future.


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