St. Vincent’s Orthopedic at Chilton completes first major surgery

Published 1:42 pm Friday, January 27, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/Senior Staff Writer

St. Vincent’s Orthopedic at St. Vincent’s Chilton reached a milestone on Jan. 27 with the successful completion of the first major surgery since the hospital opened.

Dr. James Worthen of St. Vincent’s Orthopedic performed the surgery on a patient’s broken ankle.

“It is probably our first trauma procedure that we have done here since the hospital opened,” Worthen said.

The surgery required the installment of a metal plate and screws in the ankle.

“It was just as smooth as any case I have done anywhere else,” Worthen said. “I complement the staff because they did really well.”

This procedure took 45 minutes, which was less time than Worthen had expected.

“We are privileged to have the opportunity to be at this point with the hospital,” Ken Patterson, chair of the Chilton County Health Care Authority, said.

Patterson said this type of complex surgery could not have been done at the old hospital.

Terri Connell of St. Vincent’s Orthopedic said the old hospital did not have the equipment needed for this type of surgery.

The patient had fallen and would not have had a way to get to another hospital, if St. Vincent’s Chilton had not been here.

“Part of the reason we are here [at St. Vincent’s Chilton] is for this type of patient,” Worthen said.

Worthen also works in a hospital in Birmingham.

The orthopedic office is located in the outpatient wing of St. Vincent’s Chilton.

More routine surgeries, such as colonoscopies, have been performed at St. Vincent’s since it opened.

The Chilton County Health Care Authority was influential in working with the County Commission and St. Vincent’s to move forward with the hospital project.