Life is all about repetition. Our day consists of chores, routines, work, and play that take a toll as the years go by. Add in outdoor activities, computer keyboards, and portable devices and our poor hands don’t stand a chance.
Thankfully Pacific Surgical Center’s (PSC) Dr. AJ Lauder is here to help. He is a Board-Certified Orthopedist who focuses on wrist, hand, and elbow surgery in all its forms. Dr. Lauder has been a surgeon for the past 12 years, 8 of those with PSC.
Dr. Lauder completed his medical school and residency programs in 2005 but went on to a hand surgery fellowship at the University of Washington. He now specializes in fractures and reconstruction of the hand, wrist, and elbow.
“I grew up in sunny Southern California, with lots of outdoor activities. Saw lots of my friends getting injured and requiring the help of orthopaedists. Furthermore, I enjoyed science more than some of the liberal arts. However, I also have a minor in English,” explains Lauder.
Studies show that “According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), repetitive strain injuries are the nation’s most common and costly occupational health problem, affecting hundreds of thousands of American workers, and costing more than $20 billion a year in workers compensation.”
Other government agencies agree. “According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly two-thirds of all occupational illnesses reported, were caused by exposure to repeated trauma to workers upper body (the wrist, elbow or shoulder). One common example of such an injury is carpal tunnel syndrome.”
Many hand surgeries can be performed on an outpatient basis thanks to PSC’s skilled orthopedics department. They are proud that “At Pacific Surgical Center, we offer a very attractive alternative to hospital-based surgery, eliminating common concerns most people have…Our physicians use the most advanced surgical equipment and technology available. This ensures that your procedure will be fast, comfortable and minimally invasive; and it also will require less recovery time than a surgical procedure performed using older methods and instruments.”
When it comes to work, Dr. Lauder’s favorite part is “The people I work with. They are like my family away from home. It is also great meeting new patients every day.” He finds PSC unique in their “team-centered environment. Every person in that building is a critical member of the team. Playing football through my college years I come from a team-oriented background.”
With this team-focus in mind, Dr. Lauder continues to research and report on advances in his chosen field. He is a member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and has published books and articles about issues of the hand and wrist.
“One of the most satisfying cases I do entails replacing thumb joints for people with severe arthritis. I hear time and time again how patient’s lives are changed with this procedure. It really gets them back to their activities and living the lives they had 10 years prior,” he says.
Working at PSC offers an additional benefit, both to surgeon and patient. Their commitment to up-front, transparency pricing eases some of the financial and emotional stress inherent in any surgical procedure. Says Lauder, transparency pricing “is great for everyone. Patients can get the best care at an efficient pace while the employers can know they are getting great rates. Furthermore, with expedited/efficient care the worker can get back into the workforce more rapidly.”
He hopes that more clinics and medical teams will embrace similar standards in the future. Ideally, “A model centered on providing the safest and most cost-efficient experience for patients. This would entail expedited/efficient care at monetary rates that are sustainable for our current healthcare system.”
Outside of work, Dr. Lauder is an avid baseball fan who likes to spend time outdoors with his wife and three children. Though his schooling took him from Los Angeles to Nebraska then Seattle, they now enjoy cooking, reading, and exploring Western Washington.
If pain in your hands, wrists, or elbows might be carpal tunnel or another repetitive strain injury, make an appointment with Dr. Lauder online or by calling 360-442-7900. Doctors suggest scheduling “A medical history and physical examination of the hands, arms, shoulders, and neck to help determine if the person’s discomfort is related to daily activities or to an underlying disorder and can rule out other conditions that cause similar symptoms.” But should surgery be necessary, studies report 90% of patients find long-lasting relief.
Don’t wait, let Dr. Lauder and Pacific Surgical Center offer you a helping hand.