U-M Health System Forms Musculoskeletal Care Center


The University of Michigan Health System will bring together more than 250 physicians under the same umbrella in an effort to better serve patients with musculoskeletal-related problems, such as arthritis or a sports injury.

The new effort, called the Comprehensive Musculoskeletal Center, comes as leaders anticipate a growing need for musculoskeletal care, especially with the aging population that often faces such problems as arthritis and fractures from osteoporosis, says Dr. Edward Hurvitz, chair of the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the U-M Medical School and vice-chair of the center.

“We know that more patients expect and desire to lead an active lifestyle later in life and into retirement,” Hurvitz says. “Our goal is to provide a robust model of care that helps people maintain physical function so that they can stay healthy and independent as long as possible.”

As part of the center, care teams will provide services at 50 different clinics located throughout Ann Arbor and southeast Michigan. The center will bring together diagnostic and therapeutic services, ranging from advanced therapies and minimally invasive surgery to ultrasounds and MRIs, allowing for a wider range of treatment options than in a traditional physician’s office.

“We recognize that while we house some of the nation’s leading doctors in high-demand musculoskeletal specialty areas, it’s not always easy for patients to find their way to the right specialist for their condition,” says Dr. James Carpenter, chair of the new center as well as the department of orthopaedic surgery at the U-M Medical School. “Our Comprehensive Musculoskeletal Center will allow providers with expertise in different areas to work together in a more seamless manner that enhances care and treatment.”

The center’s arthritis clinic offers the expertise of rheumatologists, physical medicine, rehabilitation physicians, and orthopaedic surgeons who work together to diagnose a patient and determine treatment options and whether surgery is recommended. For the patient, that may mean one appointment instead of being referred from one office to another, Carpenter says.

Specialties offered at the Comprehensive Musculoskeletal Center will includeanesthesia, family medicine, internal medicine, neurosurgery as it relates to the spine, orthopaedic surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, radiology, plastic surgery, and emergency medicine.