Trauma Program

Receive outstanding fracture care from a Level I trauma service

If you or a loved one suffers a fracture and is rushed to the Tufts Medical Center Emergency Department, you’ll be treated by the experienced surgeons of our Orthopaedic Trauma Program.

You’ll be in excellent hands because:

  • Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children combine to form a Level I Trauma Service, which means we’re qualified to treat all levels of injuries, including the most life-threatening.
  • The Orthopaedic Trauma team is staffed by doctors who are experienced in emergency care and highly skilled in treating the most severe fractures.

Meet the orthopaedic trauma surgeons

Scott Ryan, MD has served as Chief of the Orthopedic Trauma Program since 2011. He received fellowship training in trauma at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, which is recognized internationally for excellence in trauma research, patient care and teaching. Dr. Ryan is an expert in handling the most complex fractures in the lower extremities, shoulder, upper arm, pelvis and acetabulum. 

Our Sports Medicine and Shoulder Division surgeons Christopher Geary, MD and Matthew Salzler, MD also treat clavicle and shoulder fractures.
Orthopedist-in-Chief Charles Cassidy, MD and Jennifer Hoffman, MD, round out our surgical trauma team. Both are orthopedic surgeons who specialize in treating trauma to the elbow, forearm, wrist, hand and fingers—including soft tissue coverage.

We provide exceptional care for complex and basic fractures

When you break a bone, often you’re treated at the emergency room. But if you’re injury isn’t life-threatening, you can still make an appointment to be evaluated and treated by our orthopaedic surgeons, who rank among the best in their specialties in Boston.

Our surgical staff is highly skilled in treating all basic and complex fractures, including:

  • Fractures of the pelvis, the acetabulum (socket of the hip joint) and areas in and around joints
  • Complications due to previous fractures that have healed poorly (non-union) or in the wrong position (mal-union) or become infected

We have a dedicated team to help you before and after surgery

In addition to our surgeons, the entire team of the Orthopaedic Trauma Program is here to help you and includes:

  • Attentive and caring support staff, who can assist with processing paperwork, answer questions on postoperative recovery and more
  • Specialists in orthopaedic casting and custom braces
  • Physical therapists, who excel in helping you return to your everyday activities as soon as possible

What is osteomyelitis?

Osteomyelitis is the medical term for a bone infection. Bone infections can occur when: 
  • A break in the skin allows bacteria to spread into bone tissue
  • Bacteria spreads from an infection in another part of the body, through the blood, to infect the bone
  • An injury—such as a fracture, where the bone comes through the skin— exposes the bone to bacteria
  • Osteomyelitis in adults

    There are two types of osteomyelitis, acute and chronic. Chronic osteomyelitis is more common in adults, develops over one month to several years, and can be caused by many types of bacteria. Chronic osteomyelitis occurs when an open injury or wound near a bone allows bacteria to spread into the bone.  Whenever there is bone or orthopaedic hardware that is seen through the skin, bacteria has invaded that area.

    Risk factors for osteomyelitis

    • A skin infection
    • An open wound near a bone or orthopaedic hardware
    • A broken bone that initially came through the skin
    • Surgery
    • An infection anywhere in your body

    Diagnosis and treatment of osteomyelitis

    Our multidisciplinary approach for osteomyelitis involves coordinated care from our Orthopedic Trauma Surgery, Infectious Disease, and Vascular, Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine teams. We will perform one or more of the following types of testing to discern what type(s) of bacteria are causing the infection: blood tests, wound cultures, MRI, bone scans, and X-rays. 

    Once the type and cause of the osteomyelitis has been diagnosed, treatment options typically include:

    • Antibiotics –In IV and/or pill form.
    • Surgery – Treatment of osteomyelitis typically requires multiple operations.

    Our orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Scott Ryan will:

    • Open the infected area around the bone and remove any dead tissue/bone
    • If needed, surgically reconstruct the bone if large pieces have died
    • If needed, surgically cover any areas of exposed bone or deep soft tissues

    Charles Cassidy, MD

    Charles Cassidy, MD

    Accepting New Patients

    Title(s): Orthopaedist-in-Chief; Professor and Chairman, Tufts University School of Medicine
    Department(s): Orthopedics
    Appt. Phone: 617-636-5150
    Fax #: 617-636-5178

    Hand, elbow and upper extremity surgery, upper extremity joint replacement surgery, peripheral nerve surgery and soft tissue reconstruction, workers' compensation

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    Jennifer L. Hoffman, MD

    Jennifer L. Hoffman, MD

    Accepting New Patients

    Title(s): Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeon; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
    Department(s): Orthopedics
    Appt. Phone: 617-636-5155
    Fax #: 617-636-5178

    Hand and upper extremity surgery, hand trauma surgery, peripheral nerve surgery, workers' compensation

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    Scott P. Ryan, MD

    Scott P. Ryan, MD

    Accepting New Patients

    Title(s): Chief, Orthopedic Trauma; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
    Department(s): Orthopedics
    Appt. Phone: 617-636-6014
    Fax #: 617-636-5178

    Fractures of the extremities, pelvis and acetabulum, osteomyelitis of the pelvis, hip and leg, workers' compensation

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