Las Cruces Orthopaedic Associates

You may have wondered – and who among the non-ancient Greeks among us has not? – about that seemingly extra letter “a” in the orthopaedic part of Las Cruces Orthopaedic Associates. 

Isn’t it really “orthopedic?” Isn’t that just an archaic, old-fashioned way of spelling that particular medical specialty? After all, the spell check on my computer flags “orthopaedic” but not “orthopedic.” Boom!

That was always the assumption. But there’s that old saw about assuming - When you assume, you make an… well, you know the rest.

Come to find out the word comes from “ortho” meaning “straight, right, correct” and the Greek “pais/paid” which means “child.” Making sure the child’s - and later on the adult’s - bones are growing straight, pretty much sums up orthopaedics. 

(It seems “ped-” in Latin means “foot” as in pedal or pedestrian. But do we really want to get into why child doctors are pediatricians – except in Britain where they are paediatricians - and foot doctors are podiatrists? Hmm…nope.)

Surely this linguistic determination was thoroughly mulled over when Dr. Robert Stack started LCOA back in 1992. Attention to specific details such as simply wanting to be exact when it comes to the proper terminology such as naming the practice are small issues compared to life-impacting diagnoses and treatments. Caring enough about the former tends to inspire faith in the latter. I want my doc to care that stuff is being spelled right.

Las Cruces Orthopaedic Associates must be doing much more right than just keeping Mr. Webster happy – as evidenced by an extensive expansion of the facility, which was recently completed and further enhances LCOA’s reputation as one of the top orthopaedic practices in the southwest.

But even a modern, state-of-the-art facility – with properly worded signage – is just a building without skilled professionals doing all that patient “straightening.” 

Dr. Stack has retired but there are experienced, highly qualified physicians, a nurse practitioner, a certified physician assistant, and a top-notch support staff providing a full range of orthopaedic care including arthroscopy, sports medicine, cervical spine, lumbar spine, joint replacement, hand and wrist, shoulder and elbow, hip and knee, foot and ankle, pediatric orthopaedics and spine deformities, trauma and fracture care, physical medicine, and rehabilitation.

The board certified physicians of LCOA are:  Michael S. McGuire, M.D. – Sports Medicine and General Orthopaedic; Daniel A. Romanelli, M.D. – Sports Medicine and General Orthopaedic; Paul Saiz, M.D. – Spine Surgeon; and Llewlyn A. Williams, M.D. – Pain Management. The most recent additions include David Barrera, M.D., board certified in both Sports Medicine and Family Practice; and Mollie Manley, M.D., southern New Mexico’s only fellowship trained hand and upper extremity orthopaedic surgeon.

Dr. Barrera is a Texas boy – “born and raised” – whose last stop before coming to Las Cruces was Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock where he completed his fellowship in Sports Medicine. 

An internship in Internal Medicine with the affiliation of Mount Sinai School of Medicine took him to New York and his Family Practice residency was at the Eastern New Mexico Family Medicine Program through University of New Mexico. 

Four years of medical school in Mexico – the last two almost exclusively in Spanish – honed his bilingual skills and he is now one of three physicians at LCOA who have the ability to communicate with Hispanic patients in the language with which they are most comfortable. 

Dr. Barrera is also keenly aware of the predisposition Hispanics have toward diabetes regardless of family history. With an obesity epidemic across all cultures and ethnicities in the U.S., weight control, diet, and maintaining an active lifestyle are, not surprisingly, a big concern for an orthopaedist.

“For many people, the one most significant thing they can do to improve their health is to improve their weight,” he is fond of saying.

Like the other physicians at LCOA, Barrera acts as a consultant to and helps to provide coverage for New Mexico State University athletics and has a particular interest in concussion management.

Sports enthusiasts – both serious athletes and weekend warriors – are frequent utilizers of orthopaedic doctors and college athletes sometimes pursue careers in some type of sports training or medicine after their playing days. In the case of Dr. Mollie Manley, the chicken sort of came before the egg, so to speak, as she wanted a career as a hand surgeon before she became a serious – an amazingly serious – athlete.

From Hinckley, Ohio – which she describes as a “one stop light town” – Dr. Manley worked with a hand surgeon while in high school and decided then and there that was what she would follow as her career path. Always active in sports, she went to college in western Pennsylvania where she played college basketball. Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio, was where she attended medical school earning her M.D. as well as a Masters in Anatomy.

Now here’s the amazingly serious part. During all that studying, she played a pick up basketball game with on of the coaches for the Cleveland Fusion of the Women’s Professional Football League. He convinced her to try out and she ended up as a starting defensive end for two full seasons and part of a third. 

“It’s not powder puff – it’s full pads, full contact,” she explained.  “I really enjoyed it but I wanted to do this. And as an orthopaedic hand surgeon, I care for everything from the fingertips to the shoulder.”

Dr. Manley, who did her residency at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, also consults with NMSU athletics, where there are numerous hand and arm mishaps in all sports. 

Both of these “new to Las Cruces” physicians and their families – Barrera has a wife and two young daughters; Manley is married to an Intervention Radiologist also practicing here – have found Las Cruces to be warm and welcoming and a great place to live. And Las Cruces Orthopaedic Associates is glad to have professionals of their quality as part of the group.

2013 Fall

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