All Things Madison | Behind the Scenes with The Orthopaedic Center in Madison
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Behind the Scenes with The Orthopaedic Center in Madison

All Things Madison | Behind the Scenes with The Orthopaedic Center in Madison

My mom shattered her ankle like glass in the spring of 2014 while walking down a couple of steps in the backyard to let her dogs out before heading to bed. 

Six years later in the spring of 2020, my mother-in-law broke her kneecap in half after tripping over a piece of uneven sidewalk near her home.

Two parents. Two breaks. Two unexpected, life-pausing injuries. Two surgeries. Two roads to recoveries.

And now, two strong personal testimonies of the precise, personal, and highly effective care from start to finish they received through physicians, nurses, and therapists alike at The Orthopaedic Center during some of the most physically excruciating (and mentally challenging) weeks of their lives. 

I was hands-on with both of our moms during these painful experiences; Both were living on-the-go lifestyles in their 50s and were immediately thrown into seasons that forced them to their beds or couches for weeks (…months) to recover. Though they both look back at their injuries as frustrating bumps in the road, they both agree that one undeniable ray of sunshine was the care and attention they received from TOC. They both credit TOC with their comeback stories of playing with their grandkids again, going on long walks, and enjoying everyday life without pain. 

All Things Madison | Behind the Scenes with The Orthopaedic Center in Madison

What is The Orthopaedic Center (TOC)?

TOC is one of the most recognizable names (if not the most recognizable name) in orthopedic care in Alabama and Tennessee. They are a group of 35 orthopedic physicians who aim to be a “one-stop shop” for your orthopedic needs, from clinics, scans, and surgeries, to physical therapy, bracing, and nonsurgical treatment. Their physicians offer treatment in 13 specialties including joint replacement, pediatric orthopedics, spine, and sports medicine.

All Things Madison | Behind the Scenes with The Orthopaedic Center in Madison

With 12 locations and more on the way, TOC has grown naturally to meet not only the demands of an explosive region but to also meet the demands of patients who deserve care as close to home as possible.

When Madison was on the cusp of rapid growth in the mid-1990s, TOC quickly decided that putting a location in Madison was essential. TOC in Madison has now been open and serving patients for 24 years.

Located near the corner of Balch Road and HWY 72 sit both the TOC clinic and the TOC therapy center (a separate building right behind the clinic). Madison is proud to offer not only its expertise at these locations but to also offer surgical options right here in Madison at Madison Hospital.

All Things Madison | Behind the Scenes with The Orthopaedic Center in Madison

TOC at Madison Hospital

Many patients find great relief in knowing that many surgical options with TOC doctors are available right around the corner from their home at Madison Hospital.

Dr. John Greco says that he has been seeing patients at TOC since they first opened their doors at the Madison location and performs approximately 250 surgeries per year at Madison Hospital.

“As the team physician for the city of Madison, I have had the great pleasure of developing hundreds of relationships with families in Madison,” he says. “It’s a great city with great leadership, and I have really enjoyed caring for the Madison community.”

TOC Physician’s Office

TOC’s Madison clinic has several (incredibly impressive!) X-rays machines, a casting room, on-sight boots with proper fittings, and much more. This is the location where my mom first visited the morning after her injury to request an x-ray after knowing with certainty that she had more than a twisted ankle. This is where patients are seen by their physician before and after surgical procedures.

All Things Madison | Behind the Scenes with The Orthopaedic Center in Madison All Things Madison | Behind the Scenes with The Orthopaedic Center in Madison

Though the building feels expansive and comfortable, regional marketing director Leah Beth McNutt says that the TOC location in Madison is quickly outgrowing this facility (a great “problem”!) and is looking forward to growing its physical location soon.

Jeremy Gaertner, Chief Operations Office for TOC says that the Madison TOC location will “absolutely grow” in the near future. 

All Things Madison | Behind the Scenes with The Orthopaedic Center in Madison

“TOC plans to grow with this area, offering more services, larger facilities, and state-of-the-art care so that we can continue to meet the needs of Madison and the surrounding communities.”

TOC Physical Therapy

When I first walked in to tour TOC’s therapy location here in Madison, I was absolutely floored to find a countless number of physical therapists spread across the therapy room all working with their patients in a personalized way while also drawing energy from dozens of other sessions happening all around them.

All Things Madison | Behind the Scenes with The Orthopaedic Center in Madison

I’m not sure what I was expecting, but the upbeat atmosphere was contagious. Patients were working hard on their individual therapy sessions, and physical therapists appeared to be honed in on giving their patients their undivided attention.

All Things Madison | Behind the Scenes with The Orthopaedic Center in Madison

I also discover that there are individual consultation rooms off of the main therapy area which allow therapists and patients to have consultations and more. 

The options are limitless and personal at TOC’s therapy center, which lends itself to the long-term success their organization has built, maintains, and continues to grow. 

Who does TOC treat?

TOC treats patients of all ages, from newborns to elders. They see anyone who struggles with injuries, degenerative disorders, or ailments that require joint replacements, spine, foot, ankle, hand, or wrist treatment. 

TOC is also proud to be the official sports provider for Madison City Schools and works with athletes across the district.

Though some TOC locations across the region serve as hubs for certain specialties (such as podiatry or spine), the Madison location has physicians that specialize in every orthopedic category (pediatric, spine neck, joint, and so much more.)

All Things Madison | Behind the Scenes with The Orthopaedic Center in Madison

The TOC Standard of Care

“We have physicians who can truly take care of you from your neck down,” shares TOC Marketing Director Heather Thomas. “From your neck to your toes, we have a provider here in Madison who will take care of you.”

Thomas says that one thing that sets TOC apart is their high regard for collaborating together and talking together to find the best physician to see and treat every specific need. 

“You’ll never have to start over at square one with a new doctor or specialist to figure out how to move forward,” says Thomas. “Once you come in to see us, we will make sure we do that work for you and get you connected with the best doctor.”

Thomas says that another one of the overall tones of TOC as a whole is that “they definitely try to seek the nonoperative way before moving to surgery.”

She continues to share that the goal is always to get a patient back to doing what they love to do, and if surgery isn’t absolutely necessary, they will seek another conservative but effective route. 

“The feedback we often get is that the process is overall just easy when you come to TOC,” says Thomas. “We have really strong relationships with doctors and urgent cares all over the area, and we try to make sure that our care is accessible regardless of where you live and what you need help with.”

On Treating People Like Family

A group of physicians who practice at TOC in Madison was asked about their favorite part of working in Madison, and the majority shared that the patients are the heartbeat of this community’s TOC.

Gaertner says that the variety of people you meet in Madison is really special to him. 

“With the arsenal and so many industries in our area and coming to our area, it brings people from all over the country and world to our community. Madison is a small town with a big town presence.”

Dr. Michael Lawley agrees and says that he especially enjoys treating patients in the community that he also calls home for his family.

“My kids go to Bob Jones and Discovery and {my wife} Jan practices in Madison at Cornerstone, so I want to grow my days per week here if possible.”

He continued to share that he enjoys seeing his patients out and about after work and on the weekends.

“It’s like taking care of the kids and teenagers in a small town, one that’s full of really smart people.”

Dr. John Rodriquez-Feo says that practicing in Madison once a week all comes down to the simple concept of wanting “to make it more convenient for my patients.”

About putting off your pain and delaying treatment

TOC says that some patients will assume their pain can only be treated surgically and are fearful of surgery. Fortunately, all of the TOC physicians and surgeons provide conservative treatment plans to get patients back on their feet as soon as possible. When physicians see patients that are still in the early stages of their pain, it’s easier to follow a more conservation treatment plan that avoids surgical intervention. 

All Things Madison | Behind the Scenes with The Orthopaedic Center in Madison

How do I make an appointment at TOC?

Potential patients are invited to visit with their primary care doctor first and request a referral or they are welcome to schedule an appointment themselves via phone or the TOC website. 

Quick Links for TOC in Madison, Alabama

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Request an appointment | TOC Specialities

8415 Wann Drive, Madison

(256) 704-1210



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