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  • September 30, 2021

    One-Step Prep and Surgical Advantages Mean Streamlined Procedure, Less Time Under Anesthesia

    BALTIMORE- Using a new fully integrated shoulder arthroplasty system, Dr. Anand Murthi, chief of shoulder and elbow surgery at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital and professor of orthopaedic surgery, became the first surgeon in the U.S. to implant the innovative Depuy Inhance shoulder system during a shoulder replacement procedure last week. The implant, which Dr. Murthi helped to design, was used to replace the arthritic joint of a 65-year old man.

    A surge in the geriatric population with advancements in technical approaches in surgery and improvements in devices, account for a trending increase in the frequency of shoulder arthroplasty, or shoulder replacement. Industry data shows that shoulder replacements are the fastest growing orthopedic joint replacement surgery in the country, tallying nearly 70,000 annually.

    During a shoulder replacement procedure, the ball section of the joint, or the socket part, is replaced using a prosthesis made of polyethylene and metal components. There are different approaches to performing a shoulder arthroplasty including a partial, total, a revision, or a reverse shoulder replacement.

    The Inhance shoulder system was designed by surgeons and engineers using an intuitive approach to patient care with consideration to the multiple reasons why it may become necessary during surgery to change from one approach option to another. It’s the first shoulder system to allow a seamless transition from stemless to stemmed to reverse shoulder implants if necessary. Humeral bone quality, severe glenoid bone loss and damage to the rotator cuff may lead the surgeon to opt from performing a standard shoulder replacement to a reverse shoulder replacement.

    “This is really a leap forward in advancing the technology to replace the shoulder joint,” explained Dr. Murthi, “the intelligent system design means simultaneous steps can take place to prepare the bone and thereby reducing the length of the surgery. That means the patient is under anesthesia for less time.”

    Last week, the total shoulder replacement procedure took under 1.5 hours. The patient went home the same day using regional anesthesia.

    The new shoulder system also has unique intraoperative flexibility. It features a comprehensive size range of anatomic stemless and stemmed inlay humeral implants that share a common geometrical shape to easily fixate to the humerus. The innovative zoned-conforming glenoid, with one-step preparation is novel to the shoulder market. Dr. Murthi and his research team published on this in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

    The implants are manufactured via state-of-the-art 3D laser and manufactured using an advanced cross-linked Vitamin E polyethylene for its wear characteristics and oxidative stability. This is important to reducing the risk of revision and complications.

  • February 03, 2020

    Stephanie Coleman tore her Achilles’ tendon in the middle of a decathlon, but that didn’t stop her from finishing her last two events. And thanks to foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Jake Wisbeck, it didn’t stop her from competing again. Learn more about her journey to back to pole vaulting. 

    For an appointment, call 877-34-ORTHO or to learn more about Dr. Wisbeck, visit

  • January 17, 2020
    (Columbia, MD) MedStar Health is committed to delivering the highest levels of quality, safe care for our patients throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Equally important is the safety of our physicians, nurses and associates. The community spread of COVID-19 requires that we take unprecedented measures to ensure these goals. With these important priorities in mind, starting Thursday, March 19 we are postponing all elective procedures and surgeries across MedStar Health. This decision was made after thoughtful consideration and planning, including how we best use our resources to meet the needs of our patients balanced against mitigating risk to our patients, associates and families. Our department leaders and our physicians will make case-by-case decisions using the specific clinical circumstances of each of our patients. We will be reaching out to our patients in the event their care will be affected.
  • November 26, 2019
    Doctors Use Toe Bone to Straighten Forearm and Prepare Future for Thumb Construction
  • January 14, 2019

    Washington, D.C., – When the leaves start to change color, there’s a good chance that you’ll find Nathalie Lawyer scoring goals on the ice hockey rink. The 28-year-old from Alexandria, VA never turned back after trading figure skating for pads and pucks back in 6th grade. Through work, school, and even marathon training, nothing could keep her off the ice – except for her ACL.

    “I was playing hockey, and someone fell on me,” Lawyer said. “To be fair, I kind of pushed them onto me.”

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    She never heard the classic “pop” in her leg but knew something was wrong after physical therapy sessions couldn’t bring her back to normal. Later, a second injury at home made things much worse.

    “I wasn’t doing anything crazy, but I was trying to reach something on the top shelf of my closet,” she said. “I’m relatively short so I was standing on a chair. I didn’t fall. I didn’t twist. As I was shifting weight to my non-injured leg and stepping off the floor, I did hear that ‘pop.’ It swelled up almost instantly.”

    Lawyer’s primary care doctors now agreed that her ACL was torn, and it was time to consider surgery.

    An Orthopedic Wizard

    Luckily, finding a great orthopedic surgeon didn’t require a lot of leg work. Lawyer visited and requested an appointment with Wiemi Douoguih, MD, at MedStar Health at Lafayette Centre. Two days later, she was sitting in his office.

    “I happened upon Dr. Douoguih on the Internet,” Lawyer said. “I saw he had an opening, so I grabbed it without knowing much about him.”

    It came as a huge surprise to later learn that Douoguih not only treats amateur athletes, but he is also the Head Team Physician for the Washington Wizards professional basketball team. MedStar Health serves as the Official Medical Provider of the Wizards.

    “I felt really lucky and appreciative. I just rolled into his office not knowing how big of a deal he is,” Lawyer said. “I think it says a lot about MedStar Health. The physicians aren’t just filling up their time with high profile patients. It’s for normal people too.”

    Not Beyond Repair

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    Dr. Douoguih determined that arthroscopic surgery could help Lawyer’s knee, and she received the idea well.

    “I had just started grad school and I didn’t want to deal with the whole winter season and crutches on the Metro,” Lawyer said.

    On top of that, her sister’s wedding was only two months away.

    “That was the biggest concern of mine,” she said.

    Lawyer wanted a procedure that would fix the ACL, speed up her return to hockey, and help ditch the crutches ASAP. She came to the right doctor. Douoguih recommended an ACL repair with internal brace augmentation, an innovative new procedure that he has helped pioneer in recent years.

    “It’s stitching up the torn ligament, reattaching it and reinforcing it with a Kevlar-laced suture that acts like a seatbelt while the ligament heals,” Douoguih said. “For years we thought that reconstructing a ligament, or using a piece of tendon from somewhere else, worked better than repairing. The problem is that we may have been throwing the baby out with the proverbial bathwater. This whole concept turns on its head the idea that you can’t repair a ligament.”

    Douoguih says that repairing the ligament, versus a traditional reconstruction, preserves the original neural fibers and minimizes the amount of time it takes athletes to re-establish the connection between their knee and their brain.

    “It could take them anywhere from 18 to 24 months to recalibrate their map and define a new pattern of movement to go out and play sports. Some people can never do it. Anything we can do to preserve the normal anatomy is potentially beneficial,” Douoguih said.

    Of Douoguih’s first 28 patients to undergo this repair, he says 86 percent have seen success after two years.

    Back on Her Feet

    At the time, Lawyer scheduled the ACL repair with Dr. Douoguih around the upcoming Memorial Day holiday. The relatively quick, outpatient procedure took place at the MedStar Ambulatory Surgery Center at Lafayette Centre in downtown Washington, D.C.,

    “It was great,” Lawyer said. “I was surprised at how quickly I was able to do things again.”

    After regaining full flexibility in her knee, that included finally putting down the crutches just weeks later as her sister tied the knot.

    “I was able to walk down the aisle and dance at her wedding!” she said.

    Later that summer, she traveled overseas and was able to enjoy long sight-seeing walks to different landmarks with minimal discomfort. Eventually, she started thinking about hockey again, and felt well enough to join some 3-on-3 pick-up games that fall. Now, three years later, she says her knee feels great as she gears up for another season on the ice.

    “My originally injured knee actually feels better than my other knee,” Lawyer said. “It’s fantastic. I don’t feel like I have any limitations.”

    A remarkable turnaround that took months instead of years, thanks to cutting-edge sports medicine available through MedStar Health.


    About MedStar Health

    At MedStar Health, we use the best of our minds and the best of our hearts to serve our patients, those who care for them, and our communities. Our 30,000 associates and 4,700 affiliated physicians are committed to living this promise through our core SPIRIT values—Service, Patient first, Integrity, Respect, Innovation, and Teamwork—across our more than 300 locations including 10 hospitals, ambulatory, and urgent care centers. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar Health is training future physician leaders to care for the whole person, and is advancing care through the MedStar Health Research Institute. From our telemedicine and urgent care services to the region’s largest home health agency, we’re committed to providing high-quality health care that’s also easy and convenient for our patients. At MedStar Health—It’s how we treat people. Learn more at

  • January 08, 2019

    (Columbia, MD) - MedStar Health clinicians know the importance of giving back to those in need and seeking out ways to treat people where and how they need it. Wiemi Douoguih, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and Medical Director of MedStar Sports Medicine in Washington, D.C. and MedStar Health at Lafayette Centre, recently led a team of MedStar Health clinicians to Ethiopia.

    In four days, Dr. Douoguih and team performed nine complex and advanced surgical procedures at no cost to patients in Addis, Ethiopia. This was the first time these patients could access these innovative joint repair surgeries that would allow them to get back to activities they once loved.

    Learn more about Dr. Douoguih or call today to make an appointment:

    The following is a first person account from Dr. Douoguih of the MedStar Health team’s trip to Ethiopia and his reflections from their experiences treating people in this community with care that will change their lives for the better.

    Day 1 – Arrival in Ethiopia with Dr. Douoguih and the MedStar Health team

    Dr. Wiemi Douoguih arriving in Addis, EthiopiaLanding in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia following a more than 13-hour flight from Washington, D.C., I was immediately struck by the energy and excitement of this vibrant city. This was my second visit to the Ethiopian capital, having visited the previous summer with my family to explore our African heritage and learn more about this country and region.

    It was this family experience, along with connections established through the MedStar Health network with the Ethiopian community in the Washington, D.C., metro-area – the largest ethnic Ethiopian community outside of Africa – that led me to extend the reach and expertise of MedStar Health’s advanced orthopedic practice to the African continent and people who had never before had access to the tools and expertise that our MedStar Health patients know so well.

    Sign for AaBET Hospital in Addis_Ethiopia from Dr. Douoguih visitWhile the thin air of the 7,700 ft above sea level city and the haze of a long overnight flight were familiar, my mind was immediately focused on the task at-hand, treating patients. Within hours we arrived at AaBET Hospital in the heart of the city.

    Going into the trip, our team of five MedStar Health team physicians and nurses had planned conservatively to ensure we used our three days on-site as efficiently as possible, amidst unfamiliar operating conditions. Thanks to the advanced planning that included months of meetings and phone calls between members of our team and the excellent support from the AaBET Hospital staff, it became clear that we were in a much better position than anticipated to serve the community.

    Before the first afternoon was over we had seen 40 patients and tentatively booked 23 surgeries including 12-15 elite professional and Olympic athletes. There was a predominance of ACL tears and multiligament knee injuries as well as shoulder instability and rotator cuff tears, many of which had significant associated injuries.

    Day 2 – Surgeries begin at AaBET Hospital

    MedStar Health Dr. Wiemi Douoguih packing surgical tool for trip to Addis, EthiopiaThe operating rooms at AaBET Hospital were “bare-bones” compared to my typical facilities at MedStar Health at Lafayette Centre and MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Thanks to the unwavering enthusiasm of the local staff and the expertise and foresight of our traveling MedStar Health team, we were able to jump right in and manage cases just as we would back home.  

    Prior to our departure, MedStar Health team members Dawit Haile, Maggie MacKeever and Sewasew Kifle had ensured shipment of all the medical devices and surgical tools we would need. We also received support from medical device manufacturers, notably Arthrex and Supreme Orthopedics had generously donated an arthroscopic tower and more than $4,000 worth of disposable implants to enable us to perform some of the first arthroscopic surgeries in Ethiopia. I even packed some disposable implants in my carry-on luggage, just in case!

    The first cases were an ACL repair which went smoothly, followed by a shoulder arthroscopy which also needed a rotator cuff repair. As all surgeons know, we have to prepare to adapt and improvise, which we did with the rotator cuff repair when we realized we had to create a makeshift shoulder suspensory device to properly position the shoulder for surgery. With the help of the local medical team, we were able to rig a setup which led to a successful surgery with an anticipated good result long-term.

    Day 3 – Surgeries in high-gear and a VIP meeting

    Before we got to surgery we had the honor of meeting with Sahle-Work Zewde, President of Ethiopia, at the Royal Palace. It was wonderful to meet President Zewde, Ethiopia’s first female president and currently the only female head of state in Africa. In the hour we had together we discussed a range of topics related to our trip, highlighting the excellence and passion we saw from the local care teams, along with the commitment of MedStar Health to treat people across the globe. She expressed her gratitude for our willingness to travel a great distance to help those in her country and demonstrated a genuine interest in putting whatever resources and support she could behind our efforts to help the young Ethiopian athletes we came to treat. It was an incredible and humbling experience.

    Dr. Douoguih and team including AaBET Hospital providersWe got to work in the OR immediately following our meeting with President Zewde and ran two operating rooms to maximize our time and resources. We navigated sweltering heat in the OR and a couple of power outages, to finish four surgeries in total that day, including three ACL/meniscal surgeries and one open shoulder stabilization procedure.

    The day went incredibly smoothly overall and there were many people to thank because without their help, these successful surgeries would not have been possible. Dr. Ebrahim and Dr. Milkias from AaBET Hospital were scrubbed in the entire time and deftly lent a hand wherever needed. Matt Cullen, MedStar Health sports medicine fellow (who started his first day of his MedStar fellowship in Ethiopia) was an excellent assistant and helped coordinate logistics of aftercare in addition to preparing patients for the operating room. Maggie MacKeever, MedStar Health Physician’s Assistant, immediately adapted to the setting and anticipated every need. Sewasew Kifle, MedStar Health nurse, who is from Ethiopia originally, was invaluable in providing all the equipment and helping act as translator into the local languages of Oromo and Amharic. The local in-house anesthesia staff were consummate professionals and did a fantastic job of caring for the patients without a hitch. In all, it was an incredible experience for our team.

    We finished the day with a visit to the youth sport academy where 260 students train and learn together with a goal of following a career in sports such as soccer, athletics and a range of others. Our final evening was celebrated with a traditional Ethiopian Habesha dinner and dancing.

    Day 4 – Return to Washington, but not before more surgeries

    We were able to complete three more successful surgeries, two ACL reconstructions and one knee arthroscopy with a partial meniscectomy. In all, we had performed nine major surgeries on people from all walks of life in Addis, and all with new opportunities to pursue their careers and lives feeling stronger than before.

    Not a single implant or piece of equipment went unused, and as our 72 hours in Ethiopia ended, we were all filled with the desire to return as soon as possible, with even more equipment, to give back to the people of Ethiopia, and others across the African continent.

    As I reflect on my experience I am struck by the passion and expertise of the Ethiopian medical team we worked with at AaBET Hospital. Working side-by-side with these medical professionals, it is clear that quality of care is not the issue in treating these complex orthopedic injuries, but rather a lack of access to resources and specialty devices. I am encouraged by my conversations with local leaders, including President Zewde, about the future.

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    This trip and the ability to give back to communities around the globe was possible thanks to the support from MedStar Health– a testament to the organization’s commitment to treat people in many different ways.

    It was a privilege to be able to offer the help we could, and I look forward to future efforts to help those in need in Ethiopia and other places around the world.




    Dr. Wiemi Douoguih
    Wiemi A. Douoguih, MD
    Medical Director
    MedStar Sports Medicine
    Washington Region

    Click here to learn more about MedStar Health Orthopaedic & Sports Center at MedStar Health at Lafayette Centre.