Southwest Memorial Hospital has a new orthopedic surgeon who loves small towns and was a former professional athlete.
Dr. Braden Jones joins Southwest Health System and began seeing patients this month.
He offers comprehensive orthopedic care for adults and children. Services include partial and total knee replacement, minimally invasive hip replacement, total shoulder replacement, shoulder cuff repair and stabilization from dislocation, fracture care and non-operating treatment.
Jones also is trained in the latest minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques for shoulder and knee repairs.
He earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from Southern Illinois School of Medicine and completed his residency at the University of Florida Health.
“I enjoy rural medicine, and that is what led me here, plus I love the outdoors,” Jones said. “I want to be a part of the community and plan to stay.”
As a child, he was inspired to go into medicine by watching his dad work as a rural family doctor in Illinois.
“I saw the positive impact he had on the community, and that has driven me to practice medicine,” Jones said.
He joins SHS orthopedic surgeon Dr. Doug Bagge in providing the service for the community.
It was a strategic move by SHS to capture more of the orthopedic market, said Kerri White-Singleton, chief operating officer for Southwest Medical Group.
“We want people to know if they are injured, we are here to take care of them, and they do not have to go to Durango or elsewhere outside our area,” she said. “We had a lot of options for this position and interviewed a lot of people. Braden was a perfect fit, the right personality and experience.”
Bagge and Jones know something about injuries. Both athletes, and have experience treating and understanding those types of injuries, White-Singleton said. A hospital outreach program is familiarizing local school teams with Southwest’s orthopedic and physical therapy services.
“We are thrilled to add Dr. Jones to our orthopedic staff. Having an additional, skilled orthopedic surgeon to partner with Dr. Bagge gives us the ability to provide 24/7 coverage for our orthopedic patients, which has not been available at SHS for many years,” said SHS CEO Tony Sudduth.
The trend has been less-invasive surgeries with fewer complications, Jones said, and recovery is much faster than 10 years ago.
But recovering from an injury problem does not necessarily require surgery, he added. Out of 30 patients, about five will need surgery. Most issues can be dealt with non-operative methods such as physical therapy, injections, braces or casts.
Jones is helping with a backlog, and is scheduled for four upcoming surgeries.
A natural athlete, Jones played college football for Southern Illinois University, and signed with the Minnesota Vikings in the 2007 season as a tight end.
After an injury in a preseason game, he was put on injured reserve and released the next year.
“I bounced around to a few different teams, but I could not see myself playing football long-term, so I went back to school to get my medical degree,” Jones said.
He has a modest outlook on the accomplishment of making it to the NFL.
“It was a sport I played, and going professional helped pay for college,” he said.
He added the challenge of medical school and residency was tougher than becoming a professional football player.
Succeeding at both took “perseverance,” Jones said.
Jones and his wife, Courtney, who also is a medical doctor, have three young children and are looking forward to enjoying the outdoors hiking, biking and skiing. They recently moved to Dolores.