Orthopedic Associates News

“My overriding goal is to establish complete trust and solid communication with each of my patients.” – Dr. Hicks. OAM is dedicated to successful diagnoses and outcomes for all its patients. *photo not Ericka Haynes

A Patient’s Experience. Surgical Skill is Only Half the Story.

Posted On: September 21, 2016

“Dr. Hicks gave me my life back!” – Erika Haynes, Patient

While all physicians listen to their patients, it takes a special character trait to truly hear them, according to orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Alfred K. Hicks. The difference is in the way confidence and understanding are developed between doctor and patient. “My overriding goal is to establish complete trust and solid communication with each of my patients, and to then help them heal,” says Dr. Hicks, who joined Orthopedic Associates of Middletown in the summer of 2015. “I want them to get back to what they love to do as quickly as they can.”

That can be a tall order given that neck and spine-related problems can easily get in the way of doing what they love to do, from walking and working out, to vacationing and playing with the little ones.

“Dr. Hicks was so reassuring, and I felt completely safe in his care,” notes Erika Haynes, a 45-year-old patient. “My neck and back pain was so severe that it caused an almost 80 percent loss of mobility in my left arm.” As her pain increased steadily over several months, her primary care physician referred her to Dr. Hicks at OAM. After a comprehensive assessment, Dr. Hicks recommended replacing three discs in Erika’s spine. “He gave me my life back,” she says. “I didn’t know how much pain I had been in until after the surgery, when I no longer had pain.”

Dr. Hicks focuses on cervical, neck and lumbar spine treatments, surgery, minimally invasive procedures, artificial disc replacement, spinal deformity, tumors, infections, and traumatic spine injuries. “Sometimes people with neck and back pain have tried many different treatment options that haven’t really worked for them” explains Dr. Hicks, “I was told by one of my mentors that all you need to do is really listen to your patients and you’ll hear what you need to know about how they are hurting and what makes them feel better. This is the best way to formulate the treatment plan that will get them on the road to recovery.”

The Doctor attributes his success to three key elements: his dual expertise in orthopedic and neurosurgical training; his devotion to remaining current with all the latest advancements in spine issues and treatments; and an unwavering dedication to ‘hear’ and not just listen to what his patients have to say about their conditions.

“The surgery Dr. Hicks performed was life-changing, “ Erika continues. “When people hear the word surgery they only think about negatives, but they should also think about all the positives. It gave me my life back! OAM is the only place I’ll ever consider for orthopedic care. When something needs to get done, it gets done.”

Dr. Hicks received his medical degree from Midwestern University, a highly-regarded institution in Downers Grove, IL that specializes in osteopathic medicine, surgery and anatomy. He then served as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy, where he was a staff orthopedic spine surgeon at the Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. He also served a tour of duty at a hospital in Afghanistan, where he performed more than 450 surgeries.

OAM is dedicated to successful diagnoses and outcomes for all its patients. Regardless of whether or not that will involve surgery, it always involves the work of skilled professionals like Dr. Hicks who know how eager patients are to be thrown lifelines to return them to pain-free lives.

“Who my patients are is as important to me as how I’ll treat their ailments,” notes Dr. Hicks. He and his colleagues at OAM do whatever they can to consistently throw those lifelines

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