Partnering to provide orthopedic care

Anand, Miller practice in Fort Dodge

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Dr. Pranshanth Anand, left, and Dr. Elijah Miller, providers at CNOS in partnership with UnityPoint Clinic Orthopedics, pose in an exam room at the practice recently. The two doctors provide care at the Trinity Regional Medical Center campus, located at Entrance B, Suite 320.

A key partnership that formed a couple of years ago has made it possible for area residents to receive orthopedic care in Fort Dodge.

Center for Neurosciences, Orthopaedics & Spine PC, headquartered in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, and UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center, have been working together since 2019 to offer that care. Orthopedic care involves the correction of bones, oftentimes through surgery. The CNOS Orthopaedics at UnityPoint Health — Fort Dodge office is located on the Trinity main campus, 802 Kenyon Road, Entrance B, Suite 3.

Two of the newest providers at the practice are Dr. Elijah Miller and Dr. Prashanth Anand.

Anand joined the team in June of 2020. Miller’s first days on the job were this past week.

Dr. Prashanth Anand

While Anand was completing his residency in his native country of India, he witnessed a number of traumatic bone injuries.

“I’ve seen some complex injuries,” said Anand. “Open fractures, motorcycle injuries where we had to do like four or five surgeries. The tibia fractures, open leg. They would come in with bones lost. We had to put in a fixator and get them back into shape.

“Something I distinctly remember — one patient had to undergo so many surgeries but eventually walked out of the hospital after a two years.”

Witnessing that progress is rewarding.

“After two years, being able to see that patient get back to their regular lifestyle is satisfying,” he said. “Those open fractures — they get imprinted on your brain. When you see them recover, it’s astonishing. How the body heals and how we facilitate the healing. Our role is minor. We just have to get things in order and the body does the rest.”

Anand attended medical school at Government Medical College in Mysore, Karnataka in India. He completed his residency at B.J. Medical College in Pune, Maharashtra in India.

Anand moved to the United States in 2009. That’s when he completed his fellowships at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, and Medstar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

Anand is the first in his family to move to the U.S. His parents and his sister are physicians in India.

“I basically came here to do my training and then go back and then I saw some opportunity here,” he said. “The lifestyle here and the kind of practice. The medical practice here. Eventually with everything falling in place I decided to continue working here. My original plan was to go back.”

Anand has been practicing since October 2012.

He was drawn to the opportunity at UnityPoint Health in 2020.

“I grew up in a small town in India, so I like the small town vibe,” Anand said. “I don’t want to spend my life in traffic jams. Being in a small town with nice options for my kids. I think this matched all the criteria. Before Fort Dodge, I was in southern Illinois in a nice quiet town. Fort Dodge might be a slightly bigger town. I am happy with all the options available for my kids and for myself.”

Anand said he isn’t necessarily sure of the exact reason, but he has long had an interest in medicine.

“As far as I could remember, I always wanted to be a doctor,” he said. “Both of my parents were physicians. A lot of my family members are physicians. Then I decided to be a surgeon at the end of my internship. That’s when my interest shifted to orthopedic.”

Anand likes being able to treat patients of all ages.

“That was one thing I was always interested in,” he said. “I didn’t want to stick on to one particular age group. Surgery and ability to treat patients of all ages.”

Anand said helping his patients make the best decision for them is of utmost importance to him.

“Treat my patients with honesty, integrity, showing compassion,” he said. “Trying to understand their needs and cater to their needs. And provide them with all the options available to help them make the right decision. Explain the pros and cons of each treatment. Help them in their decision making. I am a surgeon but I don’t want to treat everything surgically. Let them decide what’s best for them.”

It’s discouraging to see someone injured and not be able to enjoy the activities they are used to. So that’s why Anand is happy to see patients progress and get back to a level where they can be themselves again.

“Seeing someone get back to their pre-injury level of activities,” he said. “A lot of these patients are miserable. They enjoy certain things and not being able to do that is depressing for them. Treating it surgically or non surgically and getting them back to their usual state of life is most satisfying for me.

“It could be simple shoulder pain. They come in dealing with it for several months. You give them one shot and they recover from it. They haven’t slept for months and you figure out what it is and do the right treatment and finally they are able to sleep at least. I see that a lot with shoulders –frozen shoulder — in my experience all it needs is a single shot. Being able to diagnose that and get that shot in. Being able to help them out is quite satisfying.”

Anand has his eye toward the future of orthopedic care, which involves the use of robotics.

“It’s fascinating to see what the robots do,” he said. “You press a button and the robots do most of the precise cuts in the replacement surgeries. Certain things, humans can miss some alignment, but these robots are pretty precise.”

While the future looks promising, those robots aren’t ready for Fort Dodge quite yet.

“Hopefully in the future we should be able to start doing those procedures here,” Anand said. “It’s a large investment (about $1 million) initially. There’s a few things to look into to make that investment. You have to consider the amount of surgeries you’re doing. Hopefully as time goes, we can justify bringing it here.”

Dr. Elijah Miller

Miller excelled in a variety of sports growing up in Holstein. He went on the play college basketball at Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska.

Through his experiences on the court, he wanted to be able to treat sports injuries.

“I played a lot of sports growing up,” Miller said. “The sports aspect interested me. It wasn’t until later in college that I was set on going to medical school. And then in medical school, I knew I wanted to study orthopedics for the sports side of things.”

Miller graduated from Galva-Holstein in 2007. He received his undergraduate degree from Wayne State College.

Miller went on to receive his medical degree from Lincoln Memorial University – DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harrogate, Texas. He completed his residency in June at Kansas City University/St Mary’s Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Fort Dodge was a good fit for him and his family.

“Being close to family and being in that rural setting,” he said. “It’s a good place to raise a family.”

He likes being able to provide care in a rural setting.

“I am looking forward to being part of bringing orthopedic care back to the area,” he said. “Growing up in a small town it’s not always easy to get the specialized care, so hopefully we can provide that to the people of the area.”

One of his goals is to help his patients make the best decisions for them.

“Treat patients with compassion and empathy,” he said. “Educate them on all the options. Don’t force people into surgery that aren’t ready and hopefully guide them in the right direction but let them make the decision for themselves.”

Throughout his education, Miller has seen severe injuries including open pelvis fractures. At UnityPoint, a variety of injuries are treated.

“Sports-related injuries, trauma, deformities and some basic hand surgeries like carpel tunnel,” Miller said. “Most of orthopedic conditions can be treated here locally. Just a fraction we may have to refer out. We should be able to meet most of the needs here in the community.”

Miller said advancements like implants or joint replacements continue to evolve.

“Those have changed quite a bit in my few years of residency,” he said. “It will be interesting to see where that goes in the future.”

Throughout his training, Miller said seeing patients get better is a highlight.

“I enjoy seeing the improved quality of life,” he said. “Seeing people come in with pain and at the end seeing the pain get better.”


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