Athens Orthopedic Clinic (AOC) continues to expand its Gwinnett practice with a new a Hand and Upper Extremity specialist, Dr. Adam Cochran who grew up in small-town Georgia and now treats injuries such as fractures, nerve injuries, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and more.
Dr. Cochran begins at AOC fresh out of his Fellowship training from the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA where he graduated in July 2018. And while he excelled in his out-of-state studies — ranking as the top of his class when he earned the OJ Hurt Highest OITE score in 2017 — it’s always been a goal of Dr. Cochran’s to work closer to home.
“The idea was really to come back and be close to family and work with AOC — that was really the dream once I decided that I wanted to be an Orthopedic surgeon,” Dr. Cochran said.
As a child, Dr. Cochran was a patient at AOC, but growing up on a poultry farm in Commerce, Ga., he never imagined he’d become a surgeon.
“Being from a small town, you don’t have a huge exposure to physicians in general, other than your pediatrician and primary care, “ Dr. Cochran said of his formerly obscure perception of Orthopedic surgeons. “And so they’re these mythical creatures when you’re in that situation, and so it doesn’t really cross your mind that that’s something you’re going to do.”
It wasn’t until college that Dr. Cochran realized he wanted to be a surgeon. He was working towards a B.S. in Poultry Science at the University of Georgia, and then he had a eureka moment.
“[W]e actually performed surgery on birds in that major, and once I did a surgery on a bird, I thought, ‘Wow! I really want to be a surgeon,” Dr. Cochran said.
Dr. Cochran’s enthusiasm intensified as he completed each milestone of his educational career. After completing his Bachelor’s, Dr. Cochran attended the Medical College of Georgia (MCGI) in Augusta where he was admitted to a prestigious committee due to his unique perspective as both a student and a patient at MCGI.
Now that he’s joined AOC, Dr. Cochran enjoys working with patients of all ages at various clinics across Gwinnett. He spends three days of the week at the Snellville Clinic while dividing the remaining two days between the newly opened Hamilton Mill clinic and AOC’s Surgery Center in Loganville.
“This early in the practice, I see everything,” said Dr. Cochran who currently treats injuries in both upper and lower extremities. Many of his patients are kids suffering from a sports injury — others experience pain from arthritis or after fracturing a bone.
Before Dr. Cochran entered the practice in Sept. 2018, there was a shortage of Hand and Upper Extremity specialists in both AOC’s Gwinnett network and the county at large. AOC’s Hand and Upper Extremity practice was founded in Athens by Dr. Michael Schuler, and in recent years, AOC has worked to extend its state-of-the-art care to patients in Gwin-nett, adding several Hand and Upper Extremity specialists including Dr. David Katz who works in both Athens and Loganville, and most recently, Dr. Cochran.
AOC provides a full range of specialized orthopedics in Gwin-nett including Hand and Upper Extremity, Spine and Scoliosis, Sports Medicine, Total Joint, Foot and Ankle, Orthopedic Trauma, Workers’ Compensation, Inter-ventional Pain Management, and Therapy and Rehab services.
Trained to care for Hand and Upper Extremity injuries, Dr. Co-chran adds a sub-specialty focused on nerve repairs.
“That’s something that’s a little bit unique,” Dr. Cochran said of his training for nerve repair surgeries.
“One of the future directions of nerve surgery is doing nerve transfers to reanimate injured muscles that otherwise were not functional,” Dr. Cochran said. “They’ve been around for a long time, but they’re really only becoming more mainstream now.”
At AOC’s Surgery Center in Loganville, Dr. Cochran performs CMCR, Arthroplasty surgeries, Carpal Tunnel releases, fracture work, and other upper extremity procedures. As his practice develops, Dr. Cochran would like to do more nerve-repair operations.
As an Olympic weightlifter and a competing CrossFit athlete, Dr. Cochran has had his own fair share of injuries. He believes that because he has been in their position, he is better able to relate to his patients.
“If someone allows you to operate on them, you’ve got to be pretty close to them,” Dr. Cochran said. “ I have to develop a pretty trusting relationship in a short amount of time if they’re going to say, ’Sure you can put me under anesthesia and work on my body. ‘ ”
With each patient, AOC providers promote conservative care, recommending surgery only when absolutely necessary. The Hand and Upper Extremity specialists care for patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Cubital Tunnel Syndrome with minimally invasive and endoscopic releases. Other injuries they treat include Trigger Fingers and DeQuervain’s synovitis (tendonitis) Elbow, forearm, wrist, hand and finger fractures, breaks and dislocations, ligament tears and dislocations as well as tendon and nerve damage.
AOC’s mission is to provide a superior experience across the entire spectrum of orthopedic care. They believe that every patient individual deserves the opportunity to enjoy good health and be physically active. They have specialists in every musculoskeletal discipline, and comprehensive facilities for imaging, surgery, rehabilitation and performance at locations across the entire state.
Located at 1553 Janmar Rd. behind Lowe’s, AOC’s Snellville clinic is open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and on Friday, from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and doubles as an urgent care center offering same-day and walk-in appointments. For more information about treatment options or providers, call (770)554-5009, visit the website at www. athensorthopedicclinic.com, or search @AthensOrthopedicClinic on Facebook.