The medical practice in Buckhead, with a secondary office in Marietta, celebrates 50 years of operation this year.
“It’s been a very satisfying practice for me from a personal standpoint,” said founder Dr. Grady Clinkscales, who retired in 2006.
He started the practice in August 1964 in an office in the W.W. Orr medical building on Peachtree Street near the Fox Theatre in Midtown.
“The way I started out my practice was as a general orthopedist,” Clinkscales said. “I had always wanted to retrain my focus to doing exclusively hand surgery, so year by year I stopped doing spine surgeries and then stopped doing hip surgeries and stopped doing a lot other things until it came to the point where I was doing nothing but hand surgeries. The last probably 30 to 35 years of my practice was really just hand surgery.”
The retired doctor has seen many medical milestones throughout his career.
“One of the most revolutionary things … in hand surgery has been the development of microsurgery,” Clinkscales said. “We’d known for years how to repair fractures and repair tendons and repair nerves, but it wasn’t until the late ’60s and into the ’70s that we realized that we were able to [use] very, very small instruments and very, very small sutures and lots and lots of magnification [to] repair tiny blood vessels. With that discovery came the realization that we could literally replant a limb or [a] portion of a limb that had been completely amputated.”
In the past 50 years, the name and location of the practice has changed and it has grown from one sole practitioner to six physicians up until Clinkscales retired. The practice, now located on Peachtree Road, will acquire a sixth physician later this year.
The facility housing the practice has space for clinical offices, a surgery center and a therapy center.
“We were interested in increasing the efficiency of the care of the patients,” said Dr. John Seiler, one of the physicians. “They can have surgery on one floor, get their patient evaluations done on one floor and have the therapy available. They can really get the full circle of care in one setting.”
Seiler said between 1,500 and 2,000 surgeries are performed in-house each year. Dan Acker, a registered occupational therapist and certified hand therapist, said the therapy center sees about 50 patients a day.
“[Patients are treated for] anywhere from aches and pains to serious trauma,” Acker said.
As the practice continues its work in the community, Clinkscales said he would like to see the team grow and be able to perform even more surgical procedures.
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