BROC: Healthy Bone Program leads to better quality of life

In January, Orthopedic Surgery specialist and oncologist Dr. Shaun Accardo officially launched the region’s first clinic solely dedicated to taking care of people with specific bone disorders.

“This idea is novel for the entire region,” says Accardo. “We currently see patients from Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama—all over the Gulf Coast.”

Dr. Accardo and his team conceptualized Baton Rouge Orthopaedic Clinic (BROC)’s Healthy Bone Program after seeing increasing numbers of patients who had fallen and patients with cancers in various locations of their bodies resulting in lesions that spread to their bones.

“Orthopedic-focused evaluations make sense for patients whose metastatic bone disease stems from cancer spreading to the bone,” says Accardo. “And with Baton Rouge’s elderly population, falls can lead to fragility fractures, a condition that can be treated so the patient can look forward to a better quality of life.”

Dr. Accardo, along with Physician Assistants Kasie Riley and Brooke Fenn and nurse Katie Gahan, are dedicated to helping patients with bone disorders find alternative, less invasive treatments and hopefully help prevent further injuries down the line. Their care includes anabolic therapies that stimulate bone formation, medication that patients can take by mouth, injections that work to rebuild and strengthen bones so that other bones have a chance to avoid breaking in the future, fall risk assessments, and if needed, surgical options.

“Education is at the heart of our program,” says Riley. “Helping patients understand what their fall risks are and the importance of smoking cessation are vital to a healthy future. That, combined with advanced medical treatments, is resulting in patients who were once told they didn’t have many options aside from radiation now being able to take advantage of advanced, less harsh therapies.”

Although the team is continuing to study long-term patient progress, they are hopeful to see patients have less risk of breaking bones after consulting with the Healthy Bone Program.

Patients typically come to the clinic from the ER or an outside orthopedist or primary care physician or after being referred from their hematology/oncology or radiation oncology doctors to see if a surgical option exists for their issues.

“Studies show that 40 percent of patients who have never been diagnosed with cancer learn about it because a bone hurts,” says Accardo. “Some cancers remain asymptomatic for a long time until they spread to the bone. We’re here to connect patients with the appropriate care team so we can help them get the treatments they need.” The program takes a multidisciplinary team approach by collaborating with other healthcare providers from medical oncologists to primary care physicians to help patients see the right specialists in the right sequence, providing a service that didn’t exist in the state before they opened.

“If a patient has a problem, we will see them as quickly as possible,” said Accardo. “Accessibility is a huge part of what our highly trained team offers, and we look forward to integrating with patients’ physicians to provide the expertise and care they need to feel better.”

For more information, contact Dr. Accardo’s office at 225.408.7863 or by email at