UAMS Opens New Orthopaedic & Spine Hospital

By Linda Satter

Located southwest of the main hospital, the four-story building includes more than 158,000 square feet dedicated to orthopaedic surgery, spine care and pain management. It has 24 private rooms for overnight observation and inpatient stays; 12 examination rooms for orthopaedic trauma, orthopaedic oncology, and physical medicine and rehabilitation; 12 operating rooms; eight exam rooms and two procedure suites for use by the pain management team; educational space for orthopaedic surgery residents; and offices for faculty and administrators.

Front view of The Orthopaedic & Spine Hospital

Front view of The Orthopaedic & Spine HospitalEvan Lewis

“We are thrilled to be ushering in a new era of providing comprehensive specialized care available under one roof for orthopaedic and spine patients across the state,” said UAMS Health CEO and UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA. “This facility was designed to support the state-of-the-art equipment and world-class care that we are famous for, while providing easy access for patients.”

The surgical facility will welcome its first patients in June.

Gov. Sarah Sanders addresses the crowd while Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA; Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott; and Lowry Barnes, M.D., look on.

Gov. Sarah Sanders addresses the crowd while Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA; Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott; and Lowry Barnes, M.D., look on.Evan Lewis

“The Orthopaedic & Spine Hospital puts Little Rock right at the helm of medical research and will attract droves of new talent to our state,” said Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “I’m glad to be here to inaugurate this new facility and am thankful to everyone who made it possible. I know this project will pay dividends for our state far into the future.”

“Our nationally recognized experts look forward to the enhanced ability this building provides to combine their multidisciplinary skills while using the latest cutting-edge technology,” said C. Lowry Barnes, M.D., chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in the UAMS College of Medicine. “Perhaps more importantly, we know that patients and their family members will appreciate the ways this allows us to streamline services in a comfortable, easy-to-navigate environment.”

An inside view shows that surgeons have plenty of space to work and a view of the main hospital.

An inside view shows that surgeons have plenty of space to work and a view of the main hospital.Evan Lewis

The innovative surgical facility was designed with versatility in mind, to accommodate a wide range of procedures including complex orthopaedic surgery, orthopaedic trauma and orthopaedic oncology, as well as pain management, physical medicine and rehabilitation.

 It will complement and not replace off-campus UAMS orthopaedic clinics throughout Little Rock.

Spacious rooms await patients in June.

Spacious rooms await patientsEvan Lewis

Monday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony came just over two years after ground was broken April 12, 2021, to cheers from a crowd that included several UAMS leaders; local, state and federal dignitaries; representatives of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce and the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees; architect Charley Penix with the Cromwell architecture firm; design consultant Willie Stokes with Davis Stokes Collaborative Architects; and Greg Williams, then-CEO of Nabholz Construction, the general contractor.

A view from inside.

A view from inside.Evan Lewis

The $85 million project was paid for by a bond issue approved by the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees.

Bright spaces are available for many patients at one time.

Bright spaces are available for many patients at one time.Evan Lewis

Visible from Interstate 630 and from across the Little Rock campus, the new surgical hospital was designed to be easily accessible from anywhere in the state.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.