Our Specialties

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The providers of White River Orthopaedic Sports and Hand Surgery Clinic specialize in surgical and nonsurgical treatment of orthopaedic conditions from head to toe. The following links provide general information on the most common conditions we treat. It you are experiencing pain and/or loss of mobility in any of these areas, contact us for a consultation.

When pain from an injury or joint condition does not improve or resolve within a few weeks and/or reoccurs often, it is time to seek medical attention. From minor procedures to complex treatment plans, our team will help you return to a full and active life.


We’re not always kind to our feet. Playing sports, wearing ill-fitting or high-heeled shoes, ignoring proper support for too long, and failing to properly groom can lead to foot and ankle issues. Fortunately, many feet and ankle conditions can be corrected or improved to restore form and function. After treatment, we work with patients to design a plan of care to ensure healthy feet and ankles in the future.

Common Foot and Ankle Conditions


The growing use of technology - especially computers and smartphones - has given to a rise in repetitive hand injuries, namely carpal tunnel, and trigger finger. Aging patients also complain of arthritis in the hands due to the constant flexing and gripping movements necessary for everyday activities. Patients may tend to put off hand surgery because they fear the inconvenience of recovery. However, utilizing minimally invasive techniques, patients typically return to normal activities more quickly than expected usually within days of surgery.

Dr. Varela is the only Board-Certified Hand and Upper extremity surgeon in the North Central Arkansas region. He performed specialized hand, microsurgery, elbow, and shoulder surgery at Duke Medical Center under the mentorship of world-famous hand surgeon Dr. James Urbaniak. Dr. Varela has published and presented several papers in hand and orthopaedic literature and is considered one of the top hand surgeons in Arkansas and the surrounding states.

Common Hand Conditions


Often, pain in the hips is caused by normal wear and tear that comes with age. There are treatments available for arthritis and other hip conditions to alleviate pain and restore movement. Discussing your symptoms with one of our providers is the first step to forming a treatment plan that may increase mobility and improve quality of life.

Common Hip Conditions


The knees and legs are key to full range mobility and tend to be a primary location for sports injuries or signs of wear and tear due to age. We have links to information about common knee and leg injuries. The links include specific information about anatomy, at home care, and when to seek treatment from an Orthopaedic specialist. If you have an injury or experience sudden swelling, stiffness, and pain in your knee, contact us for a consultation.

Stryker Mako Robotic Assisted Technology

Drs. Akins and Varela use robotic arm-assisted for total knee replacement using Stryker Mako Robotic® technology at Stone County Medical Center. Robotic arm assisted total knee replacement builds upon surgeon expertise by using CT-based 3D modeling to create an individualized surgical plan based on each patient’s unique anatomy. In the operating room, the surgeon implements the surgical plan with precise surgical technique.  Studies indicate patients report shorter hospitalization, less blood loss, less post-operative pain, and quicker recovery using Mako Technology. Ask us how Robotic-arm technology and excellent personal service from the Stone County Medical Center orthopaedic team can help relieve your knee pain and restore your mobility.


Additional Symptoms


Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. As a result, bones become weak and may break from a fall.

Osteoporosis means porous bone. Healthy bone looks like a honeycomb. When Osteoporosis occurs, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much larger than in healthy bone. They become less dense, weaken, and are more likely to break.

Diseases, Conditions and Medical Procedures That May Cause Bone Loss

⦁    Autoimmune Disorders (RA, Lupus, MS)

 ⦁    Breast or Prostate Cancer

⦁    Certain Hematologic/Blood Disorders 

 ⦁    Digestive and Gastrointestinal Disorders, including weight loss surgery

⦁    Endocrine/Hormonal Disorders 

 ⦁    Mental Illnesses (such as depression and eating disorders) 

 ⦁    Neurological/Nervous System Disorders (Stroke, Parkinson's, MS, Spinal cord injuries) 

 ⦁    Note: This list may not include all diseases and conditions that cause bone loss. Talk to your doctor and ask if any of the conditions you have may be causing bone loss.

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Fracture Prevention

What can you do to protect your bones? 

 ⦁    Add Calcium and Vitamin D to your diet by eating foods good for bone health or with dietary supplements

  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  •  Exercise Regularly

⦁   Limit alcohol to 2-3 drinks per day.

⦁    Stop smoking This may be fixed on the final but the bullets are different sizes

How Do I Find Out If I Have Osteoporosis

Call 870-269-8300 to schedule an osteoporosis evaluation. Our office can assist in ordering a bone density scan (DEXA) and necessary laboratory tests.  If you have had a DEXA scan in the past 2 years, it may be used for your evaluation. After our office receives your DEXA scan report and laboratory test results, we will schedule an appointment to discuss the results and if needed, treatment options. 

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Complications of Osteoporosis
  • Back or neck pain
  • Bone fractures
  • Change in posture
  • Fracture from a fall
  • Loss of height
  • Receding gums
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weak and brittle fingernails
  • Weaker grip strength


Shoulder and elbow injuries or joint complications have a variety of causes and can occur at any age. Sports and exercise, occupations, or a simple fall can result in tears, breaks, and dislocations that are painful and may affect mobility. Treating these injuries as soon as possible is important for proper healing and to reduce inflammation that causes pain and restricts range of motion.

Common Shoulder Conditions