Care Center Spotlight: Mid-Maryland Musculoskeletal Institute

Published June 2, 2017

Updated June 2019

The Mid-Maryland Musculoskeletal Institute (MMI) began as a solo orthopaedic practice in 1977 when Dr. Frank Nisenfeld hung a shingle outside his first office, right across the street from Frederick Memorial Hospital.  

He was one of only two orthopaedic surgeons in Frederick at the time and quickly built a busy practice. After 9 years as a solo practitioner, Dr. Mark Chilton joined Dr. Nisenfeld and together the two surgeons established themselves as the preeminent orthopaedic practice in the Frederick area. Drs. Nisenfeld and Chilton practiced together for 10 years before deciding to hire two more doctors, and the practice has been growing ever since.  

The MMI care center currently has 155 employees including nine orthopaedic surgeons, two physiatrists, two rheumatologists, a podiatrist and ten mid-level providers. It also has a thriving physical therapy practice with 21 therapists providing a wide range of physical and occupational services, including specialties in hand/upper extremity, pediatrics, sports and spine.   

Growth of the practice required several moves over the years, and eventually the construction of their own 15,000 square foot facility in 2005. Currently, the MMI care center encompasses that main facility and three additional offices in Frederick, as well as offices in Hagerstown and Urbana.

As their practice grew, Dr. Nisenfeld and Dr. Chilton focused on adding physicians with specialized training in different areas to round out their offerings. With this strategy, they were soon able to provide a wide variety of services including joint replacement, pediatric orthopaedics, sports medicine, hand surgery, foot and ankle care, and a complete Spine Institute.

The Spine Institute follows the vision for the larger MMI practice; as one-stop shop for back and neck problems, it offers physiatrists, physical therapists and a chiropractor alongside orthopaedic surgeons. MMI is also the only CAO care center to provide rheumatology as a specialty, strengthening their multidisciplinary approach to orthopaedic care. 

MMI works with other CAO care centers to extend much-needed services to their patients. In 2016 MMI rheumatologist Dr. Enrico Villanueva began seeing patients once a week at Potomac Valley Orthopaedic Associates Care Center in Olney. In 2018, Montgomery Orthopaedics Care Center spine surgeon Dr. David E. Gwinn began seeing patients at MMI’s main Frederick location. These cross-practice integrations of physicians and other services highlights the value of the CAO model by smoothly and efficiently increasing community access to care and providing more convenient, high-quality options to our patients.