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Anderson Orthopaedic Clinic moves to Shirlington, plots expansion

(Updated at 11:10 a.m.) After 80 years operating near Arlington Ridge, Anderson Orthopaedic Clinic is moving into a new office in Shirlington.

The clinic signed a lease for a new, 25,000-square foot space at 2800 Shirlington Road, an office building just over a mile as the crow flies from its current location at 2445 Army Navy Drive.

Interior construction is scheduled to start this month and Anderson Clinic aims to debut its new space in October.

Leaders say the new space will allow the practice to add more doctors and providers, provide physical therapy services and establish an orthopedic urgent care clinic. It will serve more than 35,000 patients a year — more than the clinic’s three other locations in Fairfax, Lorton and Mount Vernon Hospital saw combined in 2021.

“This is a huge decision to move,” said Dr. C. “Andy” Anderson Engh, Jr., adding that it’s been in the works for a year and a half. “This is space that is considerably larger than what we have and will allow us to grow and improve our services… We can really build it out exactly as we want so that it can be a pleasant, open space for our patients, and efficient for staff working there.”

He also wants the office to be more accessible to Arlington and Alexandria patients, whose 20-minute commutes often take double that time due to congestion.

“We want to add additional offices to make our doctors more accessible in this region,” he said.

Polio specialist Dr. Otto Anderson Engh purchased the property on which the current clinic stands and founded the practice in 1938. He passed on stewardship of the practice and ownership of the land to his two sons, Drs. Gerard “Jerry” and Charles Anderson Engh, whose son is Andy.

The Enghs have made important contributions to orthopedic care in Arlington and nationally, Andy says. His grandfather Otto conducted tendon transfers for children crippled by polio and developed programs for these children through Arlington County and hospitals in the region. After a vaccine was developed that effectively eliminated polio, the clinic began caring for a surge of workers who were injured while building up Arlington and D.C.

In the 1970s, under Jerry and Charles’ leadership, the practice evolved into a group of specialists, whose specialties ranged from sports medicine to joint replacements.

“My uncle was instrumental early on in sports medicine in getting athletic trainers in the high schools in the early 70s,” Andy said. “He then moved on to be a pioneer in knee replacements, while my father was a pioneer in hip replacements. He was one of two in the area with a license to do cement hip replacements, and he developed the cement-less replacements that now comprise 93% of the replacements in the U.S.”

That growth will continue in the new office space. The third-generation doctor credits the expansion to a partnership with M2 Orthopedics, which handles the administrative side of business so that the physicians can focus on serving patients.

Andy said his father and uncle still own the property on which the current clinic, built in the 1980s, stands.

For now, they don’t have plans to redevelop the office building, which currently houses, among other medical services, a physical therapy group and a dialysis clinic.

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