A Healthcare Partnership: Total Joint Replacement at NorthShore

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 4:32 PM comments (0)

Puri“First and foremost, we’re looking for the best possible outcome,” says Lalit Puri, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon and Division Chair of Adult Reconstruction at NorthShore. And, according to Dr. Puri, the philosophy of the Total Joint Replacement Center at NorthShore is that the best possible outcomes are created from strong partnerships between patients and healthcare professionals. 

Dr. Puri shares more information on the partnerships formed between patients and their orthopaedic care teams at the NorthShore Total Joint Replacement Center:

Why is the partnership between patient and healthcare provider so important?
If we enter into a partnership with our patients, we’re asking the patient to give his or her best before and after surgery, just as we’ll give our best throughout as well.

We know that surgery can certainly be anxiety-provoking, but we don’t want patients to come into NorthShore feeling like that. So our partnerships are about trying to demystify the process. Our partnerships start with an open and honest dialogue. 

Part of that demystification process is patient education. Why is educating the patient before surgery so important?
It’s critical that the patient has an understanding of what to expect before surgery. Most importantly because it reduces anxiety in the patient’s mind so that he or she is more comfortable with what’s ahead. I also think that the more educated a patient is about surgery, the more he or she can participate in his or her care. A more informed patient has a better understanding of what is happening, and therefore may be a more active participant. 

What does patient education at the Total Joint Replacement Center involve?
A key element of our partnership with the patient is our comprehensive Patient Education Program. This program guides patients through the entire process of a total joint replacement before surgery even happens, from pre-surgery preparation recommendations to full rehabilitation. 

Patients are encouraged to attend a class prior to surgery that is run by a team of specially trained orthopaedic nurses. In this class, they learn what they can do to be active participants in their own care, and have an opportunity to interact with many of the clinicians who will be a part of their care teams.

The Patient Education Program is not just about educating patients though. Our multidisciplinary team uses this time to learn about the individual needs of each patient by asking and answering questions, getting to know each individual patient, to discover the best way to help patients maximize their health before the surgical procedure.

Find out more about the Patient Education Program and Total Joint Replacement Center here: northshore.org/orthopaedics

Total Joint Replacement Surgery: Q&A with an Expert

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 10:48 AM comments (0)

Have medications and physical therapy done little to relieve your joint pain? Are you hoping to find a way to get back to the things you love without having to worry about pain? Total joint replacement might be the next step, but it’s a step you shouldn’t take without asking some important questions first.

Ravi Bashyal, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon, specializing in minimally invasive hip and knee replacement surgery at NorthShore, answers questions on total joint replacement surgery, from what makes someone a good candidate to recovery, rehabilitation and beyond: 

Who is a good candidate for joint replacement surgery?
Total joint replacement surgery is an excellent option for patients who have "worn out" their hip or knee joint, found little relief from conservative management options such as injections or medications, and who feel that their worn-out joint is significantly impacting their ability to enjoy their daily activities and life.

Are there minimally invasive options for total joint replacement?
Yes. There are many new techniques and implants that allow total joint replacements to be done now in a much less-invasive fashion than in the past.  These innovations can allow for shorter surgical times, lower complication rates and faster recovery. Talk to your surgeon about his/her personal approach, and how you might fit into this as an individual patient.

What should a total joint replacement patient do prior to surgery?
There are numerous steps one should complete prior to a joint replacement surgery:

First and foremost, meet with an orthopaedic surgeon to make sure you are a good candidate for this type of surgery. He or she can talk to you about possible risks, recovery times and patient outcomes. Also make an appointment with your medical doctor and any other specialists (i.e. cardiologist) to make sure you are medically cleared to safely proceed with surgery.

Attend a class regarding joint replacement at the NorthShore Total Joint Replacement Center. This is an excellent opportunity to participate in a program focused on hip and knee replacement. You'll have a chance to meet with nurses, physical therapists, social workers, and other team members that will explain the ins and outs of what to expect before, during and after your surgery and during your hospital stay.

Make a pre-operative appointment with your surgeon and his/her team. This will give you a chance to review what you have learned during the pre-operative process, discuss any questions/concerns that may have come up, and to feel comfortable and confident going into your surgery.

What can a patient do to help to ensure the best possible outcome?
Become a partner in your care. The Total Joint Replacement Center at NorthShore is there to guide patients from beginning to end, from pre-op to rehabilitation. Patients are encouraged to communicate with their surgeon but also with our highly trained orthopaedic nurses and staff throughout the process. We feel that it’s important for our patients to have a thorough understanding of what to expect before, during and after surgery.

How long should you expect to be in the hospital after a total joint replacement?
Most of our hip-replacement and knee-replacement patients are ready to be discharged 2-3 days after their operation. Some patients are even ready to go home the day after. Many of our patients go directly home after surgery with in-home nursing and therapy arranged by our social work team, while others elect to go to an inpatient rehab center prior to going home. Ask your surgeon what to expect, and discuss with him/her what would work best for your individual situation and preference.

While recovery time varies case by case, what timeframe for recovery should a patient of total joint replacement expect?
Recovery is different for everyone. With our use of minimally invasive techniques and advanced post-operative care, many patients are recovering at a much quicker pace than 10 or 15 years ago. We have many patients back to work and activities within a few weeks. Of course, this is subject to individual recovery times, and the specific activities that each patient will return to after surgery. A discussion with your surgeon about your recovery is an important part of the pre-operative process.

What about long-term? How long should someone expect an implant to last?
Innovations in joint replacement technology have dramatically increased the longevity of many types of implants. Many currently available implants can survive for 20 or more years, and even if these devices "wear out," currently technology allows us to replace only the worn-out part without having to re-do the entire operation or replace all the parts.

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