Keeping Up with the Kettering Joint Center
Probably the most important is the new instrumentation that allows us to do less invasive surgery (sometimes called minimally invasive). The prostheses are the same, it is just that the surgeons now have tools available to them that allow them to get in and do the job with a smaller skin incision. This also allows us to save the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the joint for a more rapid recovery.
To aid in this rapid recovery, pain management has improved. During surgery you may have a nerve block or you may have a local anesthetic infused into the area. Sometimes pain medicine is provided directly to the surgical area through a small tube with a continuous flow to prolong the pain relief in the early days of recovery. This allows for more rapid recovery. The patient is comfortable and can get up the same day of surgery and start walking. This early walking and movement decreases the risk of complications such as deep venous thrombosis, which could lead to blood clot.
As a precaution to help prevent infection an antibiotic is given pre-operatively and post-operatively during the first 24 hours after surgery. There have been additional things new in surgery that one does not hear about such as the use of clean air operating rooms where the air exchange is enhanced with filters that pull out any bacteria. The Kettering Medical Center operating rooms have the newest technology in their operating rooms to purify the air to help reduce the bacteria. The Kettering Joint Center staff follows the national quality standards provided by Medicare, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and health insurance companies to reduce infections and other complication rates. In a recent Medicare Quality Study the Kettering Joint Center ranked best in the Nation for hip and knee replacements.
Some surgeons use navigational tools to help them with the positioning of the implants. This can be helpful if the surgeon is having a difficult time viewing the bone ends if an extremely small incision is made. However, most experienced orthopedic surgeons are very familiar with the anatomy of the joint and may not need to use these tools. Navigational tools are very helpful as part of the learning curve when doing the less invasive incisions.
With direct-to-consumer advertising from the manufacturers, certain buzz words are now hitting the news media such as partial knees, gender-specific knees, rotating-platform knees, ceramic implants, and metal implants. Your orthopedic surgeon will help you decide which knee implant is right for you. Perhaps the most important new procedure that has been promoted is the partial knee system which had been called the unicompartmental knee. This in fact has also been around since the early 1970s and there has been marked improvement over the years. Now with the present tools and materials it is an important addition to the orthopedic surgeon to consider when evaluating patients for knee surgery. Those who have used this system over the years report that almost 30% of patients are candidates for this procedure. The polyethylene which is a plastic type material used in the joint implant has been the gold standard for years and has been markedly improved continuing to remain an excellent surface-bearing material.
One must remember that what is new and touted in the news media may not be new. One of these is the surface replacement of the hip. This is how hip replacements first began in the 1960s and it failed then and has been redesigned every ten years and still has not proved to be as good as the standard total hip replacement. Even though it is considered conservative, in fact, it is not and has a very high early-failure rate and only a small number of people are candidates for this procedure.
Our operating rooms have orthopedic teams specially trained in joint replacement techniques with our own orthopedic anesthesiologists, nurses, and other key personnel. By having the same team that is familiar with the surgeon and his techniques, patient outcomes are much better, surgery is done more efficiently, and there is a more reliable result or outcome for the patient.
Remember when being advised by your surgeon regarding what is best for you, that oftentimes the tried and true method may be best even with the advances that have been made. The surgeons at Kettering Medical Center are aware of all the new materials, implants, techniques, and advertising regarding the manufacturers products. They will use their judgment and years of experience as to what is best for you after they obtain a history, perform an examination, and review your x-rays. Please feel free to ask your surgeon any questions you have regarding the proposed procedure.
The Kettering Joint Center at Kettering Medical Center is up-to-date with all of the newest techniques, products, pain management, and postoperative care that allows for a very successful, rapid recovery with long-term results.
Medicare’s quality study named us as best in the nation for joint surgery!
Customer satisfaction consistently ranks nationally in top 1%.
Newly designed patient rooms.