Monday, January 18, 2010
Covenant Health Joint Replacement Centers
For many Baby Boomers, reliving the good times on the football fields and dance floors can bring back fond memories. But many 40-, 50- and 60-year-olds are suddenly realizing that the pain they suffer when trying to stand up, bend over, or get into a car is payback for those wonder years.
Joint pain in either the hips or the knees can slow even the most active folks. And the reasons for such pain can be widespread – old injuries, arthritis, and obesity are just a few of the factors that can lead to joint deterioration and pain.
According to Fort Sanders Regional orthopedist Dr. Mike Casey, each patient experiences differing levels of pain – and in many cases, different types of treatments to provide relief.
“I see a lot of former football players who enjoyed the game while they played, but didn’t anticipate the wear and tear their joints experienced. They can’t believe that what they did 20, 30, 40 years ago can come back to haunt them!” says Dr. Casey.
But even if you didn’t play competitive sports, you can still be a candidate for joint replacement. For example, runners or people who stand for long periods of time at their jobs can experience hip-related ailments. Obese patients who are putting adding pressure and weight on their joints find it increasingly more difficult and painful to get around.
But help is here . . .
The Joint Centers of Covenant Health, located at Fort Sanders Regional, Parkwest, and Methodist Medical Centers offer a new way for patients to undergo joint replacement therapy: as a team! “The whole concept of the Joint Replacement Center is for patients to undergo the process as a member of a supportive group of patients – those having similar procedures with similar rehabilitation needs,” says Casey.
Patients come into any one of the Covenant Health Centers prior to surgery and participate in a pre-operative education class. They meet each other and begin forming a bond of friendship. Surgeries are performed during the same week and patients follow the same recovery plan, attending therapy together and even competing against each other to reach walking goals. “The competitive piece has been fun to watch,” says Dr. Casey. “Nobody wants to be left behind, so everyone really works hard to achieve their goals.”
Each program at each facility has a different theme designed to motivate patients to begin moving – a critical element to the success of any joint-related surgery. The team is designed to help patients receive the encouragement they need to continue to work toward their goals.
From a staffing standpoint, the program is a huge success. Physicians, nurses and physical therapy staff work together to formulate the best rehabilitation plan for patients. “We pulled everyone together to help develop the program, so all of the care providers are excited to see how smoothly the program is being implemented. It is a great program for our patients,” adds Dr. Casey.
For more information on the Joint Centers at Fort Sanders Regional, Parkwest, and Methodist Medical Centers, please call (865) 541-4500.