Methodist’s total joint replacement program improves quality of life - November 2, 2014

Courtesy of NWI Times

November 02, 2014 2:45 am

Methodist Hospitals has established a center of excellence for joint replacement in Northwest Indiana. For patients, this translates to improved quality of life.

Patient Mike Scamihorn suffers from severe osteoarthritis affecting all of his joints.

Over a period of about five years, Mike’s knees had worsened to the point where stairs were painful and he was unable to walk very far. His hip pain came on quickly and with a vengeance. Within the space of two or three months, it was so excruciating, Mike was unable to walk or even lie on an MRI table.

He received hip and knee replacements through Methodist’s Total Joint Replacement Program and can attest to the program’s effectiveness.

“Now I feel fantastic. I have absolutely no pain in my hip whatsoever and my knee is great,” Mike said.

At 58 years of age and having never had a hospital admission or surgical procedure, Mike found the prospect of joint replacement a little daunting. He said, “Fortunately, Dr. Shah is an outstanding people person, who has been fellowship trained in hip and knee replacements.”

During initial patient evaluations, Vineet Shah, DO, explains the full length of the surgical experience, from pre-operative evaluation, to the actual surgical experience and post-operative recovery.

“It’s my firm belief that patients’ outcomes are significantly impacted by their preparedness for surgery,” Dr. Shah said.

Mike agrees. “It was very important to me to understand exactly what my problem was, what they were going to do, and what was expected of me,” he said. “Dr. Shah is excellent at communicating what to anticipate.”

Reduced tissue trauma surgery is another key feature of Methodist’s Total Joint Replacement Program.

“I place a great deal of emphasis on reduced trauma, which involves the gentle handling of tissue during surgery,” Dr. Shah said.

Dr. Shah has also developed a multi-modal surgical pain management technique that eliminates the need for nerve blocks, epidurals or pain pumps.

He explained, “By controlling pain in this manner, patients feel ‘normal’ when they wake up. In fact, all of my patients walk the same day of surgery.”

Thanks to Methodist’s Total Joint Replacement Program, residents of Northwest Indiana can find technologically advanced options for knee and hip replacement without having to leave the area. In addition to standard knee replacements, options include computer-guided surgical navigation or patient-specific matched knee replacement.

Standard hip replacements involve using a posterior incision. Methodist also performs a minimally invasive anterior approach that renders greater overall stability, as well as the ability to bend the leg more than 90 degrees and to cross the legs.

Mike’s advice to anyone considering joint replacement is to research and understand it, and find good medical professionals to do the procedure.

“I got lucky because Dr. Shah was recommended,” Mike said. “I’m looking forward to having the right knee replaced next.”

“I am very pleased and impressed with my entire experience with Methodist Hospitals, from the nurses, surgical staff, and pre-op people, to the entire staff,” he added. “Whatever Methodist is doing, they’re doing it very well.”