Methodist’s total joint replacement program improves quality of life - November 3, 2013

Methodist Hospitals has established a center of excellence for joint replacement in Northwest Indiana.

For patients like Mike Scamihorn, who suffers from a severe form of osteoarthritis affecting all of his joints, that translates to improved quality of life.

Over a period of about five years, Mike’s knees worsened to the point where climbing stairs was painful and he was unable to walk very far. Then, his hip pain worsened so quickly that he 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 says.

Until now, Mike never had a hospital admission or surgical procedure. He naturally found the prospect of joint replacement a little daunting. He says, “Fortunately, Dr. Shah is an outstanding people person.”

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 experience.

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

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 says. “Dr. Shah is excellent at communicating what to anticipate.”

Reduced tissue trauma surgery (RTSS) 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 says.

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

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

Thanks to Methodist’s Total Joint Replacement Program, residents Northwest Indiana residents can access technologically advanced options for knee and hip replacement without leaving the area.

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 says. “I’m looking forward to having the right knee replaced next.”