Orthopedics & Sports Medicine blog

January 16, 2018

Orthopedic Surgery - The Past and Present at Sauk Prairie Healthcare

Dr. Arnold Rosenthal: Over 30 years it's been fascinating to watch some of the things that come and go. And there has been many times, at least in orthopedics, that we have thought we had the answer, whether that was in materials, plastic versus metal versus an assortment of things, and watching some of the things actually that people thought was gonna be the answer fail to be the answer. One of the things about our program that's unique is we have what we call the signature total knee program, which is a customized approach to how the knee is measured and how the knee is implanted. That, to me, has been a huge change during my career. 

The differences are really quite extreme. If you were gonna have an artificial joint, as an example, it's a good example, they would be admitted on Saturday for a Monday surgery. They would then stay 14 days in the hospital afterwards. We would not allow them even to get out of bed for two to three days after surgery. So that's where I came from. And of course, we went from that to same-day admissions. We did think similarly as far as the actual preparation of the knee, however, many of those decisions were made intraoperatively during the surgery. 

The system we're using now is an MRI-based system where the knees are measured and guides are made to prepare the knee that are made off of the MRI. And it's a great advantage as far as eliminating unnecessary time in surgery. It increases the precision of the procedure and greatly improves the reproducibility of the procedure. 

If you think about your average joint replacement patient compared to other patients who come to the hospitals, our patients aren't ill. And if you approach them with that attitude, which, A, like I say, begins with changing even the environment of the actual hospital room, making it look more like a motel, having a comforter on the bed, mandating that you're up out of bed, people are now very comfortable in leaving even though it's sometimes 24 hours later that we've encouraged that comfort level. And it works. The way we do the surgeries is just better. The size of the incisions, the amount of trauma, the length of time in surgery, those all add up the better outcomes, better experience, less pain, less blood loss, all those things. So it's been a great improvement. 

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