Abbott Northwestern Hospital
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Joint Replacement Center
Ranked 13th in the nation in the specialty of Orthopedics by U.S. News & World Report
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Conquering knee pain and building your core
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A program of:
What makes us different?
Dedicated staff: Our joint care coordinator will guide you each step of the way. Everyone on staff is specially trained to care for joint replacement surgery patients.
Group emphasis: Our unique approach focuses on group activities, therapy, meals and support as a cornerstone of healing and recovery.
Coaching component: Our patients are encouraged to identify a loved one as their "coach" to support and encourage them to meet milestones during recovery.
Patient satisfaction: 90 percent of patients rate the overall quality of care as very good or excellent. 98.5 percent of patients indicate they would recommend the program to others.
Advanced surgical procedures: Surgeons strive to make joint replacement surgery as minimally invasive as possible.
Pain management: We partner with anesthesiologists from Northwest Anesthesia, PA, who have implemented a pain management system in which pain relief is specific to your needs and begins even before the surgery starts to ensure you are as comfortable as possible at each step of your surgery. This unique option is only available at Abbott Northwestern. And, group acupuncture is provided free-of-charge by the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing.
Continuous improvements: We listen to patients and make changes based on the feedback you provide.
Abbott Northwestern is a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement. This means we demonstrate expertise in quality care, resulting in better overall outcomes for patients, by meeting objective clinical measures developed in collaboration with expert physician panels and national medical organizations.
Note: Designation as Blue Distinction Centers® means a facility's overall experience and aggregate data met objective criteria established in collaboration with expert clinicians' and leading professional organizations' recommendations. Individual outcomes may vary. To learn more about Blue Distinction®, visit bcbs.com or contact Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
Abbott Northwestern's Joint Replacement Program earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval™ for hip and knee replacements by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission's national standards for health care quality and safety.
In addition, Abbott Northwestern is consistently ranked by US News & World Report as one of the best hospitals for orthopaedics.
Support at each step
The joint care coordinator helps with your care needs from the time you schedule your surgery to the time you leave the hospital. This includes your pre-surgery class, helping with insurance questions, an evaluation ensure you are prepared for surgery, coordinating care between your primary physician and the hospital, and helping you plan for recovery at home.
What to expect after surgery
Day one: After you are bathed and dressed, you'll be helped out of bed and into your recliner by 7:30 a.m. The physical therapist will assess your progress and help you walk with a walker. You will be able to take pain medication. In the afternoon, you'll participate in group therapy. Your coach is strongly encouraged to participate. If you are having visitors, it is best for them to come in the late afternoon or evening.
Day two: Your day will start with an assisted morning walk to group therapy which will start mid-morning. Your coach is encouraged to attend as much as possible. On Sunday and Thursday, you'll have lunch with other patients and their coaches. In the afternoon, there will be another group therapy session. You may begin walking stairs with physical therapy. Your evening is free for visitors or relaxing. Some patients are discharged on day two (meeting therapy goals, medically stable, pain is controlled).
Day three: You'll be helped out of bed and dressed by 7:30 a.m. Most patients are able to go home mid-morning on day three.
Customized after-care: Your care team will work with you and your family to develop a personalized discharge plan. The majority of patients (nearly 80 percent) are able to recover in their own home, either with help from family and friends or with care providers who come into the home. Other patients will continue rehabilitation in a skilled nursing facility (or short-term rehabilitation center) where their medical needs can be monitored at all times and there are many types of help and services available.
Discharge instructions: Understanding and remembering all the information you need to know after being discharged from a hospital after surgery can be confusing. MyChart provides online access once you get home to view your discharge instructions, refill a prescription and more.
Joint cartilage is a tough, smooth tissue that covers the ends of bones where joints are located. It helps cushion the bones during movement and because it is smooth and slippery, it allows for motion with minimal friction. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is a wear and tear condition that destroys joint cartilage. Sometimes as the result of trauma, repetitive movement, or for no apparent reason, the cartilage wears down, exposing bone ends. This can occur quickly over months or develop over a number of years. Cartilage destruction can results in painful bone-on-bone contact, along with swelling and loss of motion.
A knee replacement is really a bone and cartilage replacement with an artificial surface. The knee itself is not replaced, but rather an implant is inserted on the bone ends. This is done using a metal alloy on the femur and a plastic spacer on the tibia and patella (kneecap). This creates a new, smooth cushion and a functioning joint that can reduce or eliminate pain.
A hip replacement is an operation that removes the arthritic ball of the upper femur (thighbone) and damaged bone and cartilage from the hip socket. The ball is replaced with a metal ball that is fixed solidly inside the femur. The socket is replaced with a plastic or metal liner that is usually fixed inside a metal shell to create a smoothly functioning joint.
Your orthopaedic surgeon can determine if you are a candidate for the surgery based on your history, exam, X-rays and response to conservative treatment.
Results will vary depending on the quality of the surrounding tissues, the severity of the arthritis at the time of surgery, your activity level and your adherence to your health care team's orders.
While uncommon, complications can occur during and after surgery. Some complications include infection, blood clots, implant breakage, malalignment, dislocation, and premature wear, any of which may necessitate implant removal/replacement surgery. While these devices are generally successful in attaining reduced pain and restored function, they cannot be expected to withstand the activity levels and loads of normal healthy bone and joint tissue. In most cases, implant surgery is extremely successful. Some patients will still experience pain and stiffness. No implant will last forever, and factors such as a patient's post-surgical activities and weight can affect longevity. Your surgeon will discuss all of the risks with you.
In many cases, patients with joint replacement think the new joint feels completely natural. However, it is a good idea to avoid extreme position or high-impact physical activity.
You are encouraged to participate in low-impact activities such as walking, dancing, golf, hiking, swimming, bowling and gardening. High-impact activities like running and basketball or activities that increase your likelihood of injury, such as downhill skiing are not recommended. You should discuss any specific restrictions with your physician.
Source: Scott Anseth, MD
Reviewed by: Scott Anseth, MD
First Published: 05/01/2011
Last Reviewed: 01/24/2011