Last year, Inland Valley Medical Center introduced the Total Joint Center. With a goal of helping joint replacement patients become self-sufficient faster, the program encompasses friendly pre-op classes, advanced surgery, more effective pain control and “interactive” rehabilitation. Orthopedic Surgeon Steven Kelley, MD, Medical Director, reviews the practical and clinical benefits of the new center’s approach.
Q: Is joint replacement surgery performed differently at the Total Joint Center?
If it’s appropriate for the patient, we’ll choose minimally invasive surgery. This technique requires only small incisions and can eliminate the need to cut through muscle to reach the target joint. Usually this can lead to less pain, faster healing and a quicker recovery.
Q: How is pain treated?
Our intention is to keep patients safe and comfortable throughout the entire process. We begin multimodal pain management before the surgery even starts. Patients then have a nerve block to numb the surgical site and receive general or spinal anesthesia. As noted, minimally invasive surgery helps reduce pain during the procedure and in recovery. We also prescribe effective medications for pain and nausea, which patients can take around the clock if needed.
Q: What’s different about rehab at the Total Joint Center?
Our unique program brings patients together as a group. When patients engage in physical therapy together rather than alone, they motivate each other to do better. The nursing staff and care coordinators are specially trained to work this way. A multidisciplinary team oversees rehabilitation and includes the patient’s physicians so that all aspects of a patient’s condition are considered. All these components contribute to the good outcomes we’re seeing.
Q: Are family members welcome in rehab?
We encourage a family member or friend to be the patient’s coach and become actively involved in his or her progress. Ideally, the coach will spend time with the patient, learning to assist him or her, and join the others for meals. This often makes the patient more comfortable and helps ensure a more successful rehab that continues after the patient has completed the program.
If you need to be evaluated for an orthopedic condition, call our free physician referral line at 1-800-879-1020.
Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if minimally invasive surgery is right for you.