Quad Cities, IL/IA

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MVSC: Ask the Experts! Answers to Your Questions About Outpatient Joint Procedures and Replacements


Submitted by Mississippi Valley Surgery Center

Here’s a secret you may be surprised to learn — doctors and nurses want you to ask questions!

At Mississippi Valley Surgery Center in Davenport, healthcare providers encourage patients to tell them what’s on their mind. That’s because they understand that a good surgical experience starts with exceptional communication.

The team at the Surgery Center recently compiled a list of frequently asked questions — many of which have to do with joint procedures and replacements. The Surgery Center is a regional leader in outpatient joint procedures and replacement. Since their inception in 1996, they have performed more than 2,100 total joint replacements.

The fellowship-trained surgeons of Orthopaedic Specialists in Davenport choose to perform their outpatient procedures at the Surgery Center. As an integral part of the team, they helped answer frequently-asked patient questions for this edition of Healthy Cells Magazine.

“Will I receive the same level of care at an outpatient facility as at a hospital?”

Yes, and the level of attention and exceptional experience will exceed your expectations.

The Surgery Center must meet the same standards of care as a hospital — sometimes even higher. The center is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). Accreditation means that the Surgery Center participates in on-going, high-quality self-evaluation, peer review and education, and commits to thorough, on-site surveys by AAAHC surveyors.

Dr. Michael Dolphin, the head of Orthopaedic Specialists’ Spine Center, was the first surgeon in the Quad Cities to conduct outpatient back surgery. Dr. Dolphin performs procedures such as microdisectomies to correct herniated lumbar discs and cervical fusions to treat nerve root or spinal cord compression at the Surgery Center.

“Patients receive excellent quality of care in an outpatient setting,” said Dr. Dolphin. “The healthcare team at the Surgery Center is warm and caring, and they are experts at what they do.”

“How long will it take for me to recover after an outpatient joint procedure?”

According to Dr. Tuvi Mendel, one of the leading foot and ankle surgeons in the Quad Cities and an expert in sports-related injuries, recovery times vary depending on the type of procedure.

“Joint surgeries involving shoulders, hips, knees, feet, and ankles have one thing in common — they can be treated using minimally invasive techniques. This eliminates the need for large incisions and greatly reduces the time it will take you to recover,” said Dr. Mendel. “The Surgery Center works with everyone on a one-on-one basis to create a patient-centered recovery plan.” 

Recovery plans may include having a loved one stay with you, information on when you can drive and return to work, how to care for your incisions to reduce the risk of infection, how to manage any pain you may have, and when to notify your surgeon with questions about your homecare instructions.

“How long am I going to be on pain pills after my procedure?”

Dr. John Hoffman, a surgical pioneer known nationally as an expert regarding rapid recovery total joint replacements, frequently hears this question from patients, especially those preparing for an outpatient hip replacement.

“One of the reasons I specialize in minimally invasive outpatient hip replacements is that the muscles and tissues in patients’ bodies are not disrupted to the same degree as with a traditional open surgery,” said Dr. Hoffman. “We typically use a general or regional nerve block anesthesia during the procedure. After about 12 hours, pain can be managed with oral medications. Most patients use those for only a few weeks after the procedure.”

“Will I be asked to do physical or occupational therapy after surgery?”

In most cases, you’ll need to do some form of physical or occupational therapy.

Dr. Tyson Cobb with Orthopaedic Specialists has dedicated much of his career to becoming an expert on outpatient surgery of the upper extremity and holds several patents for minimally invasive surgical equipment. He collaborates with occupational therapists to assure his patients return to full mobility as quickly as possible.

“Therapy usually begins approximately one week after surgery and continues for four to six weeks,” said Dr. Cobb. “In the beginning, therapy will involve soft-tissue massage to combat swelling. For example, after carpal tunnel surgery, patients will perform exercises that focus on improving their range of motion by bending fingers, stretching, opening and closing the hand, and moving the wrist.”

“If I’ve had joint replacement before, can the same joint be replaced again?”

Yes, it can.

Over time, wear and tear on a joint implant may require a revision procedure to replace the original.

Dr. Ryan Pokorney with Orthopaedic Surgeons is an expert in revision joint replacements. He has extensive fellowship training in the replacement of older hip and knee implants using the latest, minimally invasive advancements.

“Most joint replacements last for many years, but there are many factors that can lead to their need to be replaced,” said Dr. Pokorney. “For example, loosening of the implant, infection, or simply a lot of use through physical activity can all contribute to the need for a replacement. A revision joint can help people regain their mobility once again.”

Dr. Pokorney emphasizes that it’s important to seek an evaluation of your joint replacement if it’s becoming uncomfortable or impacting your quality of life.

“Minimally invasive revision procedures performed by someone trained in joint revisions can get you back to mobility,” said Dr. Pokoreny.

“Surgical advancements make it possible for a joint revision patient to return to normal daily activities in a short amount of time.”

It’s about the people

While innovative technologies are an important component of outpatient care, it ultimately boils down to the caring experts at Mississippi Valley Surgery Center. They create a warm and welcoming experience that puts patients and their loved ones at ease from admittance to discharge.

Do not be afraid to ask even the simplest questions. Many patients ask questions related to eating and drinking restrictions prior to their procedure, when they can eat afterward, how long the procedure will take, when can they see their loved ones, will they get to speak to the surgeon, how to shower, and more. Our expert staff will provide education well before your visit to the Surgery Center and will be available even after you arrive home to answer your questions.

Our team takes pride in offering the best experience possible. More than 97 percent of patients surveyed would recommend Mississippi Valley Surgery Center to their friends and family.

For more information about Mississippi Valley Surgery Center, go to www.mvhealth.net or visit the center’s Facebook page at facebook.com/MississippiValleySurgeryCenter.