QC Patients Benefit from New Strides in Total Joint Replacement

Benefits to patients include shorter rehabilitation times and lower costs

(September 29, 2008, Davenport, IA) – Quad City patients can now undergo total joint surgery that gets them walking within hours of surgery and back home for recovery within 24 hours without a hospital stay – a cost-effective alternative addressing the future of health care as current debate over rising health care costs continues.

Davenport-based Orthopaedic Specialist Dr. John Hoffman, a fellowship-trained 20-year veteran who performs approximately 600 minimally-invasive total joint operations a year, says revolutionary improvements in surgical techniques, anesthesia, and joint technology are saving patients money and allowing them to return to their active lives much faster. It’s also a procedure expected to grow as the population ages.

“Joint replacements five years ago required a major incision (8-12 inches vs. 4 inches today), long-acting anesthetic and extended convalescence. Medical innovation now allows doctors to perform them safely and effectively so that patients recover at home and get back to life quicker,” explains Dr. Hoffman.

Better techniques lead to faster recovery and less need for hospitalization. “We employ new surgical techniques that spare patients’ muscle tissue,” explains Dr. Hoffman. “We have also fine-tuned regional anesthetic and pain management protocols. These factors allow most patients to be walking within hours of the procedure and home for recovery,” he adds. Dr. Hoffman has fined tuned his technique under the guidance of Richard Berger, M.D., a pioneer of minimally invasive hip and knee replacements practicing at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago.

Bettendorf, IA, soccer referee Tom Wells recently underwent replacement of both hips and was back to work within days. “I had been putting off this surgery because I didn’t want to take time away from my work, family and soccer,” he says. “But after the procedure, I was home and walking within 24 hours and even went into work part time four days after the operation.”

“This is the future of healthcare, says Dr. John Dooley, Mississippi Valley Surgery Center (MVSC). “Any time we can improve surgeries so that patients can recover safely at home is a step forward. Patients do not have to put off the surgery because they fear a costly, invasive surgery and a lengthy recovery. Our community is fortunate to have access to this level of care.”

Additionally, most major insurers cover this procedure in the outpatient setting. Ambulatory Surgery Centers traditionally are more cost effective than hospitals. Based on Iowa Hospital Association data, charges at local Quad City hospitals for knee replacement surgeries range from $26,000 to $38,000. The average charge for knee replacement surgery at Mississippi Valley Surgery Center is $19,000, which is significantly lower than the hospitals.

“Insurers are beginning to see the benefit of performing this procedure in the outpatient setting from both a quality and cost perspective,” adds Dr. Dooley. “The cost of health care is on the forefront of everyone’s mind as the election draws near. This is just one example of how Quad Cities healthcare providers are making quality healthcare more convenient and cost effective.”

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Orthopaedic Specialists is based in Davenport, IA, and is the only local group of orthopedic surgeons of which all members are board certified and fellowship trained. OS treats a range of muscle, bone and joint disorders including arthritis, total joint replacementsports medicine, spine and arthroscopic management of kneeanklehand, elbow, wrist and shoulder injuries.

The Mississippi Valley Surgery Center, Davenport, IA, is a state of the art outpatient facility specializing in minimally invasive procedures; routine children’s surgeries; total joint replacement; gastrointestinal, plastic and reconstructive surgeries, as well as obstetrical/gynecologic and pain management procedures.