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Physical Therapy Patient Stories

Get inspired by Good Samaritan Hospital (GSH) Physical Therapy patient stories.

Jane Grant Tougas: Hip, Hip, Hooray!

When Jane Grant Tougas could no longer walk her dogs or climb stairs without significant bone-on-bone hip pain, she couldn’t deny the facts any longer: she needed a hip replacement. In fact, she needed both hips replaced.

X-rays showed Jane’s shallow hip sockets were no longer holding the ball of her hip in place. She scheduled surgery on her right hip within the month, and three months later, on her left.

Experience and Expertise

As Jane learned firsthand, joint replacement at Good Samaritan is more than a date and time on the surgery calendar. It’s a journey with every step focused on the patient’s total experience and ultimate well-being.

“We’ve emphasized continuity of care for 15 years,” explains Center director Dennis Brown, MD. “Today, Good Samaritan has the city’s most technically advanced program in total joint replacement, including computer-assisted and minimally invasive, muscle-sparing surgery, as well as nerve-monitoring for difficult cases.”

“Joint Replacement Center surgeons have done virtually all the professional publishing on nerve monitoring,” notes Shelli Powell, MD, chair of Surgery.

“We have a dedicated center director, as well as the area’s only two fellowship-trained joint reconstruction surgeons doing complex replacements and revisions,” adds orthopedic surgeon Abdolali Elmi, MD. “With this expertise, it is not surprising that HealthGrades gave five stars to Good Sam’s orthopedic program.”

Two nurse practitioners oversee care from pre-admission to discharge. A clinical development coordinator helps nurses be aware of advances in technology, equipment, best practices and evidence-based care.

“Doctors, nurses and therapists work closely as a team in the Center. Because we communicate regularly, we can anticipate and address each patient’s needs and assure care is fully coordinated,” says orthopedic surgeon Timothy Peters, DO.

“Five years ago, we committed to creating a coordinated unit,” says Dr. Brown. “So, the orthopedic and neuroscience units are relocating to either side of physical therapy for patients’ easy access to rehabilitation. The center has fully equipped, dedicated operating rooms and private patient rooms.”

“Unlike a free-standing orthopedic hospital, the Good Samaritan Joint Replacement Center is like a hospital within a hospital,” Dr. Brown notes. “Any complications that may occur can be handled right here. We don’t have to move the patient. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Steps on the Journey

The Center’s total approach begins with a visit from a Fidelity Health Care representative who assesses home safety, suggests changes such as removing throw rugs a patient might trip on, and delivers a binder full of useful materials. Topics include pre- and post-surgery nutrition, physical therapy and medical equipment.

“The process is very interactive,” says orthopedic nurse practitioner Miriah Boocher, MS, APRN, BC. “Patients attend pre-surgery group education. Rose Belt, a long-time volunteer who is a veteran of one knee and four hip replacements, and I give patients and their caregivers a realistic overview of what to expect on the day of surgery. We also explain what equipment will be used in the hospital after surgery—for example, foot pumps to stimulate circulation.”

Patients also learn about pain control, physical therapy and nutrition. And post-discharge care—at home or a rehabilitation facility—is arranged before the patient is admitted.

The day after surgery, physical and occupational therapists assess the patient and explain the twice-daily program. A nurse practitioner visits daily to check the incision, lab work and pain control. Two to three days later, on average, the patient is discharged.

The Happy Ending

In Jane’s case, within six months she was a new woman—pain free and able to do virtually everything she had given up over the past 10 years. Jane’s only regret is that she didn’t have the surgery sooner!

Source: Samaritan HealthTalk Summer 2006