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Hip, Hip, Hooray!

by Jane Grant Tougas

As a HealthTalk writer, I usually tell someone else’s story. This time the story is about me—and The Joint Replacement Center at Good Samaritan Hospital. When I could no longer walk my dogs or climb stairs without significant bone-on-bone hip pain, I knew I couldn’t deny the obvious any longer: I needed a hip replacement. In fact, I needed both hips replaced. X-rays showed my shallow hip sockets were no longer holding the ball of my hip in place. I scheduled surgery on my right hip within the month, and three months later, on my left.

Experience and Expertise

As I learned first-hand, 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 ensures nurses are aware of advances in technology, equipment, best practices and evidence-based care.

“Doctors, nurses, and therapists work closely as a team in the GSH Joint Replacement 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 Hospital 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."

The Happy Ending

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