Orthopedics Magazine Articles
Volume One, Issue Two

Getting better and better
Increased patient satisfaction drives TCO 2008 expansion

Fast and convenient care
AccessORTHO offers urgent, non-emergency orthopedic care

Healing together
Individual and group care improves recovery after joint replacement

If the shoe fits
Feet bothering you? Your footwear may to be blame

Preventing recurrent disc herniations
Twin Cities Orthopedics spine surgeons pioneer technique - annular disc repair

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Healing together, continued...

Pre- and postoperative physical therapy
Patients at Ridgeview Medical Center, North Memorial Medical Center, and Abbott Northwestern Hospital are encouraged to participate in a pre-operative physical therapy session. Exercise participation prior to total joint arthroplasty dramatically reduces the odds of requiring transfer to a swing bed or another inpatient facility, according to research noted in Arthritis & Rheumatism, the official monthly journal of the American College of Rheumatology.

Patients also participate in postoperative group physical therapy sessions prior to being discharged. Group physical therapy sessions give patients extra motivation and allow opportunity for greater support as they begin their road to recovery. Targeted postoperative care has resulted in more patients being discharged directly home after hip or knee arthroplasty, as indicated in research that appears in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

The results
Ridgeview Medical Center began offering this group approach to education and therapy when it opened its Center for Joint Replacement in April 2007.

“Prior to opening the Center for Joint Replacement, 65 percent of our patients went home after surgery and 35 percent required nursing home care,” Trent said. “Now, only 20 percent of patients are discharged to a nursing home and 80 percent return home.”

In addition to the improvement of discharge status, the average hospital stay following joint replacement has decreased from 3.8 days to 3.15 days. In 2007, the center achieved a zero percent infection rate for all knee replacement surgeries and a 0.77 percent infection rate on all hip replacement surgeries. At North Memorial Medical Center, the improvements are similar. “The results of our program have been amazing,” said Chuck Lister, program coordinator at the Joint Center at North Memorial Medical Hospital. Since starting the program, the North Memorial Joint Replacement Center has seen a zero percent infection rate and the average hospital stays have decrease from 3.5 days to 3.1 days.

Abbott Northwestern Hospital is just starting their Joint Replacement Center but they are optimistic they will have similar results.

In addition to outcome statistics, patients are also more satisfied with the care they receive. “Today’s patient wants to take an active role in the treatment and recovery process,” Lister said. “Since implementing joint replacement classes, patients have been more satisfied with their ability to be involved and expedite the recovery process.”

Constant improvement
While the results of improvement in patient education and pre- and post-operative physical therapy have helped improve patient recovery and patient satisfaction, TCO and the hospitals it is affiliated with are continuously researching and looking for new ways to improve care.

For more information about TCO physicians, locations, and services offered, visit www.tcomn.com.

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