You’ll find Geneseo resident Rick Franks in his garden, thanks to a successful total knee replacement surgery that had him up and walking in a day.
“I battled knee pain for three years. When I walked, I could hear it crunch. I was limping, avoiding the stairs, and experiencing terrible bone-on-bone pain,” says Rick. “Now after surgery, I wonder why I waited so long!”
Rick is not alone. Joint pain, particularly the knees, can limit your life, but thanks to great strides in minimally invasive surgery, Quad City area patients are staying out of the hospital, recovering faster and more economically than before.
“Patients usually come to me when they can’t do the things they love” says fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon John Hoffman, M.D. of Davenport’s Orthopaedic Specialists, P.C. “As Baby Boomers age, knee replacement surgery, in particular, and total joint replacements, in general, are becoming common. Wear and tear is a part of the trend, trauma to the knee can cause problems, and even weight gain as people age puts stress on the knees or other joints such as hips or ankles,” he says.
Better results, faster recovery, lower costs
“The good news is that total joint replacement surgeries and outcomes have improved a great deal. I’ve been doing total
joint procedures for more than 20 years, and in the last decade, improvements in surgical techniques, anesthesia, and joint technology means more patients return to their active lives much faster than before.”
“When I perform a minimally invasive procedure, my incisions are approximately 4 inches long. Traditional joint replacement surgery incisions are 8-12 inches long. These new surgical techniques spare patients’ muscle tissue. We have also fine-tuned regional anesthetic and pain management protocols. All of these factors come together allowing most patients to be walking within a day of their procedure,” adds Dr. Hoffman.
And, what used to take 7 to 14 days in a hospital can now be done in one day at Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) such as the Mississippi Valley Surgery Center in Davenport, IA. Rick had his procedure performed at MVSC. “I felt great about not being in the hospital. I wasn’t even under general
anesthesia, just a spinal,” he says.
“I woke up and didn’t even feel sick. The nurses were great and helped control the pain. I was up and walking the same night of my surgery and was home the next day.”
The cost of outpatient total joint surgeries such as Rick’s is also good news. According to 2011 Iowa Hospital Association data at its Iowa Hospitals Compare Web site, the average knee replacement surgery in Iowa lasts over 3 days at a cost of nearly $40,000. At the Mississippi Valley Surgery Center, the stay is less than a day at an average cost of $18,000.
“MVSC is home to ambulatory (outpatient) surgeries, where a patient who needs less than 24 hours for treatment can have their surgery performed,” says Michael Patterson, MVSC President and CEO. “We are built to better serve patients who do not necessarily need the services and associated costs of hospitalization and where physicians have more control over how procedures are handled.”
Growing Trend of Outpatient Joint Surgeries
The Mississippi Valley Surgery Center is the only Medicare-approved ASC between Chicago and Omaha that performs total joint replacements. Most major insurance carriers cover this procedure in the outpatient setting.
“Insurers are beginning to see the benefit of performing this procedure in an outpatient setting from both a quality and cost perspective,” adds Dr. Hoffman. “Joint replacements just five years ago required a major incision, long-acting anesthetic and extended convalescence. Medical innovation now allows this procedure to be performed safely and effectively in the outpatient setting. Patient satisfaction has increased tremendously.”
Since its beginning in 1996, MVSC has served more than 90,000 patients; and the ambulatory surgery center has grown, supported by the Mississippi Valley Health physicians, to perform over 10,000 procedures a year. “MVSC keeps health care costs down because physician training emphasizes minimally invasive procedures that promote faster healing; and the surgery center’s outpatient services ensure you recover at home and avoid expensive hospital stays,” says Mr. Patterson.
“Thirty years ago, virtually all surgery was performed in hospitals. Patients waited weeks or months for an appointment, and they typically spent several days in the hospital and several weeks out of work in recovery. But better surgical techniques, more efficient operations and treatments allow patients to recover better and faster at home,” he says.
This WQAD-TV News report shows how Geneseo’s Rick Franks is back to the life he enjoyed before knee pain slowed him down, thanks to replacement surgery performed by John Hoffman, M.D. of Davenport’s Orthopaedic Specialists, P.C.