Joint Venture for Joint Replacement

NorthBay Healthcare’s successful Joint Replacement Program has a new service that offers patients with some mobility issues a leg up. Well, make that a knee. A partial knee.

Under the direction of surgeon Andrew Brooks, M.D., who serves as medical director for NorthBay’s Joint Replacement Program (JRP), patients can now receive partial knee replacements on an out-patient basis, which means that hours after their surgery, they’re on their way home.

A total knee replacement typically requires 12–16 weeks of recovery, where a partial knee replacement patient recovers in four to six weeks.

Traditionally, patients undergoing knee replacements would spend two to three nights in the hospital, but new pain management techniques, minimally invasive surgery and patient education makes an early release part of the plan.

It’s a joint venture for the joint program—with patient surgeries being performed at the Surgery Center at NorthBay VacaValley, right across the campus from VacaValley Hospital, home of the JRP.

“It’s ideal for us,” explains Dr. Brooks, “because the Surgery Center is better equipped to help patients get in and out quickly. Patients love the idea of being able to get the surgery done and then going home for recovery. No stay in the hospital is necessary.”

A total knee replacement typically requires 12–16 weeks of recovery, where a partial knee replacement patient recovers in six to eight weeks. In a partial knee replacement, the surgeon removes less bone and no ligaments, leaving all normal surfaces of the knee intact, explains Dr. Brooks.

Anesthesiologist Dr. Nirvana Kundu, also the medical director of Anesthia Services at NorthBay VacaValley Surgery Center, discusses his role in partial knee replacements.

“The patient feels much more normal right after surgery. It’s minimally invasive surgery and the recovery is much quicker,” says Dr. Brooks.

The program began in January, and includes preoperative education for the patient, followed by a rehabilitative program after surgery.

“This is an excellent procedure for some patients who have arthritis limited to one area of the knee,” says Dr. Brooks. “On average, about one in eight patients with knee arthritis would be considered for partial knee replacement. We used to ask patients to put off surgery as long as possible before proceeding with knee replacement, but this gives us a good option for those patients who might be considered too young for conventional total knee replacement.”

Patients interested in this can call (707) 624-7600.

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