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Archive Orthopedic Surgery 2019

Positioning Pointers From the Pros

Orthopedic surgeons offer their top tips for optimizing access during hip, knee and shoulder procedures.

Jared Bilski


Pamela Bevelhymer, RN, BSN, CNOR
LEG UP Surgeons who understand the importance of proper patient positioning are sticklers for making sure it's done correctly before they begin operating.

Per patient positioning prevents poor performance. “One of my mentors told me that, and I’ll never forget it,” says surgeon Gabe Horneff, MD, a shoulder specialist at the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute in Philadelphia, Pa. The self-described “stickler” for making sure patients are placed just so before surgery has been known to ask the surgical team to start the positioning process over if proper alignment is off by even a hair. It’s that important to him.

“Good access starts at the skin incision,” says Dr. Horneff. “If you don’t have it there, you’re going to regret that you didn’t position patients properly as you go deeper into the joint.”

Your surgeons likely share Dr. Horneff’s passion for positioning, so let’s look at effective ways to give them the joint access they want and need at the hip, knee and shoulder — all the while keeping patients safe.

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