Archive Orthopedic Surgery 2019

Set Up for Success in Total Knees

Staff and surgeons at the St. Cloud (Minn.) Surgical Center tap into technology and teamwork to achieve excellent outcomes.

Daniel Cook

Daniel Cook, Executive Editor


Pamela Bevelhymer, RN, BSN, CNOR
GROWTH OPPORTUNITY Adding unicompartmental knee replacements to your case mix could let you capture the technically demanding cases many surgeons avoid performing.

Some total joint outcomes are too good. "I once replaced the knee of a guy who was hiking almost 15 miles a day 3 weeks after surgery," laughs Joseph Nessler, MD, a surgeon at St. Could (Minn.) Orthopedics. "Now, he was a competitive athlete, but that's unusual. I feel like I need to add a disclaimer to the end of my clinic appointments with prospective patients — results may vary."

Your typical knee replacement patient likely won't be backpacking to their post-op physical therapy appointments, but younger patients are more motivated than ever to head home on the day of surgery and return to normal life activities soon thereafter.

Through last July, surgeons at the St. Cloud Surgical Center, where Dr. Nessler does many of his joint replacements, had performed 300 total knees and 490 unicompartmental-knees. All but 6 of the patients went home on the day of surgery thanks to a team-wide approach to multifaceted patient care that begins long before the day of surgery and extends several months into recovery.


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