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Fort HealthCare Center for Joint Replacement receives high marks

Health, Wellness & You
Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Center for Joint Replacement at Fort Memorial Hospital was recently recognized by Marshall Steele & Associates (MS&A), a healthcare consulting and management company, for achieving exceptional results in the treatment of patients receiving hip and knee replacements. During the 18 month period July 2011 through December 2012, a zero percent complication rate occurred among the 353 hip and knee replacement patients treated. Complications that can affect the patient’s rapid recovery are defined as pneumonia, blood clots, surgical site infections, urinary tract infections and hematomas occurring while the patient remains in the hospital. The zero percent complication rate made the Fort HealthCare joint replacement program the highest achieving program among all 100 MS&A associated facilities.

Other quality of care indicators suggest excellent outcomes for Center for Joint Replacement patients. During all of 2012, 236 patients received total hip or knee joint replacements at Fort Memorial Hospital. Average length of stay, including day of surgery, was only 2.28 days. This was among the lowest length of stay reported for joint replacement programs utilizing the MS&A consulting and management services. Eighty-eight percent (88%) of total joint replacement patients were discharged directly to home with outpatient therapy. Average distance walked at a single time by patients just prior to discharge, an indicator of rapid recovery, was 571 feet, 261 feet greater than the 310 feet average among MS&A programs.

According to Marshall Steele MD, an orthopedic surgeon and noted author who founded MS&A, the results are particularly noteworthy, especially when compared to other total joint replacement programs in hospitals across the country. “I have personally evaluated and have data on over 200 total joint programs. Fort HealthCare is up there with the best in achieving rapid recovery. Their clinical results and low complication rates are excellent and match the best results in our data base.”

The Fort HealthCare Center for Joint Replacement provides an exceptional, patient-centered surgery and rehabilitation experience for total hip and knee joint replacements. The entire joint replacement program is designed with the patient in mind – from pre-surgery education, to specialized surgical care, through physical and occupational therapy to complete recovery.

“Fort HealthCare has created a special program that brings a team of experienced and expert surgeons together with caring and specially-trained nurses, therapists and technicians, says Thomas Nordland, MD, orthopedic surgeon at the Center for Joint Replacement. “Our goal is to provide seamless, coordinated care to get you back to your favorite activities as soon as possible. Our staff has been hand-picked for their positive attitudes, motivational skills and passion for outstanding service.” According to Nordland, staff has been specially trained to provide comprehensive clinical care for all patients undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery.

Surgical services are provided by the board certified physicians of Fort HealthCare Orthopaedic Associates including Dr. Nordland. He is joined by Isidoro Zambrano, MD and James Bruno, MD. The physicians and staff help patients young and old return to health – with better, faster, inspiring results. “Our physicians have great passion for what they do, and are committed to providing the highest quality patient care to improve your quality of life,” added Nordland.
Rapid recovery by Center for Joint Replacement patients is enhanced by the surgical techniques used by the surgeons at Orthopaedic Associates. Hip replacement surgery is performed using the anterior (front) approach, an alternative to traditional hip replacement surgery. With the anterior approach, the surgeon uses one small incision on the front of the hip as opposed to the side or back. Unlike traditional hip replacement surgery, this technique allows the surgeon to work between the muscles and tissue without detaching them from either the hip or thighbone. The surgery results in potentially less pain, faster recovery and improved mobility. Keeping the muscles intact during surgery may also help to prevent dislocations of the new hip joint later on. Patients also avoid pain from sitting on the incision site and have fewer restrictions on activity during recovery.

For more information regarding the Fort HealthCare Center for Joint Replacement, visit or call (920) 568-5318.