Improving Joint Replacement – From Consultation to Recovery

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital June 4, 2014

BWH's evidence-based knee replacement process is based on research by the Care Improvement Team, led by orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Wright (center).

As a concerned friend or relative of a patient who recently had a joint replaced, you might be tempted to ask: “How was your surgery?” But research findings from our Department of Orthopedic Surgery suggest that you should be just as concerned about how they were treated before and after surgery.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) now uses a standardized approach to total knee replacement that guides how patients should be treated from the time they arrive at the hospital for a consultation to the care they receive after being discharged. This new evidence-based approach is based on the work of the Care Improvement Team, led by orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Wright. After researching prospective changes to conventional knee replacement practices, the team tested selected changes and evaluated their effects. Changes found to have had a significant impact were incorporated into a new knee replacement process, which is now the standard protocol for all knee replacement surgeries at BWH.

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Innovative Knee Replacement Process Gets Patient Back on His Feet

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital June 13, 2013

Knee replacement patient Rick Litavis (center) enjoys a post-surgery family stroll.

With three torn ligaments and no cartilage left in his right knee, 49-year-old Rick Litavis of Hopkinton, MA, had two options – continue to live in pain and suffer through sleepless nights, or get a knee replacement.

Rick was ready for relief.

And thanks to surgical expertise, teamwork, and an innovative approach to improving knee replacement outcomes, Rick was not only pain-free within days after his January 2013 operation, but also walking and biking within weeks.

“I was completely floored,” says Rick. “The first night after my surgery I was standing, the next day I was using a walker without pain, and I was home the day after that.”

After playing football at Northeastern University, Rick continued to play competitive, high-impact sports throughout his 20s and 30s. But such a lifestyle also comes with risks, and Rick managed to severely injure his right knee several times over the years.

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Weighing Treatment Options for Knee Pain: Surgery vs. Physical Therapy

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital April 24, 2013

What's the best treatment for a torn meniscus?

Many middle age and older adults have serious knee pain due to a tear in the meniscus, an important supporting structure that is often damaged in people who have osteoarthritis. In the United States, more than 450,000 arthroscopic surgeries are performed each year to treat these injuries. Now, new research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), suggests that treatment with physical therapy, with an option for arthroscopic surgery if patients do not respond, may prove as effective as initial treatment with surgery.

“These results are extremely valuable and will enable us to work with patients and their families to identify the treatment that is best aligned with patients’ preferences,” said Dr. John Wright, an orthopedic surgeon at BWH and lead orthopedist on the study.

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Knee Replacement Surgery – Keys to a Quicker Recovery

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital June 20, 2012

knee replacement process improvement

New knee replacement practices – before, during, and after surgery – are improving patient outcomes.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Wright specializes in both performing knee replacement surgery and improving knee replacement surgery.

Dr. Wright performs roughly 300 knee replacement procedures each year – well above the regional average – and this significant experience leads to exceptional results. But Dr. Wright and his team have discovered that experience is not the only way to improve outcomes.

When Dr. Wright isn’t treating patients, he’s working on research dedicated to improving the entire knee replacement process – before, during, and after surgery. He leads a Care Improvement Team at BWH that has applied his research findings to change conventional knee replacement practices. This has resulted in improved patient outcomes, including less post-operative pain, shorter hospital stays, and a quicker return to daily activity.

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