Watch Drs. Glassman and Beal discuss innovations in joint replacement.
Adults are acting more like kids every day, hiking, biking and jogging their way to longer, healthier lives. No more retiring to the rocking chair for these energized folks. But while staying active can turn back the wellness clock, it also increases stress on the musculoskeletal system. Eventually hip, knee and shoulder joints may become painful due to wear, damage or injury. Add degenerative joint conditions that naturally occur as we age, and it's no wonder joint replacement surgery and revision are rapidly evolving, with more than 700,000 total hip and knee replacement surgeries performed in the United States each year.
"Our patients aren't willing to live with disability and pain," says Andrew Glassman, MD, associate professor and director of Ohio State's Adult Reconstructive Surgery Program. "We have to be certain that we're on the cutting edge of proven safe and effective surgical techniques and implants that restore full joint function."
Dr. Glassman cites three key elements that set the Adult Reconstructive Surgery Program apart. The first is a highly experienced and skilled physician team that has completed advanced research in joint replacement surgery. "Our team is very well-connected with research facilities, hospitals and universities across the country," explains Matthew Beal, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. "That gives us access to the latest advances available in implant technology."
A second distinguishing factor is tightly coordinated communication between the surgeons, all supporting clinicians and vital hospital staff. "We meet once a week, and we invite everyone whose expertise ensures the best possible and most comprehensive patient care," Dr. Glassman stresses.
Jerry Schiff, an active 80-year-old living in Columbus, was duly impressed with the level of care he received after Dr. Glassman replaced his left hip at Ohio State's University Hospital East in September 2010. "I played tennis and basketball for many years, so I'm a great believer in teamwork," Schiff says. "All I can say is thank goodness for University Hospital East! My experience was nothing short of incredible."
Ongoing research into the implant devices marks the third area in which the Adult Reconstructive Surgery Program stands out. "We're continuously measuring what we're doing so we know what works and how to improve," says Dr. Beal. "Now we're working with The Ohio State University's Materials Science & Engineering department to analyze some of the materials we use to decrease the need for revision surgeries after an implant naturally wears down."
"We're far ahead of where we were 10 years ago," Dr. Beal adds. "But there's more to learn. We intend to be at the forefront."
Areas of Expertise
Spotlight on Orthopaedics
Recognized among the best hospitals in the country in orthopaedics by U.S.News & World Report, Ohio State's orthopaedic team offers medical and surgical expertise in a variety of areas, including:
- Musculoskeletal Infection
- Hand and Upper Extremity
- Sports Medicine
- Foot and Ankle
Ask Your Advocate
Q. Am I too young for joint replacement?
A. Surgery should always be the last resort for joint pain control. Nonsurgical methods (medicine, weight reduction, exercise, physical therapy, external appliances) should always be used first. This holds true for the younger adult patient with joint pain even more. The decision to have a joint replacement also depends on other health conditions affected by exercise and weight (diabetes, elevated cholesterol, hypertension, etc.). If the affected joint is limiting activity to such a degree it is affecting control of these life-long illnesses, surgical intervention may be considered sooner.