Having a hip or knee replaced is not the easiest of surgeries, but Tyler Memorial Hospital has worked considerably to simplify the process.
In January, the hospital incorporated a Rapid Recovery Joint Program, geared to providing total replacement for shoulders, knees and hips.
“We provide big relief in a small setting,” explained Tyler CEO Ann Marie Stevens.
Director of Surgical Service Margaret Rogers, RN, explained that surgery is only part of the program. Tyler also provides pre-op and post-op care to their patients throughout the entire procedure.
Detailed information is provided to patients before surgery so they know what to expect, Rogers explained.
The surgery is performed by Dr. William Charlton of Dallas, who has privileges to practice at Tyler as well as Wilkes Barre General Hospital. Carlton emphasized that he is an independent physician, whose services are available through Community Health Systems.
Charlton has been performing replacement surgery since 2001. Tyler previously offered joint replacement, but it was phased out in favor of an outpatient program.
But Tyler revived the program in January following the development of new replacement techniques.
“We have new outpatient recovery techniques,” Charlton explained. “The entire staff works with the patient. Patient care is number one.”
The doctor explained that he gets a great deal of satisfaction from helping patients by eliminating their pain and by allowing them to move more easily.
“I’ve been extremely happy and satisfied with the program,” he said. “The teamwork from the staff has been outstanding. Patient satisfaction has been very, very high.”
Charlton, Stevens, and Rogers all pointed out that Tyler offering joint replacement in the area provides a tremendous service to people in Wyoming County who need it. People now don’t have to drive at least an hour to have the surgery or follow up work, and Tyler provides the necessary personal care to assist in a smooth recovery.
“We’ve had about a dozen people, ranging in age from early 50s up to the late 80s,” Rogers said. “But age is not a restriction.”
One person who has benefited from the Rapid Recovery Joint Program is Trudie Collins, 84, of Tunkhannock. Arthritis required Collins to have a hip replaced by Charlton in March.
“I live by myself, so it was not easy,” Collins explained.
Collins initially required a walker to get around, but now pretty much can get by on her own.
“It took me two months to be able to drive,” she said.
Collins said that the outpatient treatment she received following her surgery - particularly the physical therapy - was instrumental in her rapid recovery.
“I still have to be very careful, I won’t be fully recovered for a year,” she said. “Sometimes I still have a ‘tripsy’ day.”
On Aug. 9, David Juser, 58, of Lawton, had both of his knees replaced due to arthritis. Yet the day of the surgery, he was walking around.
“It prevents blood clots,” he explained. “You have to do it as soon as possible.”
Juser was in physical therapy on Monday and expects to continue with it for about six weeks. He needed a walker right after surgery, but now only occasionally needs a cane to get up and down steps.
“I hope to get a little bit more progress each day,” he said.
Juser is very glad he had the surgery performed.
“I am very happy about the personal care I received here,” he said.
Stevens said they are working at getting the word about the Rapid Recovery Joint Program at Tyler via various community groups.
“We appreciate the support of the community. As the only hospital in Wyoming County, we need that support,” she said.