Joint Patients: Setting You Up for Success
If your doctor recommends joint replacement surgery, a little preparation can go a long way in improving your experience before, during and after your procedure.
The Joint Replacement Clinic at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital partners with patients and their families to create a detailed plan of care. During a two-hour preoperative clinic, patients can prepare for their joint replacement surgeries by meeting the medical team, completing routine imaging and lab tests, asking questions about their procedures and planning for every detail of their recoveries.
“Patients are much more satisfied, have less pain and have a faster transition to home when they go through a comprehensive presurgery consultation,” says Andy Engh, MD, Director of Inova Joint Replacement Center at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital. “The more the patient understands what’s going to happen beforehand, the less anxiety they will have coming into the surgery and during the recovery.”
Paving the Way for Joint Replacement Success
For William Humelsine, knowing what to expect during and after his surgery gave him the confidence he needed to tackle his hip ailment last March. For three years, the Hagerstown resident had lived with a constant, stabbing pain and stiffness in his left hip joint. The endless aching and lack of mobility became so severe that he gave up playing racquetball, his favorite pastime. Even getting out in the garden to pull weeds caused excruciating pain.
The 51-year-old sheet metal worker went on what seemed like endless doctor visits to treat the osteoarthritis in his hip, only to find temporary solutions that weren’t effective enough to keep the pain at bay.
Then last spring, a doctor Humelsine had seen in Bethesda referred him to Dr. Engh at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital. Recognizing the severity of Humelsine’s hip joint, Dr. Engh recommended a total hip replacement. As they drove home from the appointment, Humelsine and his wife, Stacey, agreed that they had finally found the answer they had been seeking for years.
“If I would have known then what I know now, I would have done the surgery two years ago,” he says.
After the couple attended the preoperative clinic at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital, they felt confident about the procedure and knew exactly what to expect. “My wife and I felt comfortable after the preoperative process,” Humelsine says. “It was really informative, everybody was really nice, and I liked doing all the procedures beforehand.”
An Easy Road to Joint Recovery
Immediately following Humelsine’s hip replacement, the pain that had plagued him for so long completely disappeared. “I’ve been pain-free since the day I woke up out of surgery. That pain that I had every day was gone immediately.”
That evening he took his first steps, and the next day he was walking, first with a walker, then with crutches. He went home that day, and with the help of a visiting nurse and physical therapist, he was walking independently within two weeks. He was impressed with the level of follow-up care he received from the hospital.
“I got a lot of calls from the hospital making sure everything was OK,” says Humelsine. “There was always someone available and they were always very informative and very nice.”
These days, Humelsine is back to taking long walks with his wife, working in the garden and playing racquetball. With pain a thing of the past, he’s excited about getting back to his normal active lifestyle. “My wife and I were incredibly happy with Dr. Engh’s knowledge and ability, and I think he did an outstanding job,” he says.
Two New Joint Surgeons Join Staff
Inova Joint Replacement Center (IJRC) is pleased to welcome two new orthopedic surgeons.
Philip Belmont, MD, joined IJRC in July 2015. Dr. Belmont is fellowship-trained in hip and knee reconstruction. A distinguished graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, Dr. Belmont graduated from the Duke University School of Medicine and completed his internship and orthopedic surgery residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He served as the Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery with the 228th Combat Support Hospital in Tikrit, Iraq.
Thomas Sanders, MD, fellowship-trained in the specialty of foot and ankle reconstruction, joined IJRC’s orthopedic surgery team in late 2015. Dr. Sanders completed his medical training at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and most recently completed his Foot and Ankle Fellowship at the Florida Orthopedic Institute in Tampa.
To schedule an appointment with an Inova Joint Replacement Center physician, please call 703.664.7493.