Your Journey Begins Here
If you have decided to pursue improved mobility and pain relief through
joint replacement surgery, we invite you to begin your journey with us.
The Southeast Georgia Health System Joint Replacement Center has the technology,
expertise and experience to successfully guide you through this life-changing surgery.
The experts at the Joint Replacement Center perform hundreds of total joint
replacement surgeries each year—employing innovative technologies
like a computer-assisted navigation system that increases surgical accuracy
for better outcomes and a higher quality of patient care. And, because
we utilize minimally invasive techniques, you are likely to have a shorter
hospital stay and a more enjoyable recovery.
Our goal is to provide a totally integrated team approach for an improved
quality of orthopaedic care. We also offer extensive patient education
and a comprehensive continuum of care designed to ensure you receive the
information, care and support you need throughout every step of your journey.
Learn more about joint replacement from one of our board-certified orthopaedic
Beau Sasser, M.D., by watching the below Golden Isles TV feature on rotator cuff tears and
shoulder replacement surgery.
Joint Replacement: The Journey of a Lifetime
Whether you are receiving a total hip or knee replacement, or a partial
knee replacement, you are embarking upon a life changing journey. You
can generally expect relief from pain that has not responded to other
treatment options, greater mobility, and a return to activities you enjoyed
before the need for surgery. Today’s artificial joints can last
up to 20 years depending on your age, weight and activity level.
Common Causes of Hip and Knee Problems
Hip and knee problems can occur as the result of wear and tear over a lifetime
of activity, or from injury or disease. The most common causes are osteoarthritis
and rheumatoid arthritis — both of which not only cause pain, but
eventually decrease mobility and significantly threaten independent living.
Deciding Factors for Joint Replacement Surgery
An orthopaedic surgeon can best determine if you are a candidate for joint
replacement surgery. Joint replacement surgery is considered only after
other treatments have failed to restore mobility or provide adequate pain
relief. Factors that largely influence a patient’s decision whether
to have joint replacement surgery include:
- Physical examination and X-rays showing evidence of significant joint damage
- Disruption of the ability to work or enjoy hobbies
- Joint pain that persists even when at rest, making sleep difficult
- Avoiding use of the affected joint because of the pain
- Failure of non-surgical treatments to manage your pain
- Difficulty with activities of daily living
- Avoiding social interaction because of the pain
Common Misconceptions About Joint Replacement Surgery
Some people believe they are “too young” and should postpone
joint replacement surgery. They believe that by waiting until they are
older, they can make their implants last for the rest of their lives.
The fact is that today’s improved implant materials result in replacements
that last as long as 20 years, which can greatly enhance the quality of
life for a patient during their prime years. Also, while a period of conservative
treatment is advisable, waiting too long for surgery actually gives bone
and cartilage more time to deteriorate, which may cause difficulties with
the procedure and make rehabilitation more difficult.
On the other hand, patients mistakenly believe that seniors in their 70s
and 80s are too old for joint replacement surgery. Again, the facts say
otherwise. Advancements in medical technology have made surgery an option
for patients of any age.
Total hip replacement surgery involves surgically replacing the arthritic
joint with a new hip socket and stem that fits inside the femur (long
thigh bone). The stem supports a ball that fits into the socket and helps
Total knee replacement surgery involves resurfacing the knee joint with
an artificial joint made of extremely durable metal and/or plastic. A
partial knee replacement is performed when cartilage damage is limited
to only one side of the knee joint. The procedure is similar to a total
knee replacement, except that it is limited to the affected side of the joint.
Mako™ Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery
Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery is an innovative procedure for partial
knee replacements and total hip replacements. This method allows surgeons
to achieve unmatched levels of personalization and reproducible precision
in knee and hip implant position and alignment.
From a pre-operative CT scan, a 3-D virtual model of the patient’s
unique knee or hip anatomy is generated and a personalized surgical plan
for bone removal and implant size, position and alignment is developed.
During surgery, the highly advanced, physician-controlled robotic arm
provides real-time visualization and measurements, enabling surgeons to
make adjustments as needed and to control implant placement, optimizing
its fit. The Mako procedure only targets damaged areas of the knee and
hip, preserving the surrounding healthy bone and tissue.
Mako robotic-arm assisted surgical procedures for the knees and hips can
deliver reduced pain, a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery and increased mobility.
Joint Replacement Education
To help prepare patients for what to expect throughout their joint journey,
we offer a joint replacement education book to all our joint replacement
patients. Patients receive a hard copy of this book during their physician
office visit, but they may also access a digital version of this book
Patients are encouraged to attend a patient education class.
The result of joint replacement surgery for the overwhelming majority of
patients is a freedom of mobility they have not experienced in years.
Standing, walking, even exercise, are no longer distant memories, but
now, everyday enjoyable activities. Through joint replacement surgery,
we will accompany you on a joint journey to restore your freedom of mobility.
The orthopaedic experts at the Southeast Georgia Health System Joint Replacement
Center carefully plan every step of your care to ensure a speedy and successful
journey to recovery. Here are some additional reassuring facts:
- We perform hundreds of joint replacement surgeries every year
- We apply advanced and innovative technologies to increase surgical accuracy
and improve outcomes
- We earn high patient satisfaction ratings year after year, as well as high
ratings for quality of care, compassion, pain management and the training
level of our clinicians
- You are assigned an entire team of experts who are specially trained in
the care of joint replacement surgery patients
- That same team never forgets that you are an individual with unique needs
At the Joint Replacement Center, we are committed to restoring quality
of life to the patients of our community —
one joint at a time.
For more information about the Joint Replacement Center and patient education
classes, please call us at 912-466-2323 or toll free at 1-800-537-5142,
U.S. News & World Report Names Health System as a High Performing in
Blue Distinction Center for Knee & Hip Replacement
Joint Journey Guidebook 2015