Joint Care/Orthopedic Surgery
24/7 ... our Orthopedic team is always available for your joint care needs.
Whether it be an injury or a planned surgical procedure, you will not find a more committed and experienced orthopedic team in the Weirton-Steubenville Route 22/30 Corridor! If your needs are emergent or related to quality of life, our physicians are here to help!
WMC One of Few in the Country Offering the New, Nearly Pain-Free Knee Replacement
Weirton Medical Center Anesthesiologist Jorge Roig, MD likes to refer to the hospital as WMC University these days.
"It’s because we are setting the bar in so many ways. Specifically, for pain management in knee replacements, we are so cutting-edge we know other facilities will follow our approach across the country," explains Dr. Roig.
The New Knee Replacement
After a four-year development period by Weirton natives Dr. Roig and Julie Mazur, RN, BSN- BC, WMC is unveiling "The New Knee Replacement".
"The knee replacement itself is not new, but the way we are approaching blood loss and pain is. Our multi-modal pain management program begins at the time our patients walk in the door. The combination of the oral medications, a sensory nerve block, the surgeon’s minimally-invasive technique and a numbing medication injected by the surgeon is what is allowing patients to walk within 1 ½-2 hours post-operatively and have very successful outcomes. In fact, we’ve had one patient leave the same day because the pain was minimal and his ability to ambulate was incredible," said Julie Mazur.
The sensory nerve block performed by Dr. Roig leaves the motor nerves untouched, thus allowing mobility almost immediately post-operatively. After the block, the orthopedic surgeons (Stephen Alatis, DO; Charles Capito, MD; Gurdev Purewal, MD) inject the site with long-acting numbing medicine Experal, which last up to 72 hours.
"The pain is so well-controlled using this multi-modal therapy that the amount of narcotics needed is dramatically reduced because the pain is so adequately controlled," says Dr. Roig.
"Narcotics slow people down. We are using far fewer narcotics now because the patient simply does not need them," says Dr. Capito.
86 year-old Helen Woudarski of Weirton was the first patient on which the new approach was used at WMC.
"After surgery, they brought me to my room and right away they started walking me down the hall with the walker. They were amazed at how quickly I walked without any pain. I have 11 steps to get into my house and I went up all those stairs when I got home without any problem," says Woudarski.
Contractor Leonard Cox of Hopedale says his lack of pain after his surgery was "a miracle".
"I had my surgery on a Tuesday and I left that night. Around 2:00 the next morning I started walking around my house and I really could not feel any pain. Julie and Dr. Capito called me frequently to check on my pain level and to see if everything was okay and it was. It was great," says Cox.
Dave Clark of St. Clairsville was able to leave the hospital the day after surgery. He says he has less-pain than he could ever have imagined, two weeks later.
"Even at times when I was experiencing some pain it was impressively tolerable. Dr. Alatis was wonderful and the staff is awesome. I’m usually a tough customer but this experience was very positive for me," says Clark.
Both Cox and Clark were able to leave quickly, which worked for them, but according to Dr. Roig, that certainly won’t work for everyone.
"If it’s best that the patient stay here longer, we will keep them here as long as needed for their safety and well-being. For those who are having total knees, they are not as likely to leave nearly as quickly. There are some people, though, who are very motivated to leave quickly and for those people, if they are otherwise healthy, we will work with them to get them home sooner than normal," says Dr Roig.
The other major component of WMC’s new program is Blood Management. The progressive, individualized approach to blood loss minimizes the need for a transfusion. Patients are seen one month prior to their joint replacement; the patient’s test results determine which vitamin regimen works best to build hemoglobin levels. Patients begin taking iron supplements and various to other vitamins the month prior to surgery.
"This has worked wonders in curbing blood loss to the lowest levels the hospital has ever experienced. That, in addition to the surgeon’s minimally invasive surgical techniques and the use of a special device during surgery, the Aquamantys, is making the WMC procedures virtually blood loss-free," says Dr. Alatis.
Physical Therapy and Home Health Care
WMC Orthopedic Surgeons are quick to point out the importance of physical therapy and quality home health care in each patient’s recovery. In fact, WMC Home Health is now implementing pre-op assessments of the patient’s home to determine individualized patient needs before surgery and which equipment they will need for the best recovery.
"This is a comprehensive program, years in the making and with the team we have in place, from the doctors, to the nurses to all of the support staff, and our leadership, the sky is truly the limit. It’s a very exciting time here," concludes Roig.
The Joint Care Team offers a full spectrum of orthopedic care, including joint replacement, sports medicine, neurosurgery, pain management and spinal surgery.
For more information, please call (304) 797-6182.