Photo by Lisa Predko
Over one million Americans have hip or knee replacement surgery each year. In a traditional hip or knee replacement surgery, the surgeon cuts through muscle, tendons and ligaments to remove the arthritis and insert the implant. Depending upon the surgery, patients spend an average of three or four days in the hospital and face up to three months of recovery before they can go back to work and their physical activities. This makes traditional joint replacement surgery an uphill battle not only for the patient, but also the caretakers of those individuals.
When patients meet with Dr. Richard Berger, orthopedic surgeon at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush and assistant professor of orthopedics at Rush University Medical Center, they soon find out that his advances in hip and knee replacement surgery dramatically reduce the recovery time typical of a traditional joint replacement, making him a cut above the rest.
Having obtained an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology before attending medical school at Tufts University, Dr. Berger developed a minimally invasive approach to hip and knee surgery that allows him to insert the implant without cutting through the patient’s muscle, tendons and ligaments. He helped design the tools and prosthesis he uses that enable him to work through this much smaller incision. In fact, Dr. Berger’s technique is so minimally invasive that he is able to perform joint replacement surgery on an outpatient basis allowing patients to walk just hours after surgery, climb up and down a flight of stairs, and then be released from the hospital to start home recovery. Within the first few weeks, many are back to work and back to the daily activities that were missed.
The difference in his practice lies not only in his technique, but also in his emphasis on patient education and care. The experience starts with the first call to his office for an initial consultation where the process is explained in full, and continues long after the surgery as his nurses and discharge liaison ensure that all areas of treatment have been covered. Through every step of the process, Dr. Berger and his professional staff offer continuity in care to ensure the best possible outcome for each patient. “People shouldn’t let pain from arthritis stop them from daily activities and the things that make them feel normal,” Dr. Berger says. “With minimally invasive surgery, patients return to work, their activities, and their lives much more quickly.”
For an appointment with Dr. Richard Berger, please call Kylie Less, New Patient Liaison, at (312) 432-2557, or visit www.outpatienthipandknee.com.