Delaware hospital expands joint replacement surgery facility

 (Shana O'Malley/for NewsWorks)

(Shana O'Malley/for NewsWorks)

Wilmington Hospital is set to begin caring for patients in a brand new surgical wing.

The Christiana Care Health System hospital has added the Center for Advanced Joint Replacement on the 7th floor of the downtown Wilmington hospital.

Opening Sept. 3, the 30-bed, state-of-the-art unit will specialize in joint replacement surgery and rehabilitation.

Dr. Brian Galiant, chair of Christiana Care’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery explained that the hospital is already a leader in joint replacement surgery and is one of the busiest in the region.

“We’re a top 20 in Medicare volume patients, year after year,” explained Galiant. “Consumer Reports recently put us at the top of hospitals in regard to total knee replacements. We continue to score well on a number of different measures from health grades to pretty much everything that’s out there. It’s a reflection of the team approach to care that we have here focused on patient safety and their good outcomes.”

Dr. Edmondo J. Robinson, M.D., physician-in-chief for Christiana Care Health System’s Wilmington Hospital explained that the new unit was built with the future in mind.

“We’ve got all the technology around, information technology, electronic medical records, all of those things are in place,” explained Dr. Robinson. “We were actually able to design this unit for what the future of care is going to look like. And not just what we used to do in the past.”

The large private recovery rooms feature a pullout sofa for family members, large private bathroom and ceiling lift to help patients get in and out of bed easily after surgery. Family can stay with patients 24/7.

“It’s a stressful surgery and it’s a stressful recovery process so the ability to have a private room where we can really manage your pain and individualize your therapy program to your unique needs, just means a better outcome and better patient satisfaction,” said Sharon Kurfuerst, vice president of rehabilitation and orthopedic services at Christiana Care.

The unit also features three rehabilitation gyms so patients can go to and from therapy easily. Kurfuest said they try to get patients up and moving within a few hours of surgery so having proper physical therapy resources is vital to recovery.

“The ability to have three therapy gyms where patients have the room to spread out, can really work with the therapist at their own pace, on their own schedule, just makes for better outcomes and a more enjoyable, if it can be, therapy experience,” added Kurfuerst.

Patients typically participate in therapy twice a day for 2-3 days at the hospital before being discharged. They need another 4-6 weeks of home therapy before they’re “100 percent.”

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