Building on our commitment to cutting-edge orthopedic care, the patient's right to maintain/improve quality of life and our partnership with the most highly trained orthopedic surgeons in the region, the Institute for Advanced Bone and Joint Surgery has developed Orthopedic IntelligenceTM. The program's purpose is simple: To maintain St. Joseph's/Candler's status as the leader in providing SMART TechnologyTM and other advancements in orthopedic surgery to Southeast Georgia and the low country of South Carolina.
Examples of Orthopedic Intelligence are computer-assisted knee replacement surgery (SMART knee), reverse total shoulder replacement (SMART shoulder) and artificial disc replacement surgery for the spine. All three of these procedures are at the cutting edge of technology and the Institute for Advanced Bone and Joint Surgery was the first in the region to make them available.
SMART knee replacement surgery uses computer-assisted technology to support and enhance the surgeon's own expertise. This technology provides surgeons with a real-time, 3-D view of the knee joint as the surgery is performed. The surgeon can map out the entire surgery with more precision than previously possible and before any bone cuts are made, which allows for highly accurate ligament balancing with precise bone alignment and implant placement-benefits that may slow the wear process of the implant, extend the life of the artificial joint and make knee replacement a more realistic option earlier in life. Furthermore, SMART knee replacement requires less instrumentation and, when coupled with less invasive surgical techniques, creates the potential for less pain and a quicker recovery.
Recovering from hip replacement surgery used to involve a long hospital stay and a period of hip immobility. With the help of a state-of-the-art surgical table, SMART hip replacement is performed through one incision without cutting any muscle. Most patients are immediately able to freely bend their hips and bear their full weight. In some patients, this improved mobility is also accompanied with less pain, a reduced risk of postoperative dislocations and a shorter hospital stay. The key to SMART hip replacement is the less-invasive anterior approach to the hip joint. Entering the joint from the front does not require cutting or splitting any muscles, allowing a quicker recovery from surgery while avoiding postoperative complications such as dislocations or weakness.
The pain and limited shoulder movement caused by arthritis and chronic rotator cuff injuries prevent many patients from performing the day-to-day activities they should be able to take for granted, such as playing tennis, hanging curtains or combing their own hair. In many cases, shoulder replacement surgery is the recommended treatment. However, patients with severe arthritis and rotator cuff damage that is beyond repair typically find that shoulder replacement stops the pain without restoring function. Now, a new technology called reverse shoulder replacement, or SMART shoulder replacement, gives these patients new hope of better mobility. In 2004, the first SMART shoulder replacement in Southeast Georgia was performed at St. Joseph's/Candler. This advanced procedure changes the biomechanics of the shoulder joint, allowing for muscles other than the rotator cuff to create motion of the arm. Although the risks associated with this new procedure are the same as with a traditional shoulder replacement, the recovery time can be shorter. Patients may be advised to wear a sling for three weeks following surgery and some physical therapy is required, but patients can expect to recover fully in just six to eight weeks.