Advances in Orthopedics Driven by Patient Care

Published: March 11, 2020

Charles Cornell, Orthopedic Surgery, Hip and Knee Replacement, Osteoporosis, HSS Orthopedics at Stamford Health Collaborative


At HSS Orthopedics at Stamford Health, we believe that advances in orthopedic care are driven less by technology and more by improvements in patient care. These improvements take the form of better education for patients before surgery, new approaches to pain management, accelerated recovery steps, and surgical improvements, including the use of robotics.

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Dr. Charles N. Cornell, chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Stamford Health, offers further detail about what HSS, including HSS Orthopedics at Stamford Health, is doing to improve the level of care at each stage of the patient experience.

1. Pre-operative Optimization Program

Get people fully prepared for what they can expect from elective surgery. Our pre-operative optimization program ensures that everyone is in optimal condition before surgery. It begins with optimizing health and improving education around the surgical experience to give patients a clearer understanding of what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.

2. Enhanced Pain Management

The overall goal with newer approaches to pain management is to minimize post-operative pain. We rely less on opioid medications to alleviate pain after surgeries as a result of the opioid crisis and the side effects of these treatments. Our surgical teams work closely with the anesthetic teams to develop safe, effective orthopedic surgery pain management solutions.

3. Use of Nerve Blocks

Nerve blocks act to prevent pain during knee surgery to prevent pain. Count on the care team to administer nerve blocks at the beginning of surgery. Nerve blockers last for 24 hours and result in little or no pain after surgery, without limiting your ability to move. You can now get up, walk, and start physical therapy on the same day of surgery.

4. Effective Pain Management

Newer anti-inflammatory medications, given both pre-op and post-op, are less harmful to the stomach and effective for treating pain. We’ve also been using new forms of acetaminophen, administered intravenously so it is onboard and working for patients during surgery. Once patients can eat and drink after surgery, we administer it orally.

5. After-Surgery Benefits

Compared to opioids, nerve blocks and anti-inflammatories offer a number of benefits. There are fewer side effects, such as nausea and bloating, so you can feel better and walk the same day of your surgery. This approach speeds up your recovery, so you can eat and drink more quickly, be alert, and get a good night’s sleep. You’ll appreciate a shorter hospital stay of one to two days instead of the traditional five days.

6. Robotic Techniques

HSS Orthopedics uses robotic arm-assisted technology to help surgeons ensure the precise accuracy of procedures. During hip replacement surgery, the robot enhances the surgeon’s ability to accurately implant the parts of the hip prosthesis.

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