LegTutor Helps Rapid Recovery for Joint Replacement Patients


Image by Ostrosky Photos via Flickr

Susan J. White of the NorthShore University Health System explains that hip and knee replacement surgeries have become very effective in relieving pain and restoring function for hundreds of thousands of people across the country each year. However, these procedures have also traditionally been associated with a painful and prolonged recovery period.
Now, a new Total Joint Rapid Recovery Program offers potential patients a better option. “New surgical techniques and advances in pain management allow us to give people what they really want—restoring mobility with joint replacement and a less painful and faster recuperation,” says Alex Gordon, MD, Director of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Total Joint Replacement Center at NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) Skokie Hospital.
Degenerative arthritis is the most common cause leading to joint replacement surgery, which typically follows years of wear and tear and may be related to one or more injuries. In fact, arthritic pain is one of the leading reasons for doctor visits in the United States, and at this time there is no known cure for arthritis, explains Dr. Gordon.
The new Rapid Recovery program at NorthShore is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary initiative with surgeons and anesthesiologists joining forces with specially trained nurses and physical therapists to ensure individually-designed pain relief regimens and post-operative rehabilitation.
Advanced, less-invasive and computer-assisted surgical techniques are designed to ensure the best alignment, and positive outcomes for high-functioning joints for years to come, says Dr. Gordon. “Good quality medicine is the basis for this program,” he stresses. “At NorthShore we use only proven technology—techniques and implants that have a proven track record with the desired outcome.”
Recovery happens in quick successive phases, from just two days in the hospital to home, where physical therapists help streamline rehabilitation. “By about three weeks most people are up and walking and independent again,” Dr. Gordon says.
The Total Joint Rapid Recovery Program is designed for patients who meet select criteria, including being in otherwise good health, being motivated for a fast recovery and having a support structure at home, adds Dr. Gordon. Most of the Rapid Recovery patients to date have been under the age of 65, but plans are underway to expand to a larger pool of potential patients as outcomes have been very positive.
Younger and more active patients are especially anxious for shorter hospital stays, as they are eager to return home to families and work as soon as they are able. Multi-modal pain management strategies enable patients to have shorter hospital stays, as there is less need for IV pain medication. Shorter hospital stays are also associated with a lower risk of complications.
A thorough, coordinated patient education and home health program ensures that nurses and physical therapists who come to patients’ homes follow an advanced rehab program with individual guidelines set by the orthopaedic surgeon.
Dr. Gordon encourages anyone considering joint replacement to talk with their surgeon, and explore the options with a specially-trained professional rather than getting information from mass marketing materials.
NorthShore’s Total Joint Replacement Center offers Rapid Recover procedures at both Skokie and Glenbrook Hospital, where orthopaedic surgeon Michael O’Rourke, MD, is director of the program.
Dr. Gordon and his colleagues in the Rapid Recovery program agree that it is highly rewarding to help patients return to their active lives, especially at this accelerated pace.
The LegTutor has been at the forefront of physical therapy treatments for hip and knee replacement patients.
The LegTutor™ system has been developed to allow for functional rehabilitation of the lower extremity. The device consists of an ergonomic wearable leg brace and dedicated rehabilitation software. The LegTutor™ system allows for a range of biomechanical evaluation including speed, passive and active range of motion and motion analysis of the lower extremity. Quantitative biomechanical data allow for objective evaluation and rehabilitation treatment follow up. The LegTutor™ rehabilitation concept, which includes the HandTutor, ArmTutor and 3DTutor, is based on performing controlled exercise rehabilitation practice at a patient customized level with real time accurate feedback on the patient’s performance.  The exercises are designed in the form of challenging games that are suitable for a wide variety of neurological and orthopedic injury and disease.
The games challenge the patient to perform the exercise task to their best ability and to continue exercise practice.
The LegTutor™ allows for isolated and a combination of knee and three directional hip treatment. The system provides detailed exercise performance instructions and precise feedback on the patients exercise performance. Controlled exercise of multi joints within the normal movement pattern prevents the development of undesired and compensatory joint movement and ensures better performance of functional tasks.
The LegTutor™ system is used by many leading rehabilitation centers worldwide and has full FDA and CE certification. See http://www.HandTutor.com for more information. .



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