The Importance of Positioning for Improving Patient Outcomes in Orthopedic Surgery


The Importance of Positioning for Improving Patient Outcomes in Orthopedic Surgery


The Importance of Positioning for Improving Patient Outcomes in Orthopedic Surgery

By: Greg Neukirch, vice president of sales and marketing, Mizuho OSI

Minimally invasive procedures have been increasingly moving from a hospital setting to an outpatient setting. By 2028, research shows that 85% of all procedures will be performed in an outpatient setting, with orthopedic joint replacement as one of the top procedures going to outpatient. In fact, orthopedic surgeries are some of the highest revenue procedures for many ASCs.

Supporting Patient Care with Precise Positioning

Most surgeons will say that they went into the profession to help people and make a difference in their patients’ lives, and these values are critical to continued growth in the ASC market. For those seeking to specifically build a successful orthopedic program in an outpatient setting, having the right technology can help navigate the unique challenges facing ASCs. For example, ASCs typically run on tighter margins than hospitals, so these facilities are purchasing just what they need with no room for excess or waste.

With these priorities in mind, clinicians seeking to build a thriving and lucrative practice that keeps the patient at the center of care should leverage the benefits of optimal patient positioning. In doing so, an ASC can provide high value clinical care, which relies on reducing surgical times and achieving better outcomes. Through better patient positioning, the surgeon can help reduce patients’ risk of complications. Every additional minute a patient spends on the surgical table increases their risk of infection or complication, so having proper positioning for a procedure can help the surgeon access the necessary areas more easily—and quickly—than through a standard surgical table. This can be seen particularly with hip replacement surgery.

Case Study: Anterior Hip Replacement

The anterior approach is a technique that requires specific patient positioning in order to have a successful surgical outcome. This minimally-invasive surgical technique goes through the front of the hip, which prevents cutting through the gluteal muscle (as in a posterior approach), but also preserves the muscle at the surgical site. According to orthopedic surgeon Dr. Nicholas Mast, the anterior approach makes “the patient’s postoperative recovery more predictable by reducing some of the complications seen in more standard techniques.”

As more surgeons adopt and patients request anterior hip replacements, patient positioning can start with choosing the right specialty equipment that ultimately supports efficient and safe procedures. For example, a specialty surgical table can meet the needs of a surgeon employing the anterior approach because it puts the patient in the correct position and ensures seamless positioning changes that may be required for imaging and final operative site closure.

For Dr. Andrew Wickline, of New Hartford, N.Y.-based Genesee Orthopedics & Plastic Surgery Associates, he says “In 2007, I started doing anterior hip without a table, but I found it to be difficult. We purchased the Hana table in 2009 – now, I do 99 percent of my hips through the direct anterior approach.”

Supporting Increased Orthopedic Demand

Central to supporting a new procedure is ensuring consistency from case to case. Leveraging technology can help reduce variability in surgery, supporting a healthy practice and health patients. Additionally, as these procedures become more routine, the volume of procedures performed can increase, helping to boost revenue for the ASC as a whole. As the demand for anterior hip replacement increases, choosing the right specialty equipment will allow ASC practices to grow as technology enables efficient and safe procedures.

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