TMH Living Well: Joint replacement surgeries help Baby Boomers stay active
October 31, 2014
In Colorado, many of us live an active lifestyle and demand a lot from our bodies. Skiing, running, hiking and many other sports are hard on knees, hips and shoulders and over time these joints wear out.
In the past, people didn't stay as active in their later years. Not true today. The solution is to replace the joint and keep going.
It's estimated that over 700,000 people in the United States have a hip or knee replaced each year. Numbers are up for younger patients in their 40s and 50s, with an expected 174 percent increase in hip surgeries in the coming 20 years and a 673 percent increase in knee surgeries, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Here's the catch — The earlier you get a replacement, the more likely you'll need another in your lifetime.
Do the math: joint implants last from 10 to 20 years or more. If you get one at 50 you may need one again at 65, long before you are willing to slow down. That's where a revision or repair comes in — a more advanced surgery, often demanding an orthopedist who is especially trained in performing them. If this is what you need, you'll be happy to read about the new orthopedic surgeon coming soon to The Memorial Hospital.
Recent advances in orthopedic surgery
There have been important advances in orthopedic surgery in recent years. Minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery has become the norm in orthopedics. Combined with improved multi-modal pain management techniques pre, during and post surgery, patients are experiencing less pain and quicker recovery times.
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In addition, BMPs or bone morphogenic proteins have created quicker healing and recovery. When added to the mix, these proteins help fuse fractures and improve bone defects.
Finally, the materials used to create implants have improved substantially. Porous metals, new surface technologies, and cementless devices have all increased comfort for patients and boosted the longevity of devices.
New joint program coming to TMH
With people opting for joint replacement surgeries earlier in life, devices often wear out before they do. That's where joint revision surgery comes in.
"Joint devices can wear out, loosen or develop a problem that can demand revision," said Dr. Kevin Borchard, board-certified orthopedic surgeon who has agreed to join TMH summer 2015 after he completes his Total Joint Fellowship, training that gives him the advanced skills needed to perform joint revision surgeries.
Joint revision surgeries are more complex than original replacement surgeries due to initial alterations made to the bone. Sometimes, devices don't wear out, but rather loosen and move, demanding revision. Dr. Borchard is highly skilled in performing joint replacement surgeries, from simple to complicated.
Starting this summer, joint replacement and revision patients can get the surgeries they need close to home. Dr. Borchard will likely be the only Total Joint Fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon in the Yampa Valley and throughout the Western Slope.
Dr. Borchard graduated from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and received several honors and awards in medical school, including Outstanding Medical Student in Anatomy, and Outstanding Senior Medical Student in Surgery.
Dr. Borchard joined the U.S. Air Force because he felt "a strong obligation to do something for future generations that past generations did for me."
During his residency at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs he was given the prestigious Meritorious Award Service Medal for "performing 342 surgeries including 20 total knee replacements" and for working at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan where he "performed 150 complex surgeries."
At TMH, he plans to create a dedicated orthopedic program with comprehensive pre- and post-surgical care. TMH Rehab Services will soon relocate to an expanded space at 473 Yampa Ave. to accommodate the coming program.
The best part of this story is that Dr. Borchard was raised in Meeker and he and his wife have family there.
"I've been wanting to return to a smaller town, and I never imagined it could be the Meeker/Craig area. That's simply fantastic," he said.
The leaders and staff at TMH couldn't agree more. Dr. Borchard plans to live in Craig with his wife Hanna and young sons Xander and Tristan.
This weekly article with tips on living well is sponsored by The Memorial Hospital at Craig – improving the quality of life for the communities we serve through patient-centered healthcare and service excellence.