Taking Joint Replacement to New Standards!

By Garth A. Miller, MD, FACS, Quality Medical Director and Medical Director for Surgical Services | WhidbeyHealth Medical Center  –  2020 Fall



Your quality of life: Is it time for a hip or knee replacement?

Living with hip or knee pain often makes daily activities difficult or even impossible. Simple movements like standing up, sitting down, or climbing stairs become very painful. Worsening pain over time can mean less enjoyment of hobbies and ordinary activities like cooking, shopping, or travel to see family.

In many cases, joint pain is caused by damage to the cartilage that lines the ends of the bones (articular cartilage)—either from arthritis, a fracture, or another condition. When treatments like anti-inflammatory drugs, exercise or physical therapy have not given enough relief, your doctor may recommend joint replacement surgery. Usually, your doctor will refer you to an orthopedic surgeon for an initial evaluation.

Total joint replacement is a surgical procedure in which parts of an arthritic or damaged joint are removed and replaced with a metal, plastic or ceramic device called a prosthesis which returns the easy movement of normal, healthy joint. Hips and knees  are the most commonly performed joint replacements. Patients who have hip or knee replacements can have an improved quality of life and pain-free return to activities of daily living.

Your Team – With You at the Center

At WhidbeyHealth, we believe every patient has unique needs. Every patient has a team to meet those needs.  Your team members include the orthopedic surgical team, anesthesia, pharmacy, physical and occupational therapy team, home health, nutrition, primary care, diabetic management care and other services tailored to your specific needs.


Patients are active participants in their team. By working together, we can achieve better outcomes such as:

  • Less time in the hospital
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Planning for your care and recovery at home
  • A faster return to an active lifestyle – without the pain.

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS)

WhidbeyHealth has adopted a groundbreaking process called ERAS, an international clinical standard which is designed to achieve early recovery for patients having major surgery. Using our ERAS protocol, you and your team will plan your entire path through the total joint replacement process, from beginning to end. Every patient’s care plan is uniquely designed to meet their needs, and includes:

  1. Attendance at our Total Joint Education Class
  2. Individual consultations with your team of specialists
  3. Getting physically ready for surgery and your hospital stay
  4. Preparing your family and home for a safe recovery period
  5. Access to your care team around the clock after discharge

WhidbeyHealth – Your Providers of Choice

Island residents receive the same quality and level of services they would expect from any big-city medical center. Staying close to home is more than a convenience – it means having easier access to your care team for pre-and post-surgery visits, less travel and effort for your family, and individualized attention designed to attend to your specific needs.

To learn more about improving your quality of life with a hip or knee replacement, call 360-679-5590. You may also visit our website at Joint Replacement WhidbeyHealth Website or email your questions to myhospital@whidbeyhealth.org.

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