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  April 9, 2001

Joint Replacement Center Upgraded

Home is on the seventh floor for patients who have hip or knee replacement surgeries at John Dempsey Hospital. Everything patients need after surgery, including state-of-the-art rehabilitation and physical therapy equipment, is on that floor - newly named the UConn Joint Replacement Center.

Renovations were recently made to the center, including pre-operative patient evaluation and education rooms, new office space and upgraded signage.

"As the population ages, joint replacement surgery is becoming more common," explains Anne Horbatuck, nursing manager of the seventh floor. "We've consolidated space and services to keep the experience as easy as possible for our patients and their families."

Hip and knee replacement surgeries are used to help alleviate extreme pain and loss of mobility, typically caused by advanced stages of osteoarthritis.

These procedures use man-made materials, plastic and metal, that are long-lasting and durable, to replace the joints of the knee or hip that have been worn down by disease. The surgical procedures are generally successful and usually require three or four days in the hospital, followed by several months of recuperation, exercise and physical therapy.

Karen Livingston, a nurse practitioner for the UConn Joint Replacement Center, meets with patients and families about one week prior to the surgery. Patients visit the center, become acquainted with the nursing and physical therapy staff, and tour the unit and its physical therapy gym.

"Meeting with patients and their families ahead of time makes the experience more comfortable for everyone," Livingston says.

"Patients at the UConn Joint Replacement Center know they are receiving the best possible care in an environment of clinical and academic excellence," adds Horbatuck.

Surgeons and medical staff at the Health Center are involved in ongoing clinical research projects to study outcomes and monitor the impact of surgery on many facets of a patient's health.

Horbatuck also serves as administrative director of the Musculoskeletal Signature Program, a key component of the Health Center's strategic plan designed to bring together and enhance clinical and research activities surrounding bone biology and musculoskeletal health.

Maureen McGuire

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