Hip Replacement Do’s and Don’ts

Hip replacement surgery is one of the most successful surgeries to relieve pain from arthritis. Your doctor will give you a set of specific instructions for after surgery recovery.  To help set up the stage for a speedy recovery, however, here are a few points:

Do:

  • Try to maintain a healthy weight prior to surgery
  • Do light exercise and stretching daily – prehab can help tremendously in recovering faster
  • Talk to your doctor and ask questions – clearing some unknowns will help lower anxiety before surgery
  • Prepare your home for your return from surgery
  • Line up a physiotherapist – we can help with this one!
  • Talk to your family and friends about who will be helping you after your surgery

Don’t

  • Stop exercising, if you can
  • Drink alcohol 48 hours prior to surgery
  • Get discouraged – keep up with your social activities
  • Expect an overnight recovery – you will be able to walk but it will take time to get back to your regular activities

If you are curious about your private options for hip replacement, give us a call – toll-free 1 877 344 3544

How Long Does a Joint Replacement Last?

Those suffering from arthritis in their joints are probably aware that a hip or knee replacement will relieve the pain for good. However, going through a total joint replacement surgery is undertaking a serious, albeit considered very successful surgery. If all non-surgical methods fail, your doctor will recommend a total hip or knee replacement.

One of the questions for your doctor should be “How long will my hip or knee last?”. It is an important factor to consider. Younger people are advised to wait to avoid future revisions. A standard answer to the longevity of the joint replacement has been 10-15 years.

A new study for hips and knees that came out in February 2019, tells us that joint replacements last longer. The study looked at almost 300,000 total knee replacements and over 200,000 total hip replacements. 58% of total hip replacement lasted 25 years. Total knee replacements had even longer longevity – 82% lasted 25 years.

Those numbers are encouraging for the ageing population of North America. It is worth to note, however, that the study collected data from joint replacement surgeries performed in New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The results can differ for Canada.

It is ultimately your decision if you prefer to wait or get it done sooner. If you are put on a waitlist for a joint replacement and no longer can deal with waiting, Health Vantis can help access private hip or knee replacements. Give us a call to find out the details. Toll Free 1 877 344 3544

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Many people ask what exactly is minimally invasive spine surgery?  In just a few words, it is minimal cutting to avoid significant damages to the muscles surrounding the spine.  The benefit to this is that it presents less risk for blood loss, a quicker recovery, less post-operative pain, less soft tissue damage and less chance for surgical complications.  Most doctors prefer doing minimally invasive spine surgery if their patients are a candidate for it.

In recent years, there has been advancement in MRI imaging that allows surgeons to see spinal nerves, small disc fragments and bone spurs.  It gives them the ability to spread and push muscle out of the way as opposed to cutting through it and allows them to get to the exact place they need to.  

There are several different techniques surgeons utilize when doing a minimally invasive spine surgery.  Some of them have become so precise that only a 1” incision is necessary.  Common procedures such as fusions and decompression can be done in this manner, however, not all patients are candidates for this.  

Just like all patients are not candidates for minimally invasive surgery, not all surgeons are trained to do the techniques.  It takes special training and skill and the right technology and tools to do these kinds of surgeries. 

If you have been advised to have spinal surgery and minimally invasive techniques have not been discussed, contact us for a second opinion.  We have several facilities that can offer this kind of surgery and are happy to review your records.  

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

Conformis Knee Replacement

Conformis Knee Replacement

There are many ways to do a knee replacement. One of them is to have a custom knee replacement. While there are a couple of ways to have a custom knee replacement, Conformis is the only custom implant used.

Traditional Knee Implant

In a traditional knee implant, the implant designs are based on a set of pre-determined measurements. The doctor will determine which one is the closest fit for each patient. The flaw that can occur is that there are 2 joints in each knee and they can be different heights, which can result in an imperfect fit. It can also create more cutting of the bone depending on the surgeons technical abilities.

Custom Knee Replacement

There are other types of knee replacements that are ‘custom’. This does not mean that the implant is custom made to your knee. With this type of custom replacement, a MRI is done prior to the surgery to map the anatomy of the knee out. Specific cutting guides are designed to give the surgeon a more precise pattern to follow. It provides a guide for bone cuts around the knee which would be specific to the knee anatomy. This helps preserve as much of the natural knee as possible.

Conformis Knee Implant

A Conformis knee replacement is a custom implant specific to the patients anatomy. A 3D image of the patients knee will be done prior to the surgery through CT Scan. The image is used to design an implant that will fit their anatomy as well as design cutting guides for the surgeon to follow as in a custom knee replacement. It prevents the surgeon from removing bone and can correct alignment issues more reliably within the knee. Another bonus is that the implant itself is thinner in size, which allows for less healthy tissue and bone removal. The less bone removed, the less trauma the knee endures and less soft tissue disruption.

The surgery itself is much quicker.  You don’t have to try and fit the implants with off the shelf options or utilize stabilizing rods. It provides a more natural fit, less pain, swelling and faster recovery time. There will be less difficulties within the knee down the road and longer life of the implant.

Our facilities are equipped to do all 3 forms of knee replacement. If you are on the wait list and want to explore your options, please contact us and we’d be happy to help!

Health Vantis
www.healthvantis.ca
877-344-3544
info@healthvantis.com

Private Bunion Removal Surgery

Bunion is a bony deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe. The deformity could be due to wearing uncomfortable shoes that are too small or too tight, genetic pre-disposition, or because of the arthritis.  Bunions can be very painful, making walking an unpleasant experience. Your doctor may recommend wearing comfortable, or orthotic shoes, or using splints to correct the positioning of the big toe. If that doesn’t help, surgery may be considered to correct the issue.

The type of surgery will depend on the severity of the deformity. Your doctor will request an Xray of your foot to help diagnose the condition. Many types of surgical procedures exist when it comes to removing the bunion. The type of recommended surgery will depend on the current size of bunion and how it developed.

The wait times for bunion surgery vary depending on the province you reside in. In Nova Scotia, it will take about 466 days to get in for a consult with a surgeon and then additional 359 days to wait for surgery – close to 2.5 years altogether. In Alberta, wait times for foot and ankle surgery are not much better, with most people getting surgery within 46.8 weeks or 327 days.  The wait time to see a specialist is not published.

Health Vantis works with private medical facilities that can accommodate bunionectomy within 2 weeks. The pricing starts at USD $4125. It is a day surgery and does not require overnight stay in a hospital. If you or your loved one are interested in finding out more about private bunion removal surgery, please give us a call toll free at 1 877 344 3544.

Private Knee Replacement

Private Knee Replacement

Knee replacement surgery numbers have been growing over the past few years and will continue to rise in the future. Canadians experience some of the longest wait times for this surgery. It can take up to 2 years. Waiting for a medical procedure has serious consequences. They include mental anguish, worsening of the condition, poorer medical outcomes and even permanent disability.  Checking into private knee replacement options can provide you with alternatives to painful waiting.

Health Vantis is a full concierge medical facilitation service. We will help you find the right facility for your private knee replacement. Access to private robotic-assisted and custom knee replacements is also available.

We work with hospitals and surgery centers in the US and Canada that offer safe, trustworthy, affordable and timely private medical treatments. For more information and to see if you or your loved one are a good candidate, please give us a call a toll-free 1877 344 3544.

Private Hip Replacement

Private Hip Replacement

Hip replacements have notoriously long wait times in Canada. You can wait up to 2 years for one. That is 2 years of your precious life! The procedure itself is one of the most successful surgeries in history. It gets rid of the pain from arthritis. The pain can prevent you from enjoying daily activities such as walking in the park, playing golf or going on a hike.

Instead of silently waiting for your turn, you can choose to be pro-active and explore your private hip replacement options. Yes, there is a payment involved. However, that total amount divided by 24 months of possible waiting may give you a better idea if it is worth it for you to stay in line or go to fast, safe and affordable private route.

Health Vantis works with facilities that offer private outpatient hip replacements. They provide options for robotics and minimally invasive procedures. Robotics offer more precision and less room for human error. Minimally invasive techniques reduce recovery time and provide better overall outcomes.

Give us a call to see if you are a good candidate for it. We can arrange your entire medical journey so that you don’t have to worry and can concentrate on getting better sooner!

Toll-Free 1877 344 3544

The Number of Joint Replacement Surgeries Is on the Rise – What Does It Mean to You?

In the last 15 years, Canada’s population grew by about 5 million people – from a little bit over 30 mil people in 2001 to a bit over 35 mil people in 2016. With the median age of Canadians now at 40.6, the growing age brackets are 45 to 64 and 65 and older, and yes, 90 and older. Great news – we are now living longer!

However, when we get older, health issues may start to appear. Most of us are familiar with arthritis and how debilitating it can be. So far, the only sure way to get rid of it is to have a joint replacement.

If we look at the numbers of joint replacement surgeries, those have increased as well – as probably expected. According to Canadian Institute of Health Information, the total number of hip replacement increased by 17.8% from 2012 to 2017 and the total number of knee replacement went up by 15.5% in the same five year period.

Medical Advances

The good news is that medical advances in joint replacement allow for minimum downtime nowadays. Although not yet widely available in all Canada, same day hip and knee replacements offer benefits. They minimize recovery time and pain and get you back to normal faster. Robotics aid in performing many surgeries nowadays. They allow for a more precise placement of the implant that leads to faster recovery and less room for surgical error, hence complications.

Impact on the Employers

If your employees are over 45 you will probably feel the impact of arthritis and its painful progression on your bottom line. Employees performance and productivity can be affected and the absenteeism may go up. What can you do to prepare?

Employers can help their employees get the minimally invasive joint replacement by offering Health Spending Accounts or covering a percentage of the surgery, should an employee choose to have it done privately, in Canada or the US.

Employers can also implement strategies that focus on safety, ergonomics, and wellness. These programs will contribute to preserving joint health for employees of all ages. A supplemental health insurance that covers physiotherapy will help a person pay for the expenses associated with rehab

Individual Impact

You are probably wondering if you will be waiting longer for a joint replacement surgery. It is not unreasonable to think so. The number of surgeries is going up, and the aging population is growing. Some provinces are investing in hiring more orthopedic surgeons to keep the wait times down.

One way to address the wait list issue is to obtain it privately. It is an investment in yourself and will get you moving and healthy faster.

As for the individual responsibility staying within healthy weight can prevent joint replacement. We wrote another blog about the relationship of weight and joint replacement. If surgery is your only option, be prepared to go through rehab. Local support groups are sometimes a good way to socialize with others who had the same surgery.

If you are interested in learning about private minimally invasive joint replacement surgery, Health Vantis can help. Reach out to us at toll-free 877 344 3544.

Medical Travel For A Sports Injury

Medical Travel for the Athlete

In the past few months we have been getting a few calls from injured athletes looking for a faster solution to their medical problem. Athletes are tough individuals and can usually push through the pain, however, sometimes that is just not possible.  Many times it requires medical attention that might include a diagnostic test or surgery in their future.  It is difficult for an athlete to hear they need to have a specialist consult but cannot get in for 9 months.  Or that they need to have a surgery but have to wait another 6 months.  That is when we get a call inquiring about medical travel for a sports injury.  

Athletes are people who are most likely in the best physical fitness you could imagine.  Even for a non-professional athlete, if you are a consistent runner, swimmer, tennis player or softball player on a league just for fun, chances are your health is important to you.  But even our most fit people can and do get injured.  

Sitting on the sidelines watching your other team members continue to play can cause feelings of anger, frustration and even depression. Injuries not attended to can cause irreversible further damage, loss of muscle tone, the ability to be productive at school or work or potentially a long term disability.   Knowing what your options are may give you the motivation to focus your energy on finding a solution so you can get back out there and play.  Turning to a Medical Facilitator is one of those options.

Why A Medical Facilitator?

When you contact a Medical Facilitator, they listen to what your needs are.  This will help you determine possible alternatives.  They can offer suggestions such as getting your diagnostic test, ie. CT Scan or MRI, done at a private facility.  The benefit of a private and fast diagnostics test is being able to get into the specialist sooner.  

Not all provinces have a wait list a mile long, however, there are many that do.  We recently had a young athlete contact us that had been waiting 6 months to see an orthopedic specialist, all the while in excruciating pain due to a shoulder injury.  His appointment was scheduled for Feb 2019.  That is a 1-year wait of being in pain knowing there will likely be another wait to have the surgery.  Situations like this make it impossible for an athlete to grin and bear it.  

Being proactive and seeking out other alternatives, such as private treatment are a great option.  The cost to pay out of pocket might be minimal in the grand scheme of things when your livelihood and health are affected. 

Contact Health Vantis if you or someone you know is stuck on the sideline waiting.

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

MAKOplasty and Your Total Hip Replacement

In our last blog we talked about three major approaches to hip replacement. We also mentioned the words minimally invasive when describing surgical techniques procedures. But what does that really mean though? Through the years, the surgeons improved on their techniques and are able to make shorter incisions and less tendon cutting. All that means less invasive when it comes to any surgery. Some of those techniques differ in name depending on what country you have your operation. What matters though is that the doctors are using these minimally invasive techniques to improve the outcomes, patient experience and shorten the recovery time.

Robotic Assistance In Operating Rooms

In our world of technology and race to develop Artificial Intelligence, robotic assistance can be found in many places. Operating rooms are not an exception. When the surgeons combine the improved techniques with a much more precise and individualized robotic assistance, the joint replacement surgeries leave less room for human error. When a surgeon makes an incision and opens up your hip, he only has an approximation of your individualized hip socket size and bone damage.

The scientific data does tell us that poor component positions and impingement are the sources of increasing mechanical complications in total hip replacement. Robotic guided navigation attempts to improve the surgeon’s performance by precise quantitative knowledge in the operating room. This technology provides predictable and reproducible results.

MAKOplasty and Hip Replacement

In 2010 the first MAKOplasty Total Hip Replacement was performed. MAKOplasty utilizes RIO Robotic Arm Interoperative Interactive Orthopedic System and RESTORIS Family of Implants for partial knee and total hip arthroplasty. MAKOplasty increases accuracy in aligning and placing implants. The RIO system assists surgeons by creating a 3-D model of the patients’ anatomy. It enables surgeons to develop a pre-surgical plan that customizes implant size, positioning and alignment specifically for each patient. During the procedure, real-time visual, tactile, and auditory feedback enforces a safety-zone and facilitates ideal implant positioning and placement.  Thus it reduces the potential for complications.

As a patient, you will be required to get a CT scan first. The information from the CT scan will be loaded into MAKO software system.  Then it is used to create your personalized pre-operative plan. During surgery, the surgeon guides the robotic-arm while preparing the hip socket and positioning the implant based on your personalized pre-operative plan. The Mako system also allows your surgeon to make adjustments to your plan during surgery as needed. When the surgeon prepares the bone for the implant, the Mako system guides the surgeon within the pre-defined area and helps prevent the surgeon from moving outside the planned boundaries. This helps provide more accurate placement and alignment of your implant.

The use of the robotic arm is a valuable innovation for Total Hip Replacement. Contact Health Vantis to learn more about your individualized options in hip replacement.