Risks of Waiting for Your Knee Replacement

Risks of Waiting for Your Knee Replacement

Wait times have went up drastically over the years for knee replacements.  This has left thousands of Canadians at sea on their own as they wait to get a surgery date. This can create major consequences if you experience long delays.  Let’s look at some reasons how waiting can make things worse:

  1. Mental health

    – Let’s face it, winter months in Canada can be long.  Seasonal affect disorder (SAD) is a real thing and very well known to many.  If you have an ailment that causes stress or continued pain, it can create and/or exacerbate SAD making you have low energy, poor mood and cause you to sleep too much.  Worse yet, it can turn into a full blown depression. Feeling discouraged, hopeless or in constant pain affects your focus, ability to function and can hamper your social interactions with people.  Not being able to play with your children or grandchildren, staying home from parties, or not being able to work can all create more stress on your mental health. When your mental health decreases, your whole body reacts to the stress.  This can make your pain unbearable, therefore, too difficult to maintain a healthy physical health.

  2. Physical health

    – Regular exercise is important to maintain strong bones, muscle strength, better sleep and more energy. It improves your mood and overall good health.  Obesity can put limitations on whether or not they can do surgery on you.  It’s a double edge sword.  You are in so much pain that you cannot do regular exercise, therefore, you put weight on.  However, if your BMI is too high, you may not qualify for private knee surgery.  As your weight increases into an unhealthy range, you could also develop high blood pressure or diabetes, which further complicates a surgery.  If you are not mobile due to excessive pain, there are still ways to get exercise in without exacerbating your issue or creating more pain.  For instance, if it is too painful to walk due to your hip, try swimming or doing sitting exercises with light weights.  *Always talk to your doctor or physiotherapist first though on what is the safest for you.  If you keep your physical fitness up, your recovery will go much smoother and quicker.  If you are not physically fit, be prepared for a much longer road to recovery.

  3. More risk to further injury

    – Waiting a couple months to have an already known injury that needs surgery is probably not going to hamper your situation in the grand scheme of things.  Having to wait several months, a year, and in some cases 2 years, can.  As we indicated above, physical health is crucial to having a safe and successful surgery.  The longer you wait, the harder it is to exercise to your full potential.  Inactivity will lead to muscle loss and increased stiffness to your joint.  This in turn will make it harder and harder to walk putting more stress on the joint by not having the muscles surrounding it to support things.  This can create even more issues such as making a joint deformity worse or cause injuries to other joints and/or body parts as they over compensate for the weight you can no longer support.

Like most things, this is not an end all.  You do have options.  The quickest way to get your knee surgery is to go the private manner.  Health Vantis works with many facilities that can offer you a private knee replacement without waiting months on end to get a surgery date that might be even another year down the road.  Contact us at info@healthvantis.com or 877-344-3544 for more details to how we can help you.

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

Private Hip Replacement or Waiting for Your Turn

Canadians are all too familiar with medical wait times and the frustration and pain it can bring to a person and their family. Physical pain or great discomfort, inability to enjoy things you did before and monetary losses are present when waiting for your turn to get surgery or medical treatment. Contributing to universal health care through our taxes should ensure that all Canadians have equal access to timely and quality healthcare. Unfortunately, our healthcare is not even close to providing us with timely medical care.

According to the latest report from the Fraser Institute, orthopedic surgery wait times continue to increase. Orthopedic surgeries are surgeries that are considered “elective” or scheduled. The two most common orthopedic elective surgeries are hip and knee replacements. These two joint replacement procedures are mostly needed by those over 60-65 years old. So even more unfair to Canadians that have paid into the healthcare system all their working lives and are now facing such long delays. In 2022 the median wait from GP referral to see an orthopedic specialist was 16 weeks and to get surgery after seeing the specialist was 32.4 weeks in Canada. The total median wait time adds up to 48.4 weeks. That is an overall increase of 14.3 weeks from 2021.

Of course, these wait times differ from province to province, with Manitoba having the longest wait in 2022, a total of 104.9 weeks median wait time, and Ontario having the shortest median wait time of 29.9 weeks.

If you were put on a long medical wait list and would like to explore your private options Health Vantis can help. We will connect you to a reputable and safe medical facility and provide you with full medical concierge service from the first phone call till you are back home and are recovering. There are no wait times. We can get someone to surgery 3-4 weeks after we submit their medical records for review. To find out more information about our services please contact us toll-free at 877 344 3544 or by email info@healthvantis.com

Private Custom Implant Knee Replacement

Many people may be familiar with custom knee replacement, but it still can be confusing what it means. Below we highlight some common terms as they relate to the actual implant for your new knee.

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.

There are other types of knee replacements that are sometimes referred to as custom. Implant manufacturers make different types of implants that will fit different genders or suit someone who is very physically active better, or make 90 different sizes of implants based on the past patient’s anatomy. This does not mean that the implant is custom-made for your knee. The surgeon will pick the best based on their knowledge and expertise.

True Custom Implant – Conformis

A Conformis knee replacement is a custom implant specific to the patient’s anatomy. A 3D image of the patient’s 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 the 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 fewer difficulties within the knee down the road and longer life of the implant.

Our facilities are equipped to do both forms of knee replacement. If you are on the waitlist and want to explore your options, please contact us toll-free 877 344 3544 or email info@healthvantis.com and we’d be happy to help!

Top 3 Things to Remember When Considering a Private Hip Replacement

If you are researching and considering a private hip replacement, we have some information. We helped many people plan and go through their medical travel journey.  The below 3 things often come on the top of considerations.

You will have to travel outside your home province.

Residents of Ontario can not get a private hip replacement in Ontario, residents of Alberta can not get a private hip replacement in Alberta, and so on. That is how the Canadian publicly funded health care system works. You can not pay for surgery in your home province if that surgery or procedure is covered by your provincial health care. However, a resident of Alberta can travel to Ontario and get a private hip replacement. It

Some provinces do not have much in terms of private medical facilities. For example, it is not possible to get a private hip replacement in Nova Scotia, PEI or New Brunswick.

Costs are important but do not go for the cheapest.

In Canada, we pay for our health care through our taxes. If you want private surgery, you have to cover the cost in addition to paying taxes. We absolutely agree that it is not fair. However, it is a way to get it done without a lengthy delay.  Do your homework, and base your decision on your surgeon’s expertise and how far you have to travel from home, not on price alone. Hip replacements are only slightly cheaper in India, but you will be flying across the globe and exposing yourself to many unnecessary risks.

Recovery times are to be considered – be realistic.

We always tell our clients that surgery is only halfway to getting rid of hip pain. The second half is on you and how you set up your recovery process. Physiotherapy, much-needed rest, and moving around only in the way that is beneficial to your post-surgery body all come after your doctor does their job. The more fit you are prior to surgery the faster the recovery. Quit smoking and try to lose excessive weight.

 

If you want to learn more about private hip replacements in the USA or Canada, please reach out by toll-free 877 344 3544 or email info@healthvantis.com

Tips For a Faster Joint Replacement Recovery

Tips For a Faster Joint Replacement Recovery

Joint replacements used to leave people in agonizing pain taking weeks, sometimes months to recover.  It was not uncommon to be hospitalized 3 to 7 days.  Now, newer techniques allow for the patient to be up and walking right after surgery and to be released from the hospital on the same day.  The goal in getting someone up and moving right away benefits the patient in a huge way.  They are less likely to develop blood clots, experience increased pain and lose muscle mass.

Do not mistake this for an easy ride though.  There is still a lot of work that goes in before, during, and after the surgery. The surgeon just fixes the issue. The real work comes after the surgery. The more prepared you are, the better your outcome will be.  Keeping everyone involved, ie. support person, facilitator, surgeon, nursing staff and anesthesiologist, all on the same page will only benefit you.  Here are some things you can do to make your recovery go faster:

  • Set realistic expectations on your recovery BEFORE you even have the surgery.  Go in to it knowing it will take time for you to heal.  Research shows that even though you feel great and are able to get around fairly easy, the muscle tissues and bone still take a full 6 weeks to heal properly.  For some, it can be even more than 6 weeks.  Keeping that in mind will prepare you mentally to accept that you will not be running a marathon within a month’s time after your joint replacement.  
  • Eat a healthy diet, stop smoking and continue a strengthening exercise routine before the big day.  Doing this will have you fit and healthy for surgery.  By continuing the exercise or physiotherapy prior to the surgery, you will be that much more ahead of the game when you start the routine back up.
  • Prepare your home ahead of time before the surgery.  Making some meals you can keep in the freezer will make eating time less stressful and easier.  Get your sleeping area set up.   For example, if your bedroom is in an upstairs area, it might make more sense to set something up downstairs for a couple of days until you feel like you can safely climb stairs.  Clear away any unnecessary items on the floor to prevent the chance of tripping over them.
  • Most importantly, always do what your doctor has instructed and follow through with any preparation required or limitations they have set for you. 

If you are looking for a private hip replacement or knee replacement, contact Health Vantis at 877-344-3544 or Info@healthvantis.com.

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.com

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

Bi-lateral Hip Replacement Simultaneously vs Staged

Bi-lateral Hip Replacements: Simultaneous vs Staged

Hip Replacements occur most commonly due to degenerative problems from osteoarthritis.  Some individuals have this in both hips and require both of them to be replaced.  There is always the question as to whether or not they can be done at the same time, a simultaneous bi-lateral hip replacement, or if they need to be done at different times, a staged bi-lateral hip replacement.

In a properly selected patient, there are benefits to having a simultaneous bi-lateral hip replacement.  Those benefits would include: one hospital stay, only being put under anesthesia one time, and the ability to rehabilitate both hips at the same time.  There are, however, disadvantages.  Those could include a longer hospital stay as opposed to an out-patient procedure and a more intense period of rehabilitation.  Most often, you can go home on the same day after your surgery, however, some patients might have to be admitted directly to a rehabilitation facility or stay a day or two in the hospital.

In a staged bi-lateral hip replacement, the advantages are: a lower stress level for the cardiovascular system and lower risk of blood transfusion.  The disadvantages of a staged bi-lateral hip replacement include: being put under anesthesia two times and additional time required before you can return back to work or normal day to day activities.  The average time in between the surgeries is typically 3 months.  That means, it could be 6 months before you return back to work.

Ultimately, the success rate for a bi-lateral hip replacement done simultaneously vs staged has the same outcome as long as there are no post-operative complications.  It all comes down to the surgeon’s opinion on whether or not you are a good candidate as well as the surgeons experience and efficiency in doing them.  

Only a skilled surgeon should do a bi-lateral hip replacement.  If they take 3.5-4 hours to do a uni-lateral hip replacement, then they are not the right surgeon because the longer you are under anesthesia, the more complications, such as blood clots, can occur.  The surgeon needs to have a track record of completing a uni-lateral hip replacement in approximately 1-1.5 hours, or it might not be in your best interest.  Additional things they consider when selecting the proper candidate are the patients age, BMI, previous and current medical history, and activity level prior to surgery.  Being younger and healthy are the criteria for the best candidates.  

 

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

info@healthvantis.com

877-344-3544

Private Joint Replacement

 

Joint replacement surgery is usually recommended to alleviate severe arthritis. Joint arthritis affects about 6 million Canadians. It is more common to have arthritis at an older age.

Hip or knee replacement surgery has one of the longest medical wait times in the public Canadian health care system. It can take over 2 years! What if you do not want to wait? Can you get a private joint replacement?

Absolutely! Health Vantis has helped many Canadians get private surgery in a timely manner. We make your medical travel less stressful by managing all the logistics with white glove medical concierge service.

So what do you need to start? A set of recent X-rays is usually enough information for a private orthopedic surgeon to evaluate. If you have already seen an orthopedic surgeon, their medical notes are also required.

Some very important things to keep in mind when it comes to traveling to get a hip or knee replacement outside of your province.

You need a travel companion to accompany you. You will be released the same day after surgery and require a responsible adult to pick you up, take you to your hotel room, and keep an eye on you for the next few days.

Plan to stay put for 7 days. Your schedule will include a pre-op physical exam and necessary tests at the facility, surgery day, and recovery.

Your physiotherapy starts the same day as your surgery. It is very important to start as soon as possible and follow the program at home. We can help set up your physiotherapy appointments at home.

Your orthopedic surgeon will continue to follow up with you at 6 weeks post surgery and even further if need be.

Keep in mind that if you had cortisone injections, it is advised to wait 3 months before having any surgery to reduce the risk of infection.

So instead of two years of waiting in pain, we can help you get to a healthy you in about 4-6 weeks. Give us a call toll-free 877 344 3544 or email us at info@healthvanits.com to get started.

Continued Care After Joint Replacement Surgery

Continued Care After Joint Replacement Surgery

Having a surgery to correct an ailment such as a hip replacement or knee replacement seems like a simple process.  While the surgery is most of the time an easy and uncomplicated procedure for a surgeon, the recovery is where the hard work begins.  You cannot have a successful joint replacement surgery without doing the work afterwards.  The surgeons job ends for the most part after the surgery.  Your job begins immediately after that if you want the work done to be worth it.

After a joint replacement surgery, physiotherapy begins within 1-2 hours after you come out of recovery.  It is not an easy process by any means, but it is necessary.  Everyone recovers differently, however, most people will be 80% better within 6-8 weeks.  It can take up to 6 months for you to feel 100% back to normal though.  This is not always the case for everyone.  It depends on your level of activity and what types of things you resume after the surgery.

As an example, we recently had a previous client that had a hip replacement contact the surgeons office 10 months after her surgery.  She was a very active lady who made outdoor fitness a big part of her life.  Her goal was to be able to hike at the level she was prior to the surgery.  In her case, it took more work on her part doing a different kind of physiotherapy to get things aligned properly again.   Even though she was diligent in her exercises, 10 months out she still needed some tweaking. The surgeons physiotherapist was able to make this happen for her.

Ultimately, you are in control of your own health.  Surgeons can only do so much up to a certain point.  You bear the weight of responsibility in how successful your recovery goes.  Following your surgeons orders and doing the work is a must.  The benefits are a quicker recovery, decrease in swelling, blood flow and muscles moving to prevent scar tissue formation, and prevention of blood clots.  All of this translates into a successful surgery to get you pain free and back to a normal life.

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

877-344-3544

info@healthvantis.com

Continued Care From the Facilities We Work With

Continued Care From the Facilities We Work With

Back in November of 2020, a client of ours, Teresa Hannah, had a hip replacement surgery in the US.  We have spotlighted her in our newsletter due to the wonderful experience she had. 

If you recall, she stated, ‘I could have purchased a new car or a new hip’.  To this day, she still stands by this statement.  Just this week we heard from her again.  Back in September of 2021, she began experiencing some challenges with her new hip.  She reached back out to the facility we referred her to and they immediately addressed her concerns.

An x-ray was done and reviewed by the surgeon that did her surgery.  After confirming everything structurally was in good order, he re-connected her with the physiotherapist that worked with her right after the surgery.  She provided her with some new exercises via zoom including some follow zoom calls at no charge.  Her message to us was thanking the surgeons office, his staff and Health Vantis.  The new exercises made a huge difference.  She was able to enjoy a fabulous week in Acadia National Park in Maine with her husband hiking miles of trails.  This is something they love to do together and her biggest goal to achieve after the initial surgery.

The facilities we work with care about their patients and are always willing to assist if anything ever arises.  Even though Teresa’s issues developed 10 months post surgery, they were still right there to assist her.  The dedication and commitment to care is stellar because the main goal is the same for everyone, that they get their life back to normal.  Health Vantis focuses on providing a great experience with attention to being responsive to our client’s needs.  Our facilities have the exact same purpose. 

If you are considering private surgery, contact Health Vantis to assist in finding the right facility that will ensure you and your care are their main priority.

Health Vantis

www.healthvantis.ca

info@healthvantis.com

877-344-3544

Private Robotic vs. Traditional Knee Replacements

When it comes to knee replacements, it takes a bit to sort out through all the information on the web about which one is the best for you. There are three main terms out there – traditional, custom implant, and robotic. Below you will see a brief description of each and possible pros and cons.

Robotic knee replacement

It is done with the assistance of a robot – Mako or Navio. A specially trained and experienced orthopedic surgeon uses a robotic arm to control the precision. This precision is achieved by first having a CT scan done to create a 3D model of the knee and then the robotic assistance allows a surgeon to more accurately place the implant.

Custom knee implant

Conformis and Zimmer are the two types of custom or personalized implants that are offered at the facilities we work with. Zimmer offers several different personalized implants to closely match your particular anatomical shape and size of your joint. Conformis designs each implant just for you using a CT scan, CAD mapping design, and custom fabrication technology. The Conformis implant is packaged in a box and is delivered prior to your surgery date.

Traditional knee replacement

Traditional knee replacement uses X-ray images and relies upon a surgeon’s visual evaluation of a knee. A surgeon makes a long vertical incision in the middle of the knee to be able to see the joint. Sometimes a minimally invasive technique is used, when the incision is shorter and is less invasive.

The best way to go about determining which one is right for you is to have a discussion with your orthopedic surgeon. In Canada, not all options are available in each province. It never hurts to check your options by getting a second opinion. If you are interested in learning more about robotic and custom knee replacement, contact us and we can set up a consultation with an experienced and highly qualified doctor. We can be reached at toll-free 877 344 3544 or by email info@healthvantis.com