Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lutheran Health Network Celebrates new 30-Year Knee

Any time one of our members is celebrating an accomplishment, we like to share that news. The Lutheran Health Network is celebrating a development and success in patient care. This caught my eye not only because it is an interesting and positive development in the medical field, but because of the human interest story that comes with it…

For years, orthopaedic surgeons have cautioned knee replacement patients with the same warning – any implant can fail after years of use, and if that happens, it has to be repaired. While that message is still true, the likelihood of a patient’s knee implant failing due to normal wear has been significantly reduced thanks to VERILAST™ knee technology, which is now being used by Timothy van de Leur, MD, at The Orthopaedic Hospital of Lutheran Health Network. Over the last three months, van de Leur has implanted more than 50 total knees at The Orthopaedic Hospital using the new 30-year knee.

Patients like 60-year-old Scott Lougheed, a local engineer and former Purdue University football player who had both his knees replaced, are already seeing the benefits. 
A three-sport star at South Side High School and a two-sport standout at Purdue, Lougheed had battled numerous knee issues since a rugby injury at the age of 22. Multiple surgeries, medications and therapies couldn’t alleviate his discomfort, yet physicians continued to take a wait-and-see approach knowing the implants available at the time might not be the long-term answer. “Knowing this knee implant can last longer is really a boon for people my age,” Lougheed said. “I think the fear in the past from physicians was they didn’t want patients to outlive their implants and need more surgery.”

Now Lougheed, who shares the record at Purdue for most punts in a single game with 12, is quickly working his way back to the active lifestyle that has long been a big part of his normal routine. “The other day I caught myself walking fast with no pain and realized I hadn’t been able to do that in years.”    

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