BY STEVE GAMEL
As an orthopedic surgeon at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Lake Pointe for 15 years, Dr. Umar Burney understands that most people hope never to have to visit his office. After all, those with debilitating knee pain are naturally hesitant about choosing joint replacement. They trust in what Dr. Burney says and the compassionate care he’d provide, but they also worry about long hospital stays, complications, and ongoing pain or mobility issues after surgery.
But that’s the thing. Dr. Burney and his team have more control over the surgery experience than you think, to the point where it’s possible to have knee replacement surgery in the morning and go home that afternoon.
“A lot has changed over the past decade in that patients can get back up on their feet quickly and get around on their own with minimal assistance,” Dr. Burney said. “We’ve worked hard to stay ahead of the curve in offering patients the best in technology and surgical techniques to ensure outcomes are as good as we expect them to be.”
He added, “It’s one of those things where people say, ‘I hope never to have to see you.’ But if they do, I’m here for them.”
Is Same-day Surgery a Good Fit?
The rate of knee replacements has surged in recent years, mostly due to arthritis caused by wear and tear. Once a patient’s pain becomes debilitating enough, the first step is to look into non-operative treatments such as steroid injections, medication, and physical therapy. If those efforts don’t work, knee replacement surgery becomes a very real option.
The goal of knee replacement surgery is to replace a worn knee joint with an artificial one. The prosthesis is made of plastic and metal but is meant to function like a normal knee. The parts of the prosthesis that touch each other are smooth. They move easily against each other, just like a healthy knee. Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Lake Pointe has a standardized process for these procedures that stretches across the Baylor Scott & White Health system to provide comprehensive care before, during, and
They’ve got that process down to a science, so much that nearly 75 percent of their patients go home the same day and start rehabilitation within mere hours of the operation. The rest are typically discharged the next day.
The first step is making sure the patient is a good candidate. “If the patient is in good overall health and has a good support system at home, including someone who is there around the clock for the first few days, and they have fairly good mobility before surgery, then they are good candidates for same-day discharge,” said Anna Wells, orthopedic nurse navigator. “If the patient needs extra care, lives alone, or is limited in mobility, they might be more of a candidate for an overnight stay.”
She added, “Baylor Scott & White believes that home care is best. That’s what we focus on.”
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center — Lake Pointe evaluates patients based on:
- Overall good health
- No medical conditions that could prevent same-day surgery
- Level of strength and endurance that will help with recovery
- Strong support system to help the patient at home
- Discussion with surgeon about the possibility of a same-day joint replacement discharge
If a patient can’t go home same day, Baylor Scott & WhitE – Lake Pointe’s unit includes:
- Private, well-equipped rooms staffed with compassionate caregivers
- A joint wellness coordinator (Wells) who arranges pre- and post-procedure care
“With modern-day knee replacement, we are seeing more patients returning to higher-strain activities that we used to not see,” Dr. Burney said. “That’s a testament to the improved quality and the manufacturing process. We’re able to offer precision surgery and natural feeling at the end that matches their own specific and unique anatomy. It’s rewarding to give a person their quality of life back. People reach out to us all the time to thank us, and I can’t speak to that enough.”
Their Specialty is You
Before a patient even has knee replacement surgery, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center — Lake Pointe has them attend a required hour-long joint camp class. It is here that the patient is educated on what to expect before, during, and after they undergo their knee replacement surgery.
“We focus on things such as how to get their home ready and things they need to do before surgery,” Wells said. “We talk about pain management, preventing infections and blood clots, and even making sure they have the right equipment in their home. During COVID-19, we had to stop our in-person classes and do them by phone. But we are back in person again, and I’ve got to tell you, it’s so much better for the patients to be in person. I’m their go-to for anything they need.”
In an industry where everyone’s goal is to provide the highest level of care, it can be difficult to differentiate yourself. That’s why the Baylor Scott & White — Lake Pointe team goes to such great lengths to ensure patients and their families have the best experience possible when it comes to any of their joint replacement needs.
Dr. Burney agreed that the before, during, and after care that patients receive is unlike anything he has seen. Along with the above care, patients can expect to receive access to physical therapists and occupational therapists at
“We believe that patient expectations are what determine outcomes,” he said. “We want them to be adequately educated and have clear expectations of what they are about to undergo.”
6800 Scenic Drive
Rowlett, Texas 75088