How to improve odds of successful knee, hip replacement surgery

By Marilyn Moritz - Reporter

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Dr Joel Buchalter discusses knee replacement surgery

 

SAN ANTONIO - Juan Alonso was like millions of Americans suffering from joint pain. So he opted for knee replacement surgery, hoping it would solve the problem.

Unfortunately, Alonso suffered terrible complications.

“I was in so much pain, and the swelling in the leg just kept swelling up more and more,” he said.

To help alleviate the pain, a second doctor performed another knee replacement surgery.

“We had to remove his knee replacement completely, sterilize the area and then go back in and put a new knee replacement in after three months,” Dr. Joel Buchalter said.

Consumer Reports looked at hundreds of hospitals to see how well patients did following replacement surgery.

“We looked at hospital infection rates, complication rates and readmission rates,” Doris Peters, with Consumer Reports, said. “(We) found it really matters which hospital you go to.”

Peters said patients can increase their chances of a successful surgery by making sure they get a good surgeon.

“First, you want to make sure your doctor is board-certified in orthopedic surgery,” Peters said. “Then ask, ‘Do they track outcomes like infections and readmissions?’”

It has been eight years since Alonso had his first replacement surgery. He said he is thankful he found the right hospital and the right doctors.

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