IRMC's nationally acclaimed orthopedic program performs 1,200 total joint hip, knee and shoulder surgeries and spine surgeries per year.
Fourteen orthopedic surgeons specializing in general orthopedics, sports, spine and hand surgery provide the latest techniques. Our recently renovated Orthopedic Unit on the 5th floor, featuring all private rooms specially created to meet the specific needs of orthopedic patients, cared for over 1,900 patients last year alone.
Joint implant surgery
The human body is designed to absorb years of constant weight on our joints without pain or problem. But occasionally, weight-bearing joints can literally wear out due to accidents, arthritis, disease or deformity.
This results in chronic pain, stiffness and suffering in hips, knees and shoulders and a drastic loss of mobility. Joint replacement surgery is usually considered when other treatments no longer bring relief.
IRMC offers a full array of innovative surgical procedures to correct these problems and relieve pain. Procedures vary depending on the nature of the problem, the age and physical condition of the patient and the condition of the joint and bone. Minimally invasive procedures are preferred for knee, hip and shoulder joint replacement.
Two options surgeons use for joint implants are 1.) cemented joints, which are glued in place to the natural bone, or 2.) uncemented, which offer a porous surface to which living tissue will eventually attach and grow.
- Hip replacement
A hip prosthesis contains the same parts as a regular hip with a metal ball replacing the worn head of the thighbone. A plastic cup-like device replaces the patient's worn socket, and with this, the metal ball moves and turns in the socket so there is no pain. These artificial joints can be either cemented in place or secured by the natural bone growing back around it.
- Knee replacement
A knee replacement is made of metal covered with polyethylene or plastic covering. Surgeons remove the cartilage between the joints and resurface the area to restore smooth contact between the working parts.
- Shoulder replacement
Similar to hip or knee replacement, shoulder surgery using cemented or uncemented joints, is also available.
Board certified orthopedic surgeons are assisted by a team of dedicated professionals trained in the specialty of hip, knee and shoulder replacement.
Joint resurfacing procedure
Orthopedic surgeon Richard Steinfeld, M.D., has brought a revolutionary new alternative to hip replacement to Indian River Medical Center. In the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing procedure, only the head of the femur is removed as opposed to removing the entire femoral head and neck as in traditional replacement surgery. The bone is then reshaped to accommodate a new socket and metal cap made of cobalt chrome, preserving more of the body's natural bone structure and stabilty than total hip replacement. The surgery, which typically takes two hours, allows patients to be up and walking the next day and home within two to three days. The procedure is beneficial for patients under 60 who have strong bones, allowing them to maintain the normal anatomy of the hip.
Joint implant class
IRMC holds joint implant classes each week for scheduled surgical patients. Topics covered are preparing for surgery, what to expect, home safety, and post surgery information. Educational speakers include an anesthesiologist, surgical and orthopedic registered nurses and case managers.
Classes are held every Tuesday from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Women's Health Care waiting room, located on the second floor. For more information, call 772.567.4311, ext. 4005.
Johnny C. Benjamin, Jr., M.D., IRMC's chairman of the Orthopedic Department, and Matthew D. Hepler, M.D., are Indian River County's fellowship-trained spine surgeons.
In addition to performing surgery on the brain, IRMC neurosurgeons Basil Keller, M.D., and Ceslovas Vaicys, M.D., are also spine surgery specialists.
Some of the procedures or techniques that can be used during spine surgery include:
Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF)
Anterior lumbar interbody fusion gives the surgeon access to the front of the patient's spine through an incision made in the abdominal area.
Laminotomy or laminectomy
The surgeon removes a portion of the lamina (the flattened or arched part of the vertebral arch, forming the roof of the spinal canal) or the entire lamina.
A portion of the disk nucleus is removed which releases pressure on the nerve that was caused by a damaged disk.
Adjacent vertebrae are fused together to correct slipping vertebrae.
All orthopedic surgical patients recover and rehabilitate in the Orthopedic Unit located on 5th floor.
This newly designed unit is both patient- and nurse-friendly. It houses 23 private rooms supported by two nursing stations, kitchens, and two computer medication dispensers and supply areas. The large rooms provide easy access for patients using walkers and wheelchairs.
The Orthopedic Unit is a 'clean floor,' which means that no patients with infections are permitted to be in this unit. This important factor prevents the spread of any infections to other patients and critically assists wound healing.Return To Top