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Joint replacement surgery returns to Carle Eureka Hospital

Joint replacement surgery returns to Carle Eureka Hospital
Small but mighty is how some describe the surgical team at Carle Eureka Hospital. The team of six nurses, two surgical techs and two support team members took on a big task in 2021 to help bring joint replacement surgeries back into the community.

Previously, most of the team had only limited experience with orthopedic procedures, such as knee arthroscopy and carpal tunnel surgery. However, they knew their patients wanted to stay close to home for their care. With this in mind, the staff was fully engaged in elevating the level of care in the community and reinitiating joint replacement procedures at Carle Eureka.

“Every member went above and beyond to bring this service to the community; the teamwork and dedication witnessed exceeded expectations,” Jennifer Hepner, nurse manager, Nursing Services, Carle Eureka Hospital said. “I could not be more proud of the team and this major accomplishment.”

The staff, led by Nurse Coordinator Joy Jirousek, visited the surgical team at Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal to complete orientation and learn more about the cases Joseph Novotny, MD, orthopedic surgeon, would perform at Carle Eureka. The surgical techs scrubbed in on some of Dr. Novotny’s cases, and the nurses circulated with the Carle BroMenn staff and provided care in Recovery.

“The Carle Eureka staff have been an absolute pleasure to work with,”  Dr. Novotny says. “They are some of the most caring, competent and professional staff I have ever worked with and they truly care about their community and patients. They take extreme pride in doing an amazing job at Carle Eureka Hospital.” 

After months of preparation, the first joint replacement surgery in 16 years was performed at Carle Eureka by Dr. Novotny on Dec. 3, 2021, and patient Minta Colburn from Eureka got a new hip without needing to leave town.

“I was extremely happy to be able to have the surgery in town,” Colburn says. “My husband could quickly and easily come and go when visiting me and I could ask him to run home and get me things that I wanted and he could. It would have been difficult if he had a 30-minute drive each way back and forth from home.”

Another benefit of joint replacement surgeries at Carle Eureka is that following the acute recovery stage of the surgery, patients can begin intensive therapy through the swing bed program while staying in the same room on the inpatient floor. “I was out in two days and they had me walking on day one,” Colburn shares.  “You think having a joint replaced is a big deal, but the people doing the surgery know what they are doing and it’s not a big deal.

“The staff at the hospital are wonderful. Anytime I needed something, they were always there for me. My church has a prayer partner relationship with the surgical care team, so we think of them often. They are like family.”

The return of joint replacement surgery to Carle Eureka is one more way the Carle system is bringing higher-level services throughout all the communities it serves. Just like Minta Colburn, community members needing joint replacement surgery can now receive diagnosis, treatment including surgical intervention, and their follow-up care all in one place. And the future looks bright. “I look forward to continuing to work with this exceptional staff to expand and provide my orthopedic services at Eureka hospital,” Dr. Novotny says.

“With this state-of-the-art hospital and well-trained staff, I am able to provide orthopedic surgical services including arthroscopic shoulder and knee surgeries, upper extremity and hand surgeries, as well as total shoulder, hip, and knee replacements. I have also encouraged my other subspecialty colleagues to provide their support for other medical conditions that can be taken care of at Eureka as well.”

To learn more about services available at Carle Eureka Hospital visit our website.

Categories: Community

Tags: Carle BroMenn Medical Center, Carle Eureka Hospital, Joint Replacement, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine