Monthly Archives: February 2018

Patient Spotlight – First Medicare, Outpatient Total Joint Surgery for Rainier Orthopedic Institute

Jack Philbrick, a retired urologist, was the first outpatient Medicare surgery conducted by a Rainier Orthopedic Surgeon. In January of 2018, Medicare approved outpatient total knee surgery, and Dr. Steedman suggested that Mr. Philbrick would be a good candidate.

Dr. John Steedman completed this surgery on January 29th at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, Washington. Just after surgery we had the opportunity to check in and interview Mr. Philbrick to see how he was doing and ask him a few questions about his outpatient total knee surgery. So for those of you considering this surgery, here is some questions and answers for you to consider.

What was your surgery for?

Left total knee replacement.

What was your injury from?

He first injured it when playing football in high school.

What made you want to have outpatient surgery?

Dr. Steedman brought up the possibility that he might be able to do something like that – being a physician himself, Dr. Philbrick was worried about hospitals (sick people and the flu, particularly). He didn’t want to have surgery and be exposed to the flu. He jumped at the opportunity to have outpatient surgery. Several years prior, Dr. Steedman did an arthroscopy on his left knee so he had full confidence in his doctor. He had also heard of others who had a total joint knee operation from Dr. Steedman, and they confirmed that he was fantastic.

How was the process?

The process couldn’t have been smoother according to Mr. Philbrick. He says he went in, the nurses were great, the anesthesiologists were great, and Dr. Steedman always gave him a lot of confidence (he noted in particular his nice, comforting smile). “It couldn’t have gone better!” Mr. Philbrick continually mentioned throughout the interview.

What did you enjoy most about the process?

Being able to leave the same day, and walk out of surgery. To quote Mr. Philbrick, he stated, “I was dancing around. I was feeling so good.”

Was there any pain?

He noted not having any pain in the knee until the next day. Ever since surgery, he has only taken an anti-inflammatory and Tylenol. “It was a very smooth surgery,” he said.

Is there anything you would want to tell others who are considering outpatient surgery?

“I would highly recommend it!” The only advice he passed on was to ”mind your doctor and mind your wife”. What he means by this is that he felt so good in middle of night, he decided to get up and get some cookies, he tripped on something and his wife had warned him to rest. The point was that he felt so good, but should have listened to wife. This was less than a day after his surgery. I reassured Mr. Philbrick that I think we are all guilty of eating cookies when we shouldn’t, however…

Additionally, Jack noted that having a spinal anesthetic, rather than a general anesthetic, helped him not have any nausea, disorientation and he believes it helped speed up his recovery.

Mr. Philbrick is no ordinary person, him and his wife do the Camino De Santiago walk across Spain every year. You read that right, ACROSS SPAIN. And do you think he is going to miss this year? Certainly not. This is why he wanted to get his outpatient surgery done right away. He is not anticipating any problems and plans to walk across Spain with his wife this coming September. He is incredibly grateful to Rainier Orthopedic Institute, Dr. Steedman, his care team and physical therapist for his successful total knee outpatient surgery. Below you can see a few pictures of Mr. Philbrick and his wife during the Camino De Santiago in years past. Mr. Philbrick, we hope you get to eat cookies at midnight on your Camino De Santiago this coming September and we are grateful for sharing your outpatient experience with us!