Concordia Foundation News people around the world.

A joint effort - improving outcomes C

oncordia’s Hip and Knee Institute is a step ahead in delivering world-class treatment, research, and educa- tion that are improving the lives for Manitobans and

A unique facility Te Hip and Knee Institute opened in 2009 and provides

joint replacement surgeries to approximately 1,500 patients a year from Manitoba and parts of Ontario, Saskatchewan and Nunavut. The state-of-the-art, 60,000 square-foot space is unique in Canada. Our on-site x-ray and radiostereometric analysis (RSA) facilities give our surgeons and researchers instant, detailed insights into the condition of joints and the performance of implants. By bringing surgery, research, and education all under one roof, our Institute is able to drive innovation in surgical techniques and implant technology, improving patient outcomes in Manitoba and across the globe. Exceeding expectations

Hip and knee replacement are two of the most cost-effective

medical interventions ever developed. Why? Because the benefits they provide vastly outweigh the cost. Tey’re more effective at improving quality of life than transplants, dialysis, and bypass graſting for the heart. Tanks to innovations in surgical techniques and the qual-

ity of the joint implants we use, our patients can expect to return to a normal, active life with very few restrictions—and the confidence that their new joints will last at least 20 years. Local research, global impact

Clinical trials in the Hip and Knee Institute's mechanical

testing labs measure the safety and efficacy of new and current implant devices. Te Institute's implant retrieval lab (one of only two in Canada) helps clinical researchers and engineers gather and analyze richer, more detailed data to identify problems with failed devices or the surgical techniques used to insert them. Te published results of this research have al- ready begun changing implant designs and surgical techniques around the world.

Education with reach Our surgeons provide advanced, specialized training in hip

and knee surgical techniques to residents, fellows and prac- ticing surgeons specializing in arthroplasty. These training programs give us a unique opportunity to teach the findings of our latest research to the medical community. Many of these residents and fellows become surgeons practicing all over Canada.

Concordia Hip and Knee Institute’s orthopaedic surgeons: Dr. David Hedden, Dr. Thomas Turgeon, Dr. Colin Burnell and Dr. Eric Bohm.

Stepping forward Joint problems affecting the hips and knees make life

miserable for Canadians each year. Te number of people needing hip or knee surgery grow at a rate of 6 percent an- nually. Osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis, is the main culprit—but today, more and more young and active people need hip and knee replacements due to wear and tear from athletic pursuits.

Increasing our capacity now makes good economic sense.

Our research is already making a difference—but good re- search takes time, and we see so many opportunities to find new ways to improve the lives of those suffering from hip and knee problems. By making a donation to the Hip and Knee Institute Research Campaign today, you’re stepping forward and telling the world you care about them, and the health of future generations.

Te Knee Club provides a community of hope and support Y

Ryan McBride A Joint Effort

ou wouldn’t know it to look at her, but It’s been a couple of “very, very bad days” for Laura Reimer’s left knee when I meet her for a monthly gathering of the Knee Club.

Nearly a year ago, surgeons at Concordia Hospital replaced her

knee in an effort to relieve 13 years of pain, itself the result of a bad fall on a bike and the agonizing osteoarthritis that developed after. But as I learn that morning from Reimer and others who have

undergone the surgery, knee replacement is pointless without rehab and recovery, and for many patients, the real work begins when the surgeons are done with their work. It can take 24 to 36 months for the knee itself to heal aſter surgery, and years of dedicated rehabilitation to reach the coveted milestone of freedom from pain. Reimer says the process can be “shockingly long, slow and arduous”—but not without hope, which is where the Knee Club enters the picture.

Discipline Reimer started the Knee Club last year to create a hub for peo-

ple to gather and support each other before and aſter their knee replacement surgery. While Concordia Hospital offers a nine-week support program between three to five months before surgery to prepare knee replacement candidates for their procedure, “At some point, usually 10 to 12 weeks aſter surgery, the supports start to fall away. You’re on your own. Te exercises start to get tedious. You realize you’re facing a long, lonely journey ahead. Te Knee Club is here to offer inspiration and community as we work towards a full life without chronic knee pain.” Members encourage each other, celebrate victories large and

small, and learn from healthcare professionals who guide them along the way. Te club’s motto is Disciplined, Tenacious, Re- newed. Today’s meeting brings together five women and three men

who have undergone knee replacement surgery, some as recently as six months ago. They gather at Total Rehabilitation and Sports Injuries Clinic, moving cautiously, eyes suddenly fixed on a distant point as they concentrate on maintaining balance or working through a tricky movement. Tey settle carefully into chairs amidst the clangor of barbells and weight machines from the nearby gym. Reimer says the clinic is the ideal place to meet because

members benefit from specialists who have experience working with high-level athletes, including professional football play- ers. Trough the clinic, the club is able to offer pre-operative orientation, post-operative rehab, and inspiration from athletic therapists, physiotherapists, nutritionists and massage therapists. Tenacity

Introducing me to the group’s members, Reimer tells me every- one here is at a different stage of rehabilitation and renewal. Her

4 The Concordia Way C

warm welcome and ready laughter are my first clue to how she and other members of the Knee Club have learned to cope with their pain. A sense of humour gives them the upper hand on their pain—a lesson driven home by today’s guest speaker, Jane Cahill. “Te funny stories, the silly stories, are like medicine,” she says. A university lecturer for 41 years, Cahill has recently returned

from a trip to England, her homeland, and a country not appar- ently designed for people with knee injuries, she tells us by way of example. “Travel is exhausting enough—sitting in cramped spaces for

long periods of time, always needing to ask others for help, navi- gating crowded airports.” But to then have to walk up and down a steep cobbled street…

“I had to go down the hill on my bum. My granddaughter cheered me on, but I got a sniff of disapproval from my daughter.” For Cahill, pain is less an issue than balance. Just staying

upright is challenge enough, especially in an ancient city like Canterbury. To make matters worse, “The British walk with their heads down,” unlike Canadians, who benefit from “wonderful spacious sidewalks. We don’t know how lucky we are here, where walking surfaces are wide and flat.” (Slick winter ice notwith- standing, she adds.) Listening to Cahill, members of the group nod their heads,

recognizing shared dilemmas, and—once her tale is done—rais- ing their hands to offer advice. Someone suggests using a thick foam mat to help improve her balance. Another recommends Ai Chi—tai chi in a pool. “When I first started, I flailed, but aſter five weeks my balance is extraordinary.” Renewal

The next speaker is Marta, one of the clinic’s athletic therapists,

who has researched ways people suffering from knee surgery pain can cope with the special discomfort that weather changes bring. It’s not a particular temperature or humidity level that triggers inflammation, but the shiſt itself, she explains. Within the first two years following knee surgery, research suggests, lowering

oncordia’s Hip and Knee Institute is a step ahead in delivering world-class treatment and research:

• The facility opened in 2009 and provides joint replace- ment surgeries to approximately 1,500 patients a year from Manitoba and parts of Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Nunavut.

• The number of people around the world requiring hip and knee surgery continues to grow at a rate of 6 percent annually.

• The main reason people need knees and hips replaced is degenerative arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis, a chronic disorder that damages tissue surrounding a joint.

• Osteoarthritis affects more than 10 percent of Cana- dians aged 15 or older, but it’s more likely to strike later in life.

• The Hip and Knee Institute is also home to a research program that examines implant devices and surgical techniques.

• The results of this research are changing how implants are built, and surgeries are performed, around the world.

barometric pressure can reduce the viscosity of the synovial fluid—the knee joint’s WD-40—and causes the joint to stiffen and inflame. Some of Marta’s remedies focus on nutrition: avoiding the fatty, sugary and salty foods that trigger inflammation. Several club members suggest turmeric as a natural anti-inflammatory. Picking up again on the eagerness of group members to share

and engage with one another, I ask why the Knee Club is so im- portant to each of the members gathered here today. One Knee Club member says she was surprised by the emotional

impact of her second knee surgery. “I went into that second surgery mentally and physically ready, but emotionally it was so much harder than I remembered or expected. It’s good to be around those who really understand.” Another member tells me that the pain that comes with knee

surgery can put a real distance between the sufferer and those they might otherwise turn to for support. “Sometimes your family or friends or coworkers don’t get it. Tey see this as your problem to bear alone. ‘How can it be that bad? It’s just a knee. Tough it out.’” “There’s no judgment here,” a third member explains. “We come

from all different backgrounds: jocks, seniors. We’re all walking this journey together.” For more information, check out or call Laura

at 204.791.4816. Autumn 2018

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