Over 230 people Attend the 1,000th Hip & Knee Joint Celebration at the Middlesex Hospital Alliance

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Strathroy, ON – Not one seat in the house remained available as over 200 people attended the Hip & Knee “Joint” celebration at Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital (SMGH). The event marked a milestone in orthopedic surgery for the Middlesex Hospital Alliance (MHA).

The 1,000th orthopedic joint replacement surgery was completed near the end of June, and an open house to celebrate that accomplishment was held on Thursday, Sept. 22.

The crowd was treated to a short 25-minute program that included a presentation by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Vaishnav Rajgopal. An estimated 100 of those that attended were former patients.

Before the hip and knee joint replacement program started at SMGH in 2006, most patients in the area would wait an average of two years.

During her remarks, MHA board chair Cheryl Waters said she was shocked to learn that five years ago, wait times for someone needing a hip or knee replacement took several years.

“That access to joint replacement surgery and the subsequent care needed for patients was impeded because people were required to travel to other hospitals,” Waters went on to say.

“Those statistics are the reason the MHA was called to act.”

Having achieved over 1,000 surgeries in five short years, the MHA board of directors is hopeful that funding for this program will continue.

“The MHA will be formally requesting the Southwest LHIN to include funding for this program as part of the hospital’s base funding so there is no chance that residents in our region will lose this vital service,” said Waters. “The MHA has become a leader in providing total hip and knee joint replacement for those who need them.”

For MHA chief operating officer Nancy Maltby-Webster, base funding is vital to the program.

“The more patients we can help, the better,” said Maltby-Webster. “Base funding will allow us to do that.”

According to Dr. Rajgopal, arthritis is one of the leading reasons for hip or knee replacement.

“The main reason a patient might have joint replacement surgery is to reduce pain,” said Dr. Rajgopal. “One’s quality of life improves greatly when they are pain free.”

The 25-minute presentation was filmed and is available to view online by visiting www.mhalliance.on.ca.

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