Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Orthopedics - Supplement to Outpatient Surgery Magazine - August 2016

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Page 10 of 78

A U G U S T 2 0 1 6 O U T P A T I E N TS U R G E R Y. N E T 1 1 Ankles arrive Surgeon Erik Nilssen, MD, an ankle specialist at Andrews ASC, says patients and payers are becoming more interested in outpatient ankle replacement. "Implant companies have been focusing on total knees and total hips, because that's where the patient demand has been," he says. "But instrumentation and implants included in total ankle sys- tems have improved dramatically in recent years. The quality and longevity of the repairs are evolving to match the positive outcomes achieved in hip and knee replacements." Because Medicare doesn't yet reimburse surgery centers for total joint cases, Dr. Nilssen has no choice but to per- form total ankle proce- dures at the hospital across the street from the Andrews ASC. Most of his ankle patients have had traumatic injuries or suffer from genetic osteoarthritis. The typical patient is older, with long-standing degenerative ankle arthritis, but Dr. Nilssen is see- ing more younger patients seeking the surgery. He recently operated on a woman in her late 30s. The 33 joints in her foot were pristine, but the ankle joint was shot. Ankle fusion has long been the gold standard for treating her condition, but replacing the diseased portions of the joint instead of fusing the ankle preserves the range of motion in both the ankle and foot. That's especially important in young, active patients, says Dr. Nilssen. "The incisions are smaller and it's a smaller joint to manage, but in I t's hard not to take notice when the renowned Andrews Institute Ambulatory Surgery Center in Gulf Breeze, Fla., decides to capitalize on one of surgery's hottest trends by adding total ankles, shoulders and knees to its case mix. The Andrews ASC team realizes what you should, if you haven't already: Excellent clinical outcomes, incredible growth potential and promise of signifi- cant profits are turning the continued migration of joint replacement patients to outpatient settings into a stampede, albeit a limping one.

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