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Curious About Hip Replacements? Talk To the Best!

October 25, 2013

If you ever consider surgery for any given health issue, most likely you will want to find the best possible surgeon and the best possible surgical facility available. So if you are contemplating hip replacement surgery, why not speak to the experts at the Institute for Joint Restoration and Research (IJRR) at Washington Hospital, right here in your own backyard?

In the September 2013 issue of Consumer Reports magazine, Washington Hospital’s IJRR was ranked among the top five facilities in the country for hip replacement surgery, out of 733 hospitals nationwide that provided the most hip replacement surgeries.

“The Consumer Reports ranking was particularly encouraging, since we are a community based hospital that is not connected with an academic institution,” says orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Dearborn, co-medical director of the IJRR. “In fact, the report noted that teaching hospitals were no better than other hospitals for hip replacement surgery.”

To help people in the community learn more about hip replacement surgery and other treatment options for hip pain, Washington Hospital is sponsoring a free Health & Wellness seminar on Friday, November 8 from 2 to 4 p.m. The seminar will feature presentations by Dr. Dearborn and his co-medical director of the IJRR, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Alexander Sah. The seminar will be held in the Conrad E. Anderson, M.D. Auditorium at the Washington West building, 2500 Mowry Avenue in Fremont.

“In addition to discussing the various causes and treatment options for hip pain, including hip replacement, we will talk about some of the factors that make our patient care exceptional,” says Dr. Dearborn. “The experience and skill of the surgeons are important, of course, but so is the quality of care provided by our nurses and physical therapists.

“It’s also important to minimize surgical complications, such as infections,” he adds. “Facilities like ours that have a higher volume of hip replacement surgeries have been shown to have fewer surgical complications. In addition, it helps that the IJRR is housed in a separate facility from the hospital, so our patients are secluded from other patients with infectious diseases. Another factor contributing to good surgical outcomes is the duration of the surgery. Because we perform a high volume of hip replacement surgeries and we have a very experienced surgical team, we have learned how to be very efficient in the operating room.”

The new facility for the IJRR opened in June 2012. In addition to all-private patient rooms and expansive therapy areas, the IJRR provides space for conducting clinical research and hosting conferences for visiting physicians.

“Having 17 years worth of data on hip and knee replacement surgeries makes it easy for us to conduct retrospective research studies and share our information with other surgeons to improve the quality of these procedures,” says Dr. Sah.

“In the past couple of years, we have been trying to provide more of our data to national audiences,” he notes. “For example, we currently are doing research on patients who have replacement surgery on both hips, noting the importance of recognizing the difference in anatomy from one side to the other. We are looking at the advantages of using different implant sizes to account for the variability in anatomy. It’s simply not a case of ‘one size fits all.’ We will be presenting our research findings at the next national conference of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in New Orleans.”

Another current research study at the IJRR focuses on the use of cemented vs. non-cemented femoral (thighbone) fixation in total hip replacements.

“Originally, only cemented fixation was used in total hip replacements, but today there are hip replacements being done without cement,” Dr. Sah explains. “Both procedures have advantages and disadvantages, and both can work well. The research is showing, however, that in patients age 75 and older, there may be more blood loss and a risk of higher fracture rates without using cement.

“The bottom line is that we want to give our patients the best possible long-term outcomes for total hip replacement surgeries,” he concludes. “We also want patients to make the most informed decisions possible.”

Learn More at Upcoming Seminar

To register for the seminar on November 8, visit and click on the tab for “Upcoming Health Seminars.” To learn more about the Institute for Joint Restoration and Research, visit