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Washington Hospital Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary of the Center for Joint Replacement

Washington Hospital Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary of the Center for Joint Replacement

Tri-City Residents Benefit from Local Advanced Joint Care

Washington Hospital is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its Center for Joint Replacement (CJR) – a state-of-the-art facility that houses the Institute for Joint Restoration and Research (IJRR). Led by medical co-directors, John T. Dearborn, MD, and Alexander Sah, MD, surgeons perform some of the most advanced joint care possible today. These surgeons’ pioneering work in minimally invasive techniques led to the opening of the CJR, which is specially designed to provide patients with everything they need under one roof.

For nearly 25 years, Washington Hospital has been on the leading edge of joint restoration and replacement. The latest in technology and the number and difficulty of procedures performed, make the IJRR a premier place for hip, knee and shoulder repair or replacement.

Joint restoration and replacement surgery can dramatically improve quality of life by alleviating the pain caused by arthritis and other conditions that affect the joints. Minimally invasive techniques reduce post-surgery pain, hospital stays and recovery times, allowing patients to get back to the activities they enjoy much sooner. The IJRR offers a variety of joint restoration and replacement procedures, including:

  • Partial and total knee replacement
  • Kneecap replacement (patellofemoral joint replacement)
  • Knee arthroscopy • Hip replacement (both posterior and anterior approaches)
  • Reverse total shoulder replacement
  • Rotator cuff repair (shoulder arthroscopy)
  • Robotic-assisted knee surgery

With minimally invasive techniques, the incision is smaller and more muscle is spared. For example, with a minimally invasive total knee replacement, the incision is less than half the length of traditional knee surgery and the thigh muscle is left alone. Contrary to traditional surgery where the kneecap is dislocated and flipped over on itself, with a minimally invasive approach, it is moved to the side.

“Now my right knee is as strong as the left one,” said Virginia Steuber, a Lafayette woman who received a total knee replacement at the IJRR in 2019 and last year went on a 50-mile backpacking trip with her son. “I keep running into people who had knee replacements somewhere else and they can barely hobble around. For the most part, I can do anything.”

Like so many patients who are seeking relief from chronic pain, Steuber could barely walk by the time she had her total knee replacement. But thanks to the care and support she received from the IJRR team, she was able to get her life back.

Another patient, Dave Liggett climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro only seven months after a total knee replacement. Liggett noted that prior to surgery, the pain was preventing him from walking and hiking with his wife. He couldn’t have guessed that just seven months later, he and his wife and their adult children would be summiting one of the tallest mountains in the world. Liggett shared his experience at the IJRR, “The treatment I received there was phenomenal. I had surgery in the morning and went home that evening. You really want a surgical team with a lot of experience, and that’s what I found at Washington Hospital.”

Patients at the IJRR come in many ages and degrees of athletic backgrounds. Many are thrilled to be able to once again enjoy simple activities, such as gardening or playing with their grandchildren.

Much of the Institute’s success is driven by the highly skilled surgeons and a multidisciplinary team of nurses, physical therapists and physician assistants who work together to provide individualized care to every patient.

These physicians perform more than 1,800 joint replacement surgeries every year. Their teams have a patient-centered approach that begins before a patient’s surgery date and continues through the procedure and afterwards. The goal of every care team is to help patients return to the lives they love.

The quality care provided at the IJRR has earned Washington Hospital multiple awards from Healthgrades, the leading resource that connects consumers, physicians, and health care systems. This recognition includes the Healthgrades Joint Replacement Excellence Award for 16 consecutive years, placing it among the top 5% in the nation for joint replacement as one of America’s 100 best hospitals for joint replacement surgery. Recently, Healthgrades ranked Washington Hospital number four in the state of California and the highest ranked joint replacement center in the Bay Area. In addition, Washington Hospital has received a five-star distinction for total hip replacement for 19 consecutive years and total knee replacement for 17 consecutive years.

For more information about Washington Hospital’s Center for Joint Replacement and Institute for Joint Restoration and Research, visit