St. Joseph’s Hospital is working to reduce wait times for New Brunswickers who need orthopedic surgery.
St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation is currently fundraising for new equipment to support the Joint Preservation and Reconstruction Program, which includes surgeries of the shoulder, foot, ankle, knee, elbow, hand and wrist.
Dr. Brendan Sheehan, an orthopedic surgeon in Saint John, said these types of surgeries have been done at St. Joe’s for some time, but the current equipment is outdated.
“It’s quite old, and as techniques have advanced for joint preservation and reconstruction, the technology available has certainly also advanced to enable us to do this work more efficiently and less invasively,” he said. -he declares. Morning Information Saint John.
The improvements will help a wide range of patients, according to Sheehan. He said it will be used for people dealing with everyday pain from joint problems like rotator cuff tears, meniscus tears and ankle arthritis.
“They are all aimed at restoring people’s function so they can return to their daily lives, the activities they enjoy and their jobs,” he said.
The equipment will not be used for major surgeries like knee and hip replacements.
Sheehan said he was optimistic the upgrades could lead to shorter wait times for more patients.
“Most importantly, this will allow us to really improve the quality of the interventions we provide and the efficiency with which we deliver them,” he said. “So all of these things lead to improvements across the board, including hopefully access to care.”
The fundraising goal is $200,000
Laurie Flood, chief executive of St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation, said the goal is to raise $200,000 by the end of September. This amount should cover the total cost of the new equipment.
Flood said a number of community groups have stepped up to help promote and raise funds for the campaign through small events around town.
She said the new equipment is the last missing piece to increase orthopedic surgeries at the hospital.
“We have an operating theater that we could use, and a new orthopedic surgeon will join us in the fall,” she said. “Everything lined up to make this program happen except for the equipment, which is why we’re fundraising.”
With the new recruit, the hospital’s orthopedic team will grow to 10.
Further expansion of orthopedic services
More than 1,000 patients have had hip or knee replacement surgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital since an orthopedic pilot project began in 2020, according to Flood. She said it had halved the number of patients waiting more than a year for their surgery.
Although the pilot project has officially ended, the surgeries it introduced continue.
Sheehan calls the orthopedic expansion at St. Joe’s a “success.”
“It has allowed us to treat people by allowing them to have surgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital when they are medically fit enough for it,” he said. “And then that opens up time at the tertiary care hospital, the regional hospital, for other things that need the services.”