New Joint Center of Excellence

Vanguard West Suburban Medical Center Unveils New Joint Center of Excellence

Helping Patients with Chronic Hip, Knee Pain to Become Active Again

Oak Park, Ill. (January 9, 2012) – Vanguard West Suburban Medical Center is opening a new Joint Center of Excellence that will offer the latest treatment options for hip and knee pain—including minimally invasive joint replacement procedures with rapid-recovery techniques.

On Jan. 9, physicians will begin treating patients at the center, located on West Suburban’s fifth floor. The program brings together a team of experts—orthopedic surgeons, specially trained nurses, technicians and therapists—who will provide comprehensive care to patients throughout the process, from diagnosis to treatment to post-surgical care.

Enhancing the quality of life for adult patients is the goal of this new program. The joint replacement team will focus on helping patients to become more mobile and resume day-to-day activities—such as golf, shopping or running—that may have been put on hold because of chronic hip or knee pain.


US Congressman Danny Davis helps Vanguard West Suburban Medical Center orthopedic surgeons, nurses and CEO, Jack Cleary, front row far left, perform the ceremonial ribbon cutting at Vanguard West Suburban Medical Center’s Joint Center of Excellence Grand Opening on January 4, 2012.

In 2009, there were an estimated 679,000 knee replacements and more than 400,000 hip replacements performed in the United States, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (confirming data sent from AAOS).

Total hip or knee replacement is a surgical procedure in which the worn-out surfaces of the hip or knees are replaced with man-made components. Over time, the cartilage that cushions the bones can wear away, often from arthritis, causing pain and discomfort, and making participation in sports or simple activities unbearable. Joint replacement may be recommended after more conservative measures, such as exercise, physical therapy and medications, are proven ineffective.

“We are thrilled to open this beautiful new center with highly skilled surgeons and a talented team committed to helping people in our community who are living with severe hip and knee pain,” said Jack Cleary, CEO, Vanguard West Suburban Medical Center. “We have recruited additional surgeons trained in the latest techniques and put tremendous energy into setting up this new unit. Patients can expect world-class joint care at West Suburban.”

Offering the latest surgical options, patients will benefit from shorter recovery times, improved healing following surgery, decreased post-operative pain and nausea, and minimal scarring with the new closure techniques. The orthopedic team will continuously evaluate and measure patients’ clinical results, and patient satisfaction, to ensure the medical center is providing the highest quality program.

This new program includes a multidisciplinary team of experts, surgeons trained in the latest surgical options and a dedicated unit within the medical center for inpatient and outpatient care.

With a Prairie School design theme, the new unit will include spacious private rooms with flatscreen TVs and Wi-Fi access. Patients can wear their own clothes while staying in the center, and family members are encouraged to participate in group activities, such as meals and special events. Exercise and therapy are provided in a group setting, so patients can support and encourage each other on the road to recovery. Each patient is linked with a care coordinator who ensures that the individual experiences seamless care relationships with the physician and medical center.

“The purpose of this new joint center is to enhance the patient experience—offering state-of-the-art care coupled with existing minimally invasive approaches to joint replacement,” said Kris J. Alden, M.D., Ph.D., fellowship-trained and board-certified orthopedic surgeon and medical director of the center. “With highly trained nurses and physical therapists, each selected because of their outstanding abilities and motivation, our team will focus on patient recovery and quality of life so patients can achieve good health and well-being.”

Dr. Alden said rapid-recovery techniques include using advanced anesthetic and surgical protocols that help decrease pain and nausea after surgery and allow patients to recover more quickly. The joint replacement program will promote teamwork by involving families in care and having group physical therapy to motivate patients and help with recovery, according to Dr. Alden.

Comprehensive patient services include: community outreach seminars for those considering joint replacement, an informative class for patients and families prior to surgery, patient education and support, daily newsletters while in the hospital and reunion luncheons after ‘graduation.’

Surgeons providing care in the new joint center are either board-certified in orthopedics or board-eligible, meaning the surgeon has completed specialty requirements but not yet taken the exam. Other orthopedic surgeons on the team include: Sarkis Bedikian, D.O., Boone Brackett, M.D., Mark Cavalenes, M.D., Sherwin Ho, M.D., Victor Romano, M.D., Thomas Smith, D.O. and Mark Sokolowski, M.D.

Click here for more information about the new center or call the orthopedic nurse coordinator at 708-763-1476.