Dr. Simon Mears, fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon at UAMS Health, shares how improving the quality of life for patients is the goal of the UAMS Health orthopaedic team. He also explains how important it is for patients to be in their best health prior to hip or knee surgery to achieve the best possible outcomes.
[Dr. Simon Mears, Hip and Knee Surgeon, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery]
The goal with joint replacement is to get you better, to get you active, to get rid of the pain you’re having in the joint, and to work at function. And hopefully, we can get the best function that we can after surgery. A lot of this depends on the shape you are in beforehand. And getting that as good as we can will help us, but our aim is to get you better, get you active, get you walking and back doing the things that you want to do.
It’s often when I see patients that they need help getting to a place where we can do surgery. And this is a typical visit. Almost everybody has something to improve before they can have surgery. I really enjoy trying to figure those things out and working with my team to get you to the right people to help get yourself as good as you can be before surgery, before we start, so that we can have a great result.
When somebody comes back at six weeks or a year and they’re playing with their grandchildren or hiking to the top of pinnacle mountain, and they thought they would never do it, that is extremely rewarding. It also, to me, is extremely rewarding, working in a team environment. I get to work with excellent residents, medical students, my fellow attendings. And we have a lot going on. We’re working at research projects, finding new things, seeing how we can take care of you better than we could before. And when we come up with something, when it’s proven, published, that’s also very exciting and very rewarding to me.