With You Every Step of the Way

Tift Regional Medical Center offers an innovative approach to total joint replacement and spine surgery.

There may come a time when the pain in your back, shoulder, neck, hip or knee reduces the quality of your life and conservative measures no longer provide relief.  Everyday activities, such as walking, shopping or housework can become difficult or unbearable.  Taking in favorite hobbies such as golf or bowling may be a thing of the past because conservative measures like diet, exercise and medications are no longer effective.  If this is your situation, it may be time to consider surgery.   

Located at Tift Regional Medical Center (TRMC) in Tifton, the Tift Regional Joint Replacement and Spine Care Center offers specialized treatment for patients recovering from total joint replacement and spine surgery.  With a comprehensive educational program, this specialized inpatient unit is specifically dedicated to helping patients overcome pain and restore mobility. The goal is to involve patients and family members in treatment every step of the way to ensure optimal recovery.

“Developed in collaboration with our orthopedic surgeons, nurses, therapists and case managers, our program focuses on a plan of care tailored to each patient’s needs,” said Chris Efaw, vice president of outreach and development with Tift Regional Health System.   “Pre-operatively and throughout the patient’s hospital stay, education is provided about what to expect in the hospital and at home.  Our goal is to provide seamless, coordinated care and get patients back to their favorite activities as soon as possible.”

Efaw said that TRMC has created a special inpatient area just to care for joint replacement and spine surgery patients.  Family members are encouraged to participate in group activities, meals and other special events. Exercise and therapy are also provided in a group setting so that patients can support and encourage each other on the path of progress.   New friendships are made, enhancing the healing process.

“We believe the key to better outcomes is a commitment to provide patients with a thorough understanding and knowledge of what to expect during their surgical and post-operative experience,” said Efaw.  “Knowing what to expect each step of the way goes a long way to reducing stress and anxiety and preparing patients for a smoother recovery.”

The information patients receive along their journey includes:

  • Informative pre-operative class for patients and family members
  • A patient guidebook
  • Daily newsletters while in the hospital
  • Educational displays
  • Philosophy of care

With the patient as a full partner, TRMC strives to provide a destination center of excellence in comprehensive joint replacement and spine treatment using safe, coordinated care and evidence-based techniques.

“For many patients, the road to treatment and eventual recovery seems like an overwhelming task, but at Tift Regional, you are not alone—the journey back to mobility is a team effort,” said Efaw.

For more information on the Tift Regional Joint Replacement and Spine Care Center, visit http://www.TRMCortho.com or call 229-353-BONE (2663) or toll free 888-807-0101.

Participating Orthopedic Surgeons

James Scott, M.D.

William Smith, M.D.

Edward Hellman, M.D.

David Banks, M.D.

Georgia Sports Medicine

Hewatt McGraw “Mac” Sims, M.D.

Optim Orthopedics

229-353-BONE (2663) or toll free 888-807-0101


What Patients Have to Say

“I never thought I would say this, but my knee replacement surgery and rehabilitation was an enjoyable experience!   I often compare getting a procedure done at the Tift Regional Joint Replacement and Spine Center like being a on a cruise ship. You know exactly what activity is coming next. The staff and nurses were great.  They treated me with respect and answered all of my questions like they were important. I could instantly tell a difference in my knee, and now I am literally a walking advertisement for this surgery and hospital.   I want to walk everywhere because it feels so good!”

–patient Kenneth Beckner

“I had an excellent experience from start to finish. The staff not only took care of me, but also my wife as she sat with me after surgery. This just didn’t seem like a real hospital experience; it was better than I could have ever imagined.  To anyone who is on the fence about joint replacement, come talk to the staff at TRMC. Read the brochure and the material they can give you. You’ll be nervous; it is a really big step to take. But I promise if you go, you won’t regret it.”

      –patient Albert Glover

What is joint replacement surgery?

Joint replacement surgery is removing a damaged joint and putting in a new one. A joint is where two or more bones come together, like the knee, hip, and shoulder. The surgery is performed by orthopedic surgeon.  Sometimes, the surgeon will not remove the whole joint, but will only replace or fix the damaged parts.

The doctor may suggest a joint replacement to improve how you live. Replacing a joint can relieve pain and help you move and feel better.  More than one million Americans have a hip or knee replaced each year. Research has shown that even if you are older, joint replacement can help you move around and feel better.

What is orthopedic spine surgery?

Many conditions, diseases or injuries can cause problems with your spine.  The spine affects many places in the body, but pain is most commonly found in the neck, shoulders and/or back.   Common spine disorders include degenerative disc disease; spinal stenosis; arthritis of the spine; acute and chronic neck and low back pain; scoliosis and spine trauma.

Orthopedic spine specialists try to make surgery a last resort in most cases.  So, when should you be evaluated for orthopedic spine surgery?     When you cannot function normally, your quality of life is impacted, your chronic condition is worsening and other treatments have not been effective.   In cases involving severe spine injury, patients may require surgery immediately.

Common examples of orthopedic spinal surgery procedures includes microdiscectomy; cervical discectomy and fusion; cervical and lumbar laminectomy; and, fusion of the cervical and lumbar spine.

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