At BJC Health, the core philosophy behind our approach is known as Connected Care.
With a multidisciplinary team of physiotherapists, a nutritionist, remedial massage therapists, exercise physiologists, rheumatologists and endocrinologists, we aim to treat the whole person and not just the disease.
Let’s focus on arthritic diseases, which affect 1 in 5 Australians. A patient at BJC Health will be referred within the clinic to the individualised specialist care that they require – it’s about the whole person. I can best explain this by recounting a typical patient story.
Beryl has had increasing knee pain over the last decade, worse on the left side. She now complains of pain and stiffness every time she gets up from a sitting position and with walking. At times, she has pain when she turns in bed.
Beryl was seen by an orthopaedic surgeon who agreed that what she required was total knee replacement surgery. Unfortunately, Beryl has had multiple heart attacks and has poor kidney function. The operation would be very risky for her and it was agreed that she should have non-operative treatment instead.
She was assessed by one of our rheumatologists. The goal was to reduce her pain and improve her general mobility. Beryl wanted desperately to be more active as she has two young grandchildren, and during the consultation, she confided that she wanted to live as long as possible, but only if her quality of life could be improved.
Her rheumatologist told her that she should not take anti-inflammatory medications as she was at increased risk of side effects due to her other medical conditions. A cortisone injection was performed at the left knee. This reduced her pain at that knee by about 50%. As benefits from cortisone injections typically last up to 3 months only, Beryl was also commenced on a knee stability program under the supervision of the physiotherapy team.
At Beryl's age of 75, strengthening her quadriceps musculature and improving her overall gait and posture can lead to reduced pain, reduced risk of falls, and improved wellbeing. She also consulted the dietitian as weight loss and a healthier diet would also help with the above, as well as helping reduce her risk of further heart attacks and strokes.
BJC Health is pioneering Connected Care and fostering a true partnership between doctor, allied health practitioners and patient. Is this the approach you would like?
For Degenerative Knee disease, there are no easy shortcuts and hence we have developed a comprehensive Knee Rehabilitation Program to help you lead a life with less pain and enjoy the activities you deserve to do.