By Robert Janek
Total joint replacement (TJR) is becoming more and more common. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, more than 1 million Americans a year have a total hip or knee replacement. Revision surgeries account for 15–20 percent of that number, according to Bernard Stulberg, MD.
Dr. Stulberg is a nationally recognized, board-certified orthopaedic surgeon who has specialized in TJR and complex revision surgery for almost 35 years. For the past 20 years, he has been a member (and is currently one of only two active Northeast Ohio members) of the prestigious professional associations The Hip Society and The Knee Society. He joined the St. Vincent Charity Medical Center Spine and Orthopedic Institute in October 2014 from the Cleveland Clinic. Previously, he was also a Professor of Surgery/Orthopedic Surgery at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
“When I first started doing hip and knee surgery in 1980, it was at the 10-year time mark of the first joint replacements performed in Cleveland. Many of the devices of that era started failing after 7–10 years, so there were many revisions to do,” he says.
Since then, Dr. Stulberg estimates he has performed a “couple of thousand” joint revisions.
He points out that early total joint prostheses were largely cemented devices which, when they loosened or failed, often resulted in severe bone loss.