West Hills Hospital & Medical Center
West Hills Hospital & Medical Center is your community resource for better health. We have the capability and expertise to perform emergency open heart procedures, perform brain and spine surgery.

Can You Be Too Young for Joint Replacement?

When it comes to joint replacement, you might imagine that the average patient is over the age of 65 and leads a fairly inactive lifestyle. In recent years, however, there has been a big shift in demographics for knee and hip replacement procedures. About 41% of patients who undergo total joint replacements are under the age of 65, and these patients often experience favorable outcomes with these procedures. While there is some hesitation to have joint replacement earlier in life because of the relatively short lifespan of prosthetic joints—typically about 10 years—many younger patients are finding that surgery is still the best answer to chronic joint pain and immobility. Keep reading for a closer look at joint replacement surgery for younger adults seeking more active lifestyles.

Higher expectations in joint replacement

Joint replacement surgeries have become much more sophisticated with better prosthetics and minimally invasive approaches. This has driven up the expectations of what one can do with a joint replacement in terms of exercise and daily activities. With improved outcomes in surgery, adults under the age of 65 may be more drawn to surgery, even with the possibility of secondary surgeries later in life.

Potential for active lifestyles

Chronic knee or hip pain can sideline you from your favorite activities and significantly diminish your quality of life. If you are dedicated to an active lifestyle, joint replacement may be the best option to help you participate in the activities you love. Studies have also shown that younger adults have shortened recovery times compared to older patients, because they are in better physical shape.

Future development in surgical technologies

While there is a chance that you may need a repeat surgery in 10-20 years with any joint replacement, there is also the possibility for vast development in new surgical technologies. By the time you need a secondary procedure, surgery may be more evolved to optimize comfort and minimize stress on the body.

At West Hills Hospital, we remain dedicated to the most advanced technologies available for our orthopedic care. We also provide comprehensive care with rehabilitation and physical therapy integrated into our Joint Replacement Program. To learn more, visit our website or give us a call at (818) 676-4321.

How Teens Can Stay Healthy in the New School Year

Teenagers face greater challenges than younger children during the school year, because they are coping with more difficult curriculum, personal hurdles, and busier schedules. Therefore, your teen may need some healthy guidelines to follow to promote success in school and social activities. Here’s a look at some of the best ways for teens to keep stress low and avoid getting sick in the coming school year.

Find healthy stress management tactics

Stress can cause teens to turn to unhealthy habits, so it is important to encourage more effective stress management techniques for your teen. Team sports and other types of physical activity are great outlets for stress, and they help in maintaining a healthy weight and positive body image. Other means of managing stress might include breathing exercises, meditation, or leisurely reading.

Eat a balanced diet

During social activities it can be easy for teens to consume lots of junk food, sugary drinks, and other unhealthy choices. You’ll want to teach your teen to enjoy these foods only in moderation while focusing more on wholesome choices like fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Getting in the habit of eating smaller meals is also beneficial for keeping up good metabolism and sustaining energy throughout the day.

Get plenty of nightly sleep

Teens often get into the habit of staying up late at night, but teenagers actually need about 9-10 hours of sleep per night, which is more than the average adult needs. To promote healthier sleeping habits, teens should keep electronic devices out of the bedroom and set a regular bedtime on school nights. By getting plenty of sleep at night, your teen can avoid dozing off in the classroom and improve focus. Sufficient sleep also helps maintain healthy blood pressure, which can be beneficial for heart health later in life.

When your teen needs preventive care, emergency medical attention, or specialized care, you can rely on West Hills Hospital in Southern California. To explore our service lines or get answers to your health questions, call (818) 676-4321 and speak with one of our registered nurses.

What You Need to Know About Knee Replacement Surgery

The knee joints suffer a substantial amount of stress throughout a lifetime, and many adults will experience chronic knee pain and stiffness as a result. If you are among the hundreds of thousands of adults struggling with knee pain in your daily life, you may be considering knee replacement surgery as a treatment option. Most knee replacement surgeries are total knee replacements, in which the entire joint is resurfaced with metal and plastic pieces designed to function similarly to bones and cartilage. This type of surgery has a high success rate over periods of 10-20 years, after which time a secondary surgery may become necessary.

When surgery is needed

Injuries and arthritis are the leading causes of damage that would warrant knee replacement surgery. When the symptoms of these conditions become a disruption in your daily life and are not managed through other treatments, knee replacement is often the best option. Knee replacement is always considered an elective procedure, but it can make a big difference in your quality of life.

What happens during surgery

In total knee replacement, the rough and damaged structures in the knee will be removed and replaced with a metal covering on the end of the thighbone and a plastic covering on the end of the shinbone. A plastic cap may also be placed on the back of the kneecap to facilitate a smoother motion in the knee joint.

What to expect in recovery

Your rehabilitation after knee surgery will begin fairly immediately after your operation. During a 3-5 day hospital stay, you will work with a physical therapist to perform weight-bearing exercises that will promote proper healing. You may need to walk with a cane or walker initially, but you will continue to build strength and flexibility with ongoing physical therapy in an outpatient setting.

Are you struggling with knee pain and stiffness? With the Total Joint Care Program at West Hills Hospital, you can expect exceptional personalized care to help you move forward pain-free. For an orthopedic physician referral at our hospital, call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (818) 676-4321 or visit us online.

Tips for Helping Your Child Stay Healthy in the Classroom

With the school year starting soon, you may be scheduling back-to-school checkups with the doctor and thinking about ways to keep your child healthy in the classroom environment. Children spend most of their time at school, where it is easy for germs to spread and cause a number of common illnesses. By following these tips, you can expect fewer sick days for your child, which will result in a better performance in school.

Teach effective handwashing

Handwashing is one of the most important steps in preventing the spread of illnesses from person to person. You should teach your child to wash his or her hands regularly throughout the day, using plenty of soap and scrubbing for at least 20 seconds. With younger children, you might use a song or rhyme to make sure that your child is washing long enough to effectively kill germs.

Donate cleaning supplies to the classroom

With so many shared surfaces in the classroom, it can be hard to keep up with cleaning, especially when there are not sufficient supplies to sanitize desks, toys, and school supplies. You might help promote a cleaner environment in the classroom by donating some cleaning supplies to the teacher throughout the school year.

Stick to a vaccination schedule

More schools now require that children be up-to-date with vaccinations like MMR and DTaP, but there are other optional immunizations that can be beneficial too. The flu shot, for example, can greatly reduce chances of getting sick in the fall season.

Keep your child home when he or she is sick

If your child does get sick, you should have him or her stay home until symptoms clear up. You might also encourage other parents to do the same with their children. When kids stay home to get better, fewer kids will get sick overall.

At West Hills Hospital, you can find the family-friendly preventive care your child needs to stay well in every season. To explore our healthcare resources, visit our website or call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (818) 676-4321.

Why Are Burn Injuries More Common in the Summer?

Burn injuries can happen anywhere at any time due to causes as diverse as scalding hot liquids to malfunctioning electrical appliances. However, burn injuries are particularly prevalent during the summer, given the popularity of barbecues, campfires, and similar pastimes. Prevention is key; however, if you or a loved one does suffer this type of injury, the team at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital can help.

Outdoor Cooking

Barbecues and campfires are good ways to enjoy the pleasant weather while preparing a meal. However, they can be particularly hazardous for young children. Never allow children around a heat source and always make sure an adult is supervising the cooking area. Be sure to keep children at a safe distance long after the meal is complete; grills can stay hot for a long time. Additionally, it’s a good idea for adults to avoid consuming alcohol near a fire. When putting out a campfire, douse the ashes with water, stir the ashes, and then douse them with more water. This can reduce the risk of burn injuries from a fire that appeared to have burned out hours ago. Many people go into burn centers with severe injuries because they touched or kicked the logs of a campfire that had appeared to go out the night before, yet were still smoldering.

Fireworks Displays

Specialists at burn centers tend to treat more injuries around the Fourth of July because of fireworks. Even when a fireworks display is legal, it can cause serious burn injuries. Burn injuries may be more likely to occur if spectators go inside the barricade surrounding a fireworks display. They can also develop because of fireworks used at home, such as sparklers. Sparklers can burn at about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which means they are unsuitable for use by children.

The emergency care department at West Hills Hospital is fully equipped to handle all types of serious medical problems, including burn injuries. Our world-renowned Grossman Burn Center provides a continuum of care, from acute care to rehabilitation. If you require emergency care in the West Hills area, please call 911 immediately; otherwise, you can speak with a registered nurse at our community hospital by calling (818) 676-4000.

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