by Jenn Zenn
Sometimes, the best ideas are born in the unlikeliest places. Such is the case for Las Vegas-based orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Michael Crovetti. Standing in the parking lot of a Las Vegas area hospital one night, Dr. Crovetti remarked to a coworker that “there’s got to be a better way” to allow patients to heal after surgery and cut their recovery time. Having followed hospital procedures and guidelines for patient recovery for a number of years, Crovetti had become accustomed to the lengthy periods of time that hospital patients were extended after surgery. Sometimes confi ned to hospital beds for days, weeks, or even months meant that patients might not have been getting the most out of their recovery process. But what could be done about it? And, how would Dr. Crovetti’s innovative ideas eventually shake up Orthopaedic medicine?
If you live in Las Vegas, it is difficult to miss Dr. Crovetti’s billboards and advertisements posted all around town. Crovetti Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine has become one of the go-to centers for orthopaedic surgery and physical therapy. And, not just in Nevada- patients come from all over the United States to seek the expert and technologically advanced surgical procedures that Crovetti’s center has become renowned for. Dr. Crovetti’s practices are derived from a simple idea: motion is key. Generally, when a patient undergoes an orthopaedic procedure (such as hip replacement, or knee surgery), they are forced to adhere to general hospital practices. While Crovetti acknowledges recent advancements in medicine and technology in hospitals, it is still difficult to progress past the idea that recovering in a hospital mostly means laying in bed. Patients have a high level of anxiety after joint replacement surgery in fear of dangerous developments like blood clots, stiff joints and infection. However, Dr. Crovetti’s healing concepts not only stop the need for these kinds of concerns, but are also imperative to quick recovery and a better quality of post-surgical life. He instills his “motion is key” concept into his patients by prompting them to get up and walk as quickly as three hours post-operation. Sound controversial? Because it is. Crovetti feels that the number one reason why blood clots and stiffness can develop in a patient is through lack of movement. And, what better way to avoid these pitfalls than to get up a walk around a little?
So, just how do these concepts play out during patient recovery? Dr. Crovetti performs joint replacement surgeries in his fully functional orthopaedics center everyday, and allows his patients to stay in-house after surgery in order to recover. Crovetti Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine center has one thing that hospitals don’t have: recovery suites. The “recovery suite” is an area within the surgical center that looks much like a hotel room. Set up for patients to rest, recuperate and reset their bodies into healing mode, the recovery suites offer comfortable digs for joint replacement patients and a close family member. Allowing family to stay with a patient overnight (and for the duration of their time at Crovetti’s center) promotes positive healing and hands-on experience in caretaking. The family member literally transforms into a caretaker for the patient by being educated by Center staff on after-surgery techniques. These lessons come into play once the patient returns home. Walking with the patient, accompanying them to the restroom, the shower, even to eat meals together helps immensely during at home aftercare. Crovetti’s obsession with cleanliness and sterility proves important during healing time as well. By being out of a hospital environment after surgery (which houses sick patients that fi ll up neighboring beds), risk of exposure to infection is essentially eliminated.
Patient Concierge, Kathy Hallett, has worked with Dr. Crovetti for a few years, and hasn’t regretted her decision to jump on board with Crovetti’s vision for patient healing. Having also been a hospital employee, Kathy knows fi rsthand the diffi culties that patients can face when trying to heal from invasive surgery. Turning joint replacement surgeries into less invasive in-center procedures has put Crovetti on the map for changing the way people think about orthopaedic practice. Kathy has worked with Dr. Crovetti since the development of the “recovery suites”, and has found herself in a position to have personally met and connected with every single Center patient since day one. Kathy is the go-to person for patients before and after their procedures. She makes sure that patients have everything that they need in order to heal quickly and leave healthier than when they arrived.
She has a real connection to the people she gets to work with everyday, and recently witnessed one of Crovetti Orthopaedics’ highest achievements: their 500th patient, Steve Candelas. Mr. Candelas received a right total hip replacement, and was able to recover and regain his mobility by walking and working with the Crovetti staff during his time in the recovery suites. Being able to follow the progress of every patient who has walked through Crovetti’s doors gives Kathy a sense of pride in the practice that she works for. She feels that one-on-one treatment and positive motivation can inspire patients to heal better, and she hasn’t been proven wrong yet.
A former college football player and sports fanatic, Michael Crovetti has innovative ideas for patient care and recovery that extend beyond the comfort and relaxation of the suites. A fully decorated hallway in the patient care center mimics the layout of a small football fi eld. Designed with his extensive football background as a guide, Dr. Crovetti crafted this area of his recovery center to aid patients in walking after surgery. In place are fully operational stability mechanics that extend from the ceiling to assist post-op patients in walking during healing time. It’s that get-up-and-go energy which Dr. Crovetti inspires in his patients that helps them want to get out of bed and walk. Further bringing his sports background into play, Crovetti makes deals with prospective patients who aren’t quite in the best physical shape to undergo treatment. If a patient needs to lose weight in order to gauge whether surgery is the right option, Crovetti starts at the root of the problem fi rst, and encourages a healthier lifestyle before proceeding.
A sign hangs on the wall just behind the registration desk at Crovetti Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, and it reads “Recover Like A Rockstar”- a tagline the staff uses everyday. Crovetti’s patients have gone on to bike marathons, become avid skiers, swimmers, and be able to return to their active lives as quickly as six weeks post-surgery. Crovetti doesn’t enable his patients into codependent behavior, but instead, sets expectations for their healing process and for their overall lives. Using his surgical skills, his gift for thinking outside the box, and his innate sense of good sportsmanship, Dr. Michael Crovetti sets the standard for patients to truly, recover like rockstars.