Research Innovations Improve Patient Care at Colorado Joint Replacement

November 15, 2021
Jason Jennings

The physicians at Colorado Joint Replacement are so skilled in innovative advancements for total hip and knee replacements that Douglas Dennis, MD, has a favorite saying: “Surgeons of Colorado Joint Replacement don’t just read the orthopedic textbooks, they write them.”

Indeed. Colorado Joint Replacement, which has been part of the Centura Health/Porter Adventist Hospital family since 2009, is recognized internationally for its groundbreaking work.

“Pre-COVID, many of us traveled about 100,000 miles per year serving as guest professors at domestic and international universities as well as faculty at major total joint replacement meetings,” says Dr. Dennis, an orthopedic surgeon who co-founded Colorado Joint Replacement in 2000. “Post-COVID, our educational efforts continue virtually. For example, I have participated in five international webinars as a faculty in the last few months. My partners have done this as well. And we publish many more papers than the entire Denver orthopedic community.”

Such dedication had lead thousands of patients to seek relief from shoulder, hip or knee pain -- often due to arthritis -- from the skilled surgeons at Colorado Joint Replacement. When more conservative approaches such as medication, exercise and physical therapy don’t alleviate pain, joint replacement is recommended for lasting relief and increased mobility. In fact, more than 1 million knee and hip replacements are performed in the United States each year.

Since 2009, Colorado Joint Replacement has performed some 24,000 joint replacements. While joint replacement is Colorado Joint Replacement’s specialty, they also offer joint wellness programs and physical therapy to partial joint resurfacing to total replacement of the hip and knee.

It’s not just patients who look to Colorado Joint Replacement for answers; surgical peers from around the world appreciate the groundbreaking work at the center, which currently has some 44 research projects underway.

“Our research is recognized and accepted at major national and international meetings such as the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, Hip Society, Knee Society, American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, and so on,” says Dr. Dennis. “In addition, Colorado Joint Replacement surgeons have been elected to major leadership positions, including president, in these organizations.”

Colorado Joint Replacement world-renowned surgeons right here in Colorado

Colorado Joint Replacement around the world

The Colorado Joint Replacement surgeons are sought after worldwide by other surgeons, hospitals and organizations across the globe. The locations shown on the map are indicative of where Colorado Joint Replacement’s surgeons have presented cutting-edge research and joint replacement standards, just in the past two years alone.

Rather than view patients as merely having a defective joint, each highly trained Colorado Joint Replacement physician embraces whole person care, knowing that people flourish when mind, body and spirit are in harmony.

That philosophy extends to those far beyond Colorado. Since 2003, Colorado Joint Replacement ’s Operation Walk Denver has completed nearly 2,000 free joint replacements for impoverished people in countries in South and Central America.

Before the pandemic severely curtailed travel, surgeons from around the world visited Denver’s Porter Adventist Hospital to watch Colorado Joint Replacement surgeons perform live surgeries to learn the latest techniques in joint replacement. “One year we had 11 surgeon visitations from China alone,” says Dr. Dennis.

Colorado Joint Replacement also wins accolades for its fellowship program, which trains two fellows each year.

“Focusing on how we are leaders in orthopedic education separates Colorado Joint Replacement from others,” Dr. Dennis notes. “Our fellowship program has been rated as one of the leading programs in the country.”