Fort Walton Beach Medical Center

Fort Walton Beach Medical Center is a 257-bed hospital located in Fort Walton Beach in the panhandle of Northwest Florida.


What to Expect with Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Chronic knee pain can be an ongoing disruption in your life, and it may get to the point where conservative treatment options like ambulatory aids, medications, and physical therapy are ineffective for pain relief. When you are living with persistent knee pain, total knee replacement may become an option that you consider for your care to improve your mobility and achieve a pain-free lifestyle. Knee replacement is among the most common total joint replacement procedures performed today, and it can be a great treatment option with the right patient education and aftercare. Keep reading to learn what you can expect with total knee replacement for your chronic pain.

Why your doctor may recommend surgery

Arthritis and knee injuries are often the conditions behind chronic knee pain that persists even with the use of conservative therapies. Osteoarthritis is commonly associated with knee replacement, because this condition will cause progressive damage with more severe pain and inflammation through time. Traumatic injuries that have not healed properly may also lead to surgery, because post-traumatic arthritis may develop and cause degenerative damage that limits the function of the joint.

What happens during the procedure

Total knee replacement begins with the removal of damaged cartilage and bone surfaces that are causing inflammation in the joint. Once these structures are removed, metal implants will connect to the bone either with press-fit designs or cement to attach the implants. The kneecap is typically replaced with a plastic piece, and plastic spacers complete the procedure to ensure a smooth gliding action between the metal components.

What to expect after your surgery

Following surgery, you will need to avoid rigorous, high-intensity physical activity, but you will likely have a dramatic reduction in knee pain and a great improvement in your mobility. Immediately after surgery, you may need to use a cane or walker for support, but physical therapy will help you make a complete recovery as you regain your independence and strength.

With the orthopedic care at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, you can explore all of your treatment options for chronic joint pain with surgical services accredited by The Joint Commission. To find a physician for your knee replacement surgery or learn more about our services, give us a call at (855) 985-3703 and speak with one of our registered nurses.

Why Cardiac Rehab Is Important for Heart Attack Survivors

Emergency care is only the first step in treating a heart attack. Once the heart and arteries have been stabilized and you are getting ready to return home from the hospital, you might begin an outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program, which will help you get back on your feet and develop a healthier lifestyle. Participating in cardiac rehab is important for a number of reasons, which you can explore in detail below.

Second heart attack prevention

After suffering a heart attack, you are much more likely to have future cardiovascular issues, including a second heart attack. With cardiac rehab, you will participate in diet and exercise programs that support your heart and vascular health by strengthening your heart and promoting better circulation. Cardiac rehab will take place in multiple phases to introduce activity at a slow, steady pace to avoid over-stressing the heart in early stages of your recovery.

Support through major lifestyle changes

Not only does cardiac rehab provide you with the tools to improve your heart health, but it also includes monitoring and medical support that will ensure a positive transition to a healthier lifestyle.

Personalized cardiovascular care

In cardiac rehabilitation, you will work with a number of medical professionals, possibly including a cardiologist, physical therapist, dietician, and psychologist. Each member of the team will work together to help you manage stress, build up a more active lifestyle, and maintain a healthier diet while receiving emotional support through each step of your recovery. Your medications and clinical therapies are also taken into account when designing your rehab plan, which results in a more significant reduction of the risk of future cardiac problems.

At Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, you can find complete cardiac rehabilitation close to home with a number of other cardiovascular services available on-site. Our Heart Center features the only comprehensive cardiovascular program in the tri-county area, and we are in the top 10% in the nation in Cardiac Surgery services. To learn more about why you can trust us with your heart heath, give us a call at (855) 985-3703.

Quality Care is Our Top Priority!

When you’re a patient in the hospital, you form opinions about the care you receive based on your experience. You know if your room was clean, if the staff was friendly, and if the physician communicated well with you. Your most important gauge is probably going to be whether you felt better leaving than you did when you were admitted. Those are obviously all very important indicators of whether the hospital is doing its best to provide high quality care, but there are other ways to determine the level of care you might receive during your stay at the hospital.

All hospitals nationally are under significant scrutiny regarding patient outcomes. They are required to submit a slew of data on a monthly basis to federal and state regulatory agencies. Most hospitals voluntarily participate in patient surveys that rate everything from cleanliness and quietness to pain management and effectiveness of discharge instructions. And depending on the services a hospital provides, they may work to receive special certifications based on special training and standards for that disease specific program. All of the accrediting bodies that survey hospitals focus on a facility’s quality data to rate and ultimately allow services at the facility.

Here’s the point – Choosing your hospital can be based on many factors. Your physician may recommend a facility he or she feels offers the best care for their specialty. Your friends and family may suggest a hospital based on their own experience. And you can do research on the hospital by visiting quality websites that rank facilities on various indicators and patient experience reports. You can also visit the hospital’s website to find out what type of special certifications they may hold that exemplifies the best practices for a certain type of specialized care.

To make your search a little easier, here’s a list of recognitions and special certifications we at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center have earned to ensure you and your loved ones receive the best care possible at our facility!

  • Top Performer on Key Quality Measures – 4 years in a row
  • One of only two hospitals in Tri-county area scoring an “A” – the highest in Patient Safety
  • Among the Highest-Rated in Infection Prevention – 4 th in the nation, based on volume
  • 39-Week Banner Award for Labor and Delivery
  • Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award
  • The only Comprehensive Cardiovascular Program in the Tri-County area
  • Certified Orthopedic Joint Replacement Program
  • Advanced Primary Stroke Center
  • The only Comprehensive Cancer Care Center in the Tri-County area
  • Commission on Cancer accredited program
  • Rehabilitation Institute has the Tri-County’s only CARF accredited Stroke Specialty Program
  • The only Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the Tri-County area

Medic Alert Systems Help Tell Your Story When You Can't!

When you think of medical alert programs, the vision of an elderly woman on the ground crying ‘I’ve fallen and I can’t get up’ probably pops into mind. But the use of some type of alert program can literally save lives when it comes to getting help quickly. You may have an elderly family member or friend who faithfully wears an alert button around their neck. That’s especially beneficial if they live alone. It’s a great safety measure. If they fall or have chest pains, they can push that button and immediately help is on the way. You may have a child with epilepsy; they need a system or bracelet that lets others know of their condition too.

Medical alert systems of some sort aren’t just for grandma anymore! Anyone with a condition like diabetes, epilepsy, allergies, or quite frankly anything that can affect treatment in an emergency should wear some type of alert so medical professionals are aware. Let’s say you’re in a car accident, are unconscious, and are taken to the hospital by ambulance. Both the first responders and emergency room physicians need to know if you have an allergy to certain medications. They need to know if you have a condition that might prevent them from ordering certain tests or treatments. If you can’t speak for yourself, you need to ‘alert’ them of your special needs.

It doesn’t matter your age, if you have special circumstances that can impact your care, you need to have some type of alert on your body at all times. That’s just the safe thing to do. Here’s another thing you can do to help centralize your personal medical history and special needs. Our hospital’s website offers a Patient Portal that lets you instantly and securely access your own personal health information. You can input medication lists and medical history for quick access in case of emergency.

Our H2U program has discount agreements with select Medical Alert programs. Check them out and decide what might work best for you. Get registered in our Patient Portal and centralize your health information. Protect yourself in an emergency and make sure, if you can’t speak, your medical alert system can speak for you!

When Smiling Hurts

There’s actually a national recognition week in August to celebrate smiles. Smiles are wonderful things. As soon as a smile appears on your face, things start improving. It’s like the thawing of the village in the movie Frozen, things just begin to brighten up! The smile spreads from you to those around you. Smiles are infectious – it’s hard for someone not to smile back. A genuine smile is like a big billboard on the side of the road that shouts – it’s all good!

So imagine a friend or family member who is so unhappy with something in their life that smiling actually hurts. They can’t find the happiness inside that inspires a real smile. Forcing a smile is like a denial that something is wrong and it just makes things worse.

It’s not hard to spot the problem in someone you know well. It might be that whatever is bothering that individual is temporary and will right itself with a little time. But when the smile never comes and your loved one just can’t find the joy in life, it’s time for professional help. While they might not recognize it, you do. Helping them find the best resource for treatment of their depression or anxiety is the greatest gift you can offer them. People tend to want to avoid the conversation, but addressing these illnesses are every bit as important to quality of life as managing diseases like diabetes, cancer or heart conditions.

We can help you, help them. Our network of hospitals and services includes a focus on behavioral health. We have a free health information and referral phone line staffed by registered nurses who can answer questions and provide a list of physicians and services in our area that are appropriate. It’s free and it’s available 24/7. You want your loved one to smile again and feel the joy that comes with that simple expression of happiness.

Give us a call at 850-864-0213 and let our professional staff help stop the hurt.

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