Dr. Jeffrey McLaughlin has been practicing orthopedics in the Fox Valley for nearly three decades. During this time, he has developed a reputation as one of the best orthopedic surgeons in Wisconsin. Patients have trusted the outstanding care provided by Dr. McLaughlin and his team, many of whom have been at the Kennedy Center since its inception!
Orthopedic research and achievements
In his time as an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. McLaughlin has accomplished a variety of professional achievements. Most notably, he, along with Dr. William Kennedy, designed the most successful titanium hip replacement used in the world today, the Titanium Taperloc femoral component.
He has also published many articles in leading medical journals and earned the prestigious “Best Clinical Paper” award from the Orthopedic Research Education Foundation. Articles which are based on the outstanding results of the Titanium Taperloc hip.
See what Dr. McLaughlin has to say about his years of experience as an orthopedic surgeon, and how he can help you lead a fuller, more active life.
What are the 2 or 3 major things you’ve learned from being an orthopedic surgeon for more than 30 years?
I learned from my mentor at Harvard, who was one of the finest orthopedic surgeons in the world, that the most important thing as a surgeon is to do the surgery right the first time.
My guiding principle has always been to treat people right, to care about their problems and do my very best to fix them. I’ve developed my reputation because people know I’ll take excellent care of them. It’s pretty simple: Care about the person in front of you and do the surgery right -the first time and every time.
Patients know that our team of doctors, nurses and front office staff have been in the Fox Valley for more than 30 years and will continue to be there for them for many years to come. The consistent and trusted care provided at the Kennedy Center is unparalleled, which is another reason for our outstanding reputation.
Why did you and Dr. Kennedy decide that there was a need for a better hip replacement? Why is a titanium hip replacement better?
The hips used mainly until 1983 used a cemented system and simply didn’t hold up. They only lasted about 10 years and then patients would need a new hip replacement.
So, patients had to wait until they were 60 or 65 before doctors would put in a new hip. This meant that people lived in pain and often couldn’t work at physically demanding jobs until they reached 60 years or even older.
We wanted to develop a hip that lasted much longer – possibly as long as the patient was alive. This meant that patients could get a new hip much younger, have it perform well for years and live a normal life again. The titanium Taperloc hip replacement made this possible.
Today 90% of the Taperloc hips are still going strong after 25 years, which is as long as we’ve done studies. In 1993, I modified the hip implant. I took a really great hip and, with the medical design engineers, made it even better for our patients.
What’s your favorite thing being an orthopedic doctor?
What I enjoy most about orthopedics is that I can help people at all stages of their life, from young people with broken bones to older folks who need joint replacements. There will always be a need for orthopedic surgeons.
People are more active now than when I first started practice. They want to be active and stay active much longer into life and I can help them do this. And the best thing about orthopedic surgery is that it works!
After 7 years of post-graduate training and 27 years of practicing orthopedics in the Fox Valley, I’ve been given a great opportunity to make a difference in the way people live their lives. As a surgeon, I’m privileged to help people in a way that many people can’t.
What have you learned from 30 years of practice that that they never taught you in medical school?
In medical school, they teach you the science of medicine. In actual practice, you learn the art of medicine.
Orthopedics is so much more than the nuts and bolts of surgery. Caring for patients and listening to them is all-important and you really only learn that from experience.
Every day I have interactions with new and interesting people. And my interactions with colleagues are important for my ongoing learning.
How do you keep up with the progress in the medical industry?
I’ve been privileged to present the results of the Taperloc titanium hip at many international medical conferences. I not only lecture on the results of this system, but I learn from other physicians from around the world at these events. I keep up on advances in my field by going to several conferences each year, both as a presenter and as an attendee.
How has orthopedics changed in the past 25 years?
Orthopedics has changed dramatically since I started my residency. Twenty five to thirty years ago, orthopedics was mainly fixing broken bones. When I did my residency at Johns Hopkins, joint replacement was still in its infancy.
Now we do complex hip and knee replacements. We do really complex hand surgery. And with the advances in arthroscopes, we can do knee arthroscopies that are truly amazing in their complexity but result in minimal scarring and a very fast recovery.
Tell us about your education.
I did my residency at Johns Hopkins, which was an inner-city hospital. They had a huge joint replacement and spinal service. This was their strength. Because I really enjoyed my years there as a resident specializing in joint replacement, I applied and was accepted to do a fellowship in joint replacement at Harvard.
Experience leads to the best orthopedic surgeons.
Do you have questions for Dr. McLaughlin? Give our office a call or request an appointment online.