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Meet our Chief of Orthopaedics and Surgery

Crittenton Chief of OrthopaedicsDr. Jeffrey DeClaire has been making medical headlines lately thanks to the emergence of the Vanguard XP Knee System; the total knee replacement that he developed with Biomet and four other orthopaedic surgeons. But as Crittenton’s Chief of Orthopaedics and Surgery, he is making our headlines because of his passion to make world-class medical procedures available to everyone.

An Interest in World-Class Care

After completing his residency in Orthopaedics at the University of Michigan Hospitals, Dr. DeClaire began a fellowship in Sports Medicine that sparked his intrigue about the knee and knee surgery. Dr. DeClaire’s fellowship allowed him to work with world-class athletes and experience the surgical opportunities available only to those caliber athletes. This got DeClaire thinking:

“In sports medicine, the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is protected or preserved, as it is one of the key ligaments responsible for the normal function of our knees.  When the ACL is injured, it is repaired or reconstructed surgically to avoid a career ending injury.  When severe degenerative arthritis of the knee develops, causing disabling pain and loss of function, a total knee replacement has the ability to successfully alleviate the pain and restore function in a high percentage of patients.  However, when this total knee replacement is performed, the ACL is removed in nearly every patient up until recently.  With the new development of the XP Knee, all the natural ligaments of the knee can be preserved including the ACL.”

By maintaining the body’s natural anatomy, a potentially more normal functioning knee can be achieved with greater patient satisfaction and a more complete recovery from surgery.

Pursuing His Passion

Extending world-class care beyond star athletes became a goal of Dr. DeClaire’s, and his patients and the hospital continually benefit from this motivated passion.  At Crittenton Hospital, DeClaire serves as the chief of not just one department, but two, working between the Orthopaedics and Surgery Departments. You will regularly find him rounding and visiting his patients at Crittenton Hospital around 6:00 a.m. His mornings involve seeing patients, prepping with his team for incoming surgeries, attending different preventative and administrative department meetings, or assisting in managing the operating rooms.

Advice on Your Joint Health

The biggest message Dr. DeClaire tells his patients is not to ignore symptoms. Says DeClaire, “If you are developing symptoms, don’t ignore them. Everything in medicine is about prevention. We want to help you avoid the operating room at all times.” It may be worth seeing an orthopaedic specialist about the ache in your knee that comes and goes to ensure that it isn’t doing any damage. Dr. DeClaire advises that especially when working with joints, you want to avoid any injury to your cartilage, as your body cannot heal cartilage. If you believe you have symptoms, play it safe and see your doctor. The sooner it is addressed, the greater the chance for a better recovery.

Why Crittenton?

While Dr. DeClaire will extol Crittenton’s expert Orthopaedics program, he believes that it is the high-level expertise in the medical departments across the board that makes Crittenton Hospital Medical Center a world-class institution. And its controlled size is truly only an advantage. “Crittenton is unlike any place in the world,” DeClaire insists. “Crittenton is a unique, specialty hospital with high-level expertise and performs alongside the caliber of major institutions.”

About Dr. Jeffrey DeClaire

Dr. DeClaire received his medical education at the University of Michigan Medical School. He completed his orthopaedics residency at the University of Michigan Hospitals and his surgery residency at Wayne State University. He then pursued a fellowship in sports medicine from Penn State University’s Hershey Medical Center.

Dr. DeClaire has spent the last two decades specializing in knee disorders and injuries, performing over 1,000 surgeries a year. He was awarded the Outstanding Physician of the Year award by Governor John Engler in 1997 and chosen as HOUR Detroit’s “Top Docs” for the second time in October 2006 and the Top Docs Hall of Fame in 2012. Learn more about Dr. DeClaire at www.dl-ortho.com


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