Total Joint Replacement at Gunnison Valley Health
Gunnison Valley Health provides comprehensive and minimally invasive total
joint replacement. Our Total Joint Center offers shoulder, hip, and knee
replacements with cutting edge plastics, ceramics as well as titanium
and improved metal on metal technology. In addition, we are the only total
joint replacement program on the Western Slope to utilize CT and MRI imaging
to form a more customized joint. That customization helps better align
the new joint to your body's natural geometry.
After a joint replacement at our Total Joint Center, painful and debilitating
joint injuries can be a thing of the past. Our skilled multidisciplinary
team of surgeons, nurses, rehabilitation experts, and others will help
you on the road to a new lifestyle of increased activity and mobility.
Gunnison Valley Health is in the top 1% of outcomes for joint replacement
in the county and in our skilled hands you can be home within a day of
your procedure. In addition, our infection control measures have resulted
in one of the lowest infection rates in the state.
What to Expect with your Total Joint Replacement:
Preparing for your Joint Replacement:
Upon scheduling your joint replacement you will receive a Total Joint booklet
with resources you will need in the days and weeks leading up to your
procedure as well as information to aid in your recovery; including dietary
considerations and helpful stretches and exercises. You will also be scheduled
for a preoperative Total Joint education class.
While we encourage you to attend a Total Joint education class in person,
the video below covers the materials if you are unable to attend.
Please be sure to read through the appropriate Total Joint Booklet for
the procedure you will be receiving:
You can also find materials for the preoperative Total Joint education class
Preoperative Total Joint education classes take place every month in the
Gunnison Valley Health hospital conference room.
Meet Dr. Blake Clifton, M.D.
Dr. Blake Clifton is an orthopaedic surgeon fellowship trained (extra year
of specialty training) in adult and pediatric sports medicine with advanced
training and specialization in joint replacement of the shoulder, hip,
and knee. This includes total joint replacement of the joint surface or
minimally invasive partial replacement and resurfacing of the joint. Many
joint replacements are done with a system custom made for each patient.
Dr. Clifton uses MRI and CT scans along with computer guided technology
to customize each patients surgical plan and instruments before entering
the operating room. This creates a unique precise fit of the joint replacement
for each individual patient.
Dr. Clifton earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science from
Brigham Young University. While studying Exercise Science at BYU, he did
research associated with USA Track and Field (USATF) team athletes. His
work included analyzing techniques and providing Dart Fish training resources
to discus, shot put, and steeple chase athletes across the country. He
was also awarded the Congressional Honor Award while a student at BYU.
After his freshman year at BYU, he took 2 years off to serve an LDS mission
in Japan. He became fluent in Japanese and occasionally has the opportunity
to use it today.
Dr. Clifton attended medical school at the University of Vermont in Burlington,
Vermont. While there, he had the privilege of working with many Orthopaedic
Surgeons including world renown Dr. Robert Johnson studying ski injuries
on the slopes of Sugarbush Mountain Resort.
Orthopaedic surgery residency took him and his family to Texas Tech University
in Lubbock, Texas. On occasion he worked with the Texas Tech Red Raider
Football program and provided medical coverage on the sidelines. He then
went on to do an Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship at the University
of New Mexico where he worked as one of the team physicians for the UNM
Lobo athletes across all sports. Here he was trained in complex open and
arthroscopic procedures of all major joints of the body in both adult
and pediatric athletes. He has also had extensive training in joint replacement
surgery of the shoulder, knee and hip.
Dr. Clifton and his wife, Camille, have 5 children and enjoy the outdoors.
They can be found in the surrounding mountains on any given weekend hiking,
mountain biking, skiing or doing any number of other activities in the
outdoors. If it is raining, there is a good chance you’ll find Dr.
Clifton working in his wood shop where he enjoys building fine cabinetry
and handmade rocking horses.
Meet Dr. David Elfenbein, M.D.
Dr. Elfenbein is an Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in sports medicine
with extensive experience in joint replacement surgery. He received a
bachelor of arts degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania
where he majored in biology. Afterward, he attended the Albert Einstein
College of Medicine where he was a distinguished member of the Alpha Omega
Alpha medical honor society, and was awarded his doctor of medicine degree
in 1995. He completed his general surgical internship at New York University
Medical Center in 1996, and remained at The New York University Hospital
for Joint Diseases for an orthopedic surgery residency from 1996-2000.
He is published in hand surgery and total joint replacement, and is certified
by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons. Dr. Elfenbein joined Connecticut
Family Orthopedics in 2000, and after practicing in the northeast, he
decided to make his way to the rocky mountain west.
Dr. Elfenbein is married with four children and now lives in Crested Butte,
he is excited to become a part of the Gunnison valley community. He is
an avid skier and sailor and enjoys running and weightlifting to keep
in shape. A woodworker in his spare time, Dr. Elfenbein can often be found
in his shop working on or planning his next project.
Meet Dr. Rhett Griggs, M.D.
Dr. Griggs was born and raised in Jackson, Wyoming. Similar to the Gunnison
Valley 30 years ago, he grew up skiing, biking, pack tripping, hunting
and playing team sports. He competed in multiple Junior Olympics with
ski racing, was a member of a State champion football team, multiple little
league all-star baseball teams and loved to spend time with his family
in the backcountry.
He attended Colorado State University for two years where he started to
compete in cycling. He then transferred to Loma Linda University to complete
his degree in Occupational Therapy and to ride year ’round. His
clinicals for OT were completed in Hawaii where he was able to bike race
and learn to surf. He then moved to New Orleans to complete a hand therapy
fellowship for six months. After completion, he went to Denver to live
and work enough to race his road and mountain bike for two years. He then
moved back to Jackson to start Teton Hand Therapy with his mother; they
worked together for two years prior to medical school. Working closely
with hand and sports surgeons in Denver and Jackson sparked his interest
in orthopedics and he decided to return to school. He completed his M.D.
at Saba University School of Medicine. He then did his internship with
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. His orthopedic residency was completed with
Maricopa in Phoenix, AZ for his 2nd and 3rd years where he gained extensive
exposure to trauma and sports medicine. He completed his 4th and 5th years
of residency at the University of Florida in Gainesville where again he
had significant exposure to sports medicine and orthopedic trauma. He
still had a love for hand, elbow and shoulder and decided to do a fellowship
in this with his mentor Dr. Paul Dell in Gainesville. During fellowship,
he was able to hone his skills and knowledge in microvascular surgery,
reconstruction, hand, elbow and shoulder arthroscopy and arthroplasty
as well as continue covering trauma cases with his trauma attending and
friend Richard Vlasak, M.D.
Once the fellowship concluded, Dr. Griggs interviewed all over the country,
however came to the conclusion that he wanted to raise his children in
a place similar to Jackson. He moved to Crested Butte in July 2008 and
has worked diligently to provide patients with superior care since then.
He is excited to be a part of this community and the lifestyle it provides.
He continues to be an orthopedic trauma consultant with Smith and Nephew,
consults with Pearl Izumi cycling company, speaks regularly on the topic
of hand surgery, is a team physician for USA cycling and Stan’s
No tubes women’s elite team, Western State college and the GO sports
teams. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.
Gunnison Valley Health Total Joint Center
711 North Taylor Street | Gunnison, CO 81230 | 970-641-7223