Joint Replacement Recovery Process
What can I expect if I have my joint replacement surgery at IVCH?
At The Joint Replacement Center, our recovery process for our joint patients
is a comprehensive approach that includes coordinated participation between
our orthopedic surgeons and clinicians. Our patients are generally back
to normal activities and with less pain within 6 weeks after surgery.
Comprehensive guidebook. Education begins in the physician’s office where patients are given
a comprehensive guidebook, explaining their upcoming surgery and providing
a list of activities, including pre-operative orthopedic strengthening
exercises that they need to begin prior to surgery. This guidebook also
serves as a clinical diary that patients bring to pre-operative class,
to all appointments, and to the hospital.
Pre-operative class. All patients and their family members are scheduled to attend a pre-operative
class two weeks prior to joint replacement surgery, where they meet their
team, learn about the procedure, understand what to expect in the hospital,
and learn how to care for oneself after discharge.
Coach. Each person chooses a coach—usually a family member or friend—who
is an active participant in their loved one’s care before, during
and after discharge from the hospital. Coaches learn the program right
along with their loved one and provide encouragement and support. Coaches
are given a special coach’s button, designating the key role they play.
Aggressive daily schedule. Patients are up and dressed by 7 a.m., starting the day after surgery.
Two group joint therapy sessions as well as in-room therapy and education
are held daily.
Street clothes rather than hospital gowns. Patients do not wear hospital gowns. They are expected to bring comfortable
clothes—sweat pants, shorts, etc.—that they wear during the
day, further encouraging our program’s fundamental concept of wellness.
Daily newsletters. Each morning patients receive a daily newsletter with their breakfast,
letting them know what is on the agenda for the day, along with tips for
caring for their new knees or hips.
Group lunches. Group lunches are held in the center’s group room for patients,
coaches and staff, which encourage camaraderie and shared experiences.
Visual patient incentive board. Joint patients compete with other joint patients on distance walked each
day. All progress is tracked on a large exercise board named IVCH Mobility
Field posted on the wall. This exercise board provides visual reinforcement
of goals met each day.
After-care support program. Graduates receive calls from The Joint Replacement Center staff within
72 hours of discharge.
Reunions for graduates and their coaches are held regularly with surgeons and the
entire care team.