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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. After-care support program. Graduates receive calls from The Joint Replacement Center staff within 72 hours of discharge.
  7. Reunions for graduates and their coaches are held regularly with surgeons and the entire care team.