Plotting Your Course for Joint Replacement Recovery
South Central Joint Camp Program Promotes Faster Healing
Joint Camp is a program dedicated to the comprehensive care of hip replacement and knee replacement patients. South Central Regional Medical Center’s Joint Camp program combines extensive pre-operative education for the patient and their family, excellent patient care and individualized therapy to provide faster healing and recovery.
The orthopedic surgeons at South Central Orthopedics in Laurel are pleased to have a program which prepares patients for a joint replacement procedure so they know what to expect along the way.
Benji Cooley, PT, Rehab Manager and Coordinator of the Joint Camp Program at South Central, provides an overview of the program. “Joint Camp is a program that includes the involvement of your surgeon, physical therapist, occupational therapist, and social workers, to streamline the process of surgery. Our goal is to return each patient to an active lifestyle as quickly as possible.”
The first step in the Joint Camp process is to attend a pre-habilitation session at the medical center. During the session, the patient will get to know those who will be caring for them while they are in the hospital after their procedure. Each patient is given a Joint Camp notebook that includes information they need before, during and after they go home from surgery. The binder includes information on what is involved in a joint replacement procedure, pre-habilitation exercises to perform prior to surgery, a pre-operative home check-list, what to expect during your stay at Joint Camp, precautions and safety tips at home and more.
Each patient brings their “coach” with them to the pre-habilitation session. The coach can be a friend or family member who will support and encourage them throughout the process. Knowing what to expect up front is key to recovery. Another great point about patients participating in South Central’s Joint Camp program is that they are pre-admitted for their procedure prior to the day of surgery, which expedites the patient’s flow through the process.
“By offering education prior to the surgery, we find that patients are less anxious about what to expect going into surgery. This allows for a greater understanding of the process and initiates the first step of their recovery,” said Cooley.
Following the surgery, patients are placed in our Joint Camp Unit on 2nd West. The dedicated nursing staff in this unit specialize in orthopedic recovery care. Along with nursing support, physical therapy and occupational therapy services will come to each patient room to start the rehabilitation process.
“For those who have had a joint replacement procedure, it is critical to begin rehabilitation shortly after surgery. Scar tissue can build up around the joint if the joint is idle. This can have a major impact on recovery,” Cooley said. “We get our patients up as soon as we can which is often the same day of surgery. The sooner we are able to get these patients up, the sooner they are able to return home and continue their rehabilitation.”
Most patients are discharged on day 2 or 3 after surgery. “Our staff is dedicated to increase the patient’s mobility, answer any questions or concerns and guide the patient through the acute recovery phase,” said Cooley. “If a patient has a nerve block, when it wears off, the patient may experience an increase in pain. This is a normal part of the healing process and it is important that the patient and their coach realize that managing these symptoms are also part of the recovery. The nursing staff will be assisting with medication management and patient education for discharge.”
Patients who are discharged with home health therapy services are guided through the recovery process with a home therapist. “The benefit of using ComfortCare Home Health for therapy after discharge is that the therapy team is familiar with your procedure, your established process and will work with our South Central care team to continue the same exceptional care you received while in the hospital,” said Cooley.
The goal of joint replacement surgery is to eliminate a person’s pain and improve their quality of life. Our team individualizes the recovery process so that each patient can achieve their best outcome. Cooley closes by stating, “Ultimately, our job is complete when a patient returns to their surgeon for a post-operative visit and states they are happy they chose to have their hip or knee replaced and that they had a great experience during their stay in South Central’s Joint Camp.”
If you are experiencing knee or hip pain, call South Central Orthopedics at 601-649-5990 today. South Central Orthopedics is located at 1002 Jefferson Street, Suite 350, in Laurel. The facility accepts Medicare, Medicaid, and most commercial insurance plans. To learn more, visit scrmc.com.
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