Each year, millions of Americans suffer from pain and lose mobility due to joint damage. When other treatments have failed to bring relief, it could be time to consider replacing your tired, worn-out joint with a new one. Although surgery is not recommended as the first option for treating joint pain, when the pain is severe and disabling, total joint replacement may be the answer.
In most people, joint pain is caused by osteoarthritis. In this common form of arthritis, generally associated with aging, the cartilage cushion that protects bones in a joint breaks down and wears away. This allows the bones to rub together, causing pain and loss of motion. In most cases, total joint replacement - or arthroplasty - offers pain relief and allows patients to return to their normal activities.
The most commonly performed total joint procedures in the U.S. are total knee and total hip replacements; that is also true at Doylestown Hospital where more than 1300 arthroplasties have been performed in the past 5 years. Although knee and hip replacement are the most common, joint replacement can also be performed on shoulders, elbows wrists, fingers and ankles.
Total joint replacement can give many patients back their daily lives; however, it is generally the last step in treatment when pain medications, and lifestyle changes like weight loss and exercise to strengthen the muscles that support the damaged joints, aren't enough.
What You Can Expect During Your Hospital Stay
Doylestown Hospital offers a pre-operative total knee and total hip education class to all of our patients. This provides patients and significant others with a better understanding of what to expect. Information is provided in regards to equipment needs, preoperative phase, hospital stay and discharge planning. The goal is to alleviate individual fears and concerns and to allow patients to have their questions answered.
All total joint patients are admitted to private rooms in The Orthopedic Institute, on the fourth floor, where specially trained nurses and therapists work closely with the orthopedic surgeons to make each total joint replacement surgery a success. We work with physicians' offices to ensure that every patient is prepared for a successful journey. Our dedication to our patients is evident by our consistently high patient satisfaction scores. We strive for excellence in patient care and consistently focus on patient safety and outcomes.
A patient's care team will consists of the surgeon, a patient navigator, physical and occupational therapists and specially trained nurses. Other physicians and health care members are consulted depending on the individual patient needs.
The patient plays an important role in the recovery process. Throughout the stay, the care team will work with the patient to individualize his or her plan of care. The patient navigator meets with team members and the patient on a daily basis. The appropriate discharge plan is developed and the navigator coordinates the discharge process.
Therapy plays a major role in recovery. The patient will have both Occupational and Physical therapy services after joint replacement surgery.
- Occupational therapy (OT) focuses on the patient's ability to perform activities of daily living, such as dressing, tub or shower transfer and using a commode. OT starts the day after surgery, and therapy sessions are provided once a day.
- Physical therapy (PT) focuses on patient's ability to move the new joint, getting in out of the bed and chair and walking. The therapist will also teach the patient how to go up and down stairs and how to get in and out of a car. Physical Therapy can begin as early as the day of surgery. PT will see all total hip and knee patients twice a day while during an inpatient stay.
Our program is designed to allow patients to go home safely in less than 4 days. The patient navigator will coordinate all services that a patient may need once he or she returns home. This may include home care or outpatient therapy. For patients with more complex rehabilitation needs, or those who just require additional recovery time, the care navigator can coordinate a transfer to an acute rehab unit like MossRehab at Doylestown Hospital, or to a skilled nursing facility such as Pine Run Health Center.
For more information on our Total Joint Programs contact the Orthopedic Navigator Pam DiPietro, at 215-345-2642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.