MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center Opens
It may not be the Love Boat or the QE2, but this is one “cruise” that can take its passengers to the best destination of all: mobility and increased independence.
With its cruise ship-themed program, Cruising to Recovery, the newly opened MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center helps patients regain function through the latest and most effective procedures for knees and hips. The skill of the Center’s orthopedic surgeons is combined with the expertise of a physical therapy team that supports a wellness-based approach to healing.
“The goal of joint replacement surgery is to relieve pain, restore independence and return patients to work and other daily activities,” says orthopedic surgeon Douglas W. Jackson, M.D. Featuring 15 private rooms, the Center also includes a gym and group room for physical therapy, communal lunches and meetings. A daily newsletter with tips and encouraging thoughts is distributed to patients—much like the updates issued on cruise ships.
Better than Expected
For 82-year-old Margaret Howell, who was suffering from crippling osteoarthritis in her right knee, joint replacement surgery was a journey she was more than ready to take. “I was in a lot of pain,” she recalls. “I couldn’t walk and was barely able stand up straight.” For help, she turned to Dr. Jackson. After examining her, Dr. Jackson recommended total knee replacement. “I was nervous about surgery, but knew my knee wasn’t going to get any better on its own,” she says.
The MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center offers a comprehensive inpatient program that includes surgery and physical therapy.
Margaret’s treatment began two weeks before her surgery with a special preoperative class for patients and family members. The session was led by members of the treatment team, including physical and occupational therapists, nurses and clinical coordinators. The goal was to educate patients about what to expect after surgery, how to prepare themselves and their family for the recovery process, and how to create a safe, recovery-friendly environment at home. “Surgery turned out even better than I expected,” says Margaret. “The staff couldn’t have been nicer. They really worked with me so I could get back on my feet.”
The Joint Replacement Center is designed to encourage patients to be active during their hospital stay. Physical therapy, which is critical to recovery, starts almost immediately after surgery and continues throughout the patient’s hospitalization. “Our patients are generally healthy people who have chosen surgery to improve their quality of life,” notes Dr. Jackson. “Our philosophy as the treatment team is to help them maintain a positive outlook throughout the process, and encourage them to take a very active role in their own recovery.”
After surgery, patients participate in physical therapy classes with other joint replacement patients, creating a supportive, encouraging ambiance. Patients are encouraged to designate a family member or friend as their “coach.” This individual participates in therapy classes along with the patient and is typically the person designated as caregiver following surgery. Patients are encouraged to wear their own clothes rather than hospital gowns to foster a wellness-oriented environment. “I have my independence back,” Margaret says. “I go for a walk every day and I’m able to do my housework. It’s a great feeling.” She expects to have joint replacement surgery on her other knee, which is also arthritic, in the near future. But this time, she says with a laugh, “I won’t be nervous at all.”
For more information visit MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center.