Orthopedic patients “GO CAMPING” for a new lease on life.
Easton Hospital’s JointWorks! program takes a creative approach to knee and hip replacement surgery. Instead of facing orthopedic surgery and recovery alone, small groups of patients go through the procedure together. F rom their pre-op education class through their last outpatient physical therapy sessions, they share concerns and support—and even manage a to laugh along the way.
The “campers” check into private rooms in a dedicated orthopedic area of the Hospital for their four-day stay. They are encouraged to bring and wear loose fitting clothing instead of a hospital gown.
Special touches like a golf putting green in the Physical Therapy Department add to the summer camp atmosphere and provide some incentive for movement. Amenities like a plush terry-cloth robe, daily newsletters and a special lunch event keep morale high, and brings campers together to share in their successes and encourage each other to keep on moving forward in their recovery.
Hundreds of thousands of people undergo hip or knee replacement surgery each year and the success rates are very high—98% and 96% respectively. Most patients are able to regain complete use of the limb and resume all their normal activities. It’s an operation that can provide a whole new lease on life for joint pain sufferers. Surgical replacement of worn out hips and knees has been done in the United States since the 1960s. In both operations, the painful parts of the joint are completely replaced with metal and plastic prostheses (artificial parts). The new surfaces fit together with much less friction and less stress to the joint itself.
Patients in the JointWorks! program are up and sitting in their recliners the very same day of their surgeries. Group therapy sessions begin the next day, and, with the help of nurses and coaches (usually spouses or friends), progress is rapid.
Up, Up, and Away
Of course, nobody is literally skipping after four days, but to many it feels that way. For most it will be a good six weeks until they are back up to speed. Recuperating knee and hip replacement patients will go home with an exercise plan to strengthen healing ligaments and increase flexibility of the new joint. They will need to be especially careful of falling, stretching, or lifting for a while, and they will probably never ski again.
To find out more about JointWorks!, call 610-250-4114 or e-mail: