orthopedicsBest Practices in Orthopedics

Changes introduced this year enhance education and rehabilitation for patients having joint replacement surgery at MidState.

Recent research shows that patients having joint replacement surgery fare better when they’re well-educated before surgery and begin rehabilitation in a gym-like setting immediately after surgery. With these proven best practices in mind, MidState’s Orthopedic Services Depart- ment introduced a number of innovations this year.

One innovation was the creation of a Total Joint Replacement Patient Guidebook. The colorful, 28-page booklet provides patients with comprehensive information on what to expect and what to do before and after surgery to stay healthy and recover as quickly and comfortably as possible. The publication replaces individual handouts patients used to receive, putting everything they need to know in one place. Patients receive the guidebook when they come to MidState for preadmission testing two to three weeks prior to surgery.

total-jointAnother change was the creation of a Total Joint Replacement Online Education Class. The interactive educational resource was developed so that people unable to attend the class offered at MidState could learn what they needed to know about their impending surgery simply by accessing the program from any computer. The online class and the patient guidebook are aligned with one another, and the online program directs users to pertinent pages in the guidebook.

The way patients begin their rehabilitation after surgery also has been changed, with the introduction of an approach called Joint Camp. Under the Joint Camp model, joint replacement patients begin their physical therapy sessions right away—many on the day of surgery. Just as important, the sessions are held, not in the patient’s room, but in a separate, gym- like space, often with other patients. Instead of hospital gowns, patients wear specially designed Joint Camp T-shirts.

“The whole concept of Joint Camp is to convey to patients that they’re not sick—to get them up and dressed and out of their rooms,” says Eric Lisitano, PT, MHA, service line manager for orthopedics and spine services for Hartford HealthCare’s Central Region. “We find patients are happy to have family members come to the sessions with them, and patients motivate each other. This is a more progressive treatment strategy that helps patients get better faster.”