Joint Replacement Center
The Joint Replacement Center is located on the 6th Floor of Trinity Hospital. Dedicated joint replacement staff is focused on assisting with recovery of joint replacement patients. There is a dedicated gym located near the patients' rooms.
Patients are encouraged to dress in their own clothing such as a t-shirt, shorts or sweatpants, and sneakers. This will allow patients to take full advantage of therapy by being comfortable and ready to exercise when arriving to the therapy gym.
Group therapy sessions are held daily in the gym. With multiple patients undergoing therapy at one time, camaraderie develops among the patients. Patients learn from watching one another rehabilitate and can encourage one another when exercises become tough. Coaches are encouraged to attend group therapy sessions and assist their family member or friend through the exercise session.
Patients become active very quickly after surgery. This is important in preventing complications after a joint replacement. Rehabilitation on the Joint Replacement Center starts the day of surgery with an evaluation from Nurses and Therapists which may include; vital signs, ambulation in the hallway, exercises and sitting up in a bedside recliner chair. This is important to restore normal movement to allow walking and other normal daily activities.
Patients are encouraged to have a family member or friend act as their coach during therapy sessions on the Joint Replacement Center and when returning home. Coaches will participate in group therapy sessions and should attend the discharge class if possible. Coaches will assist the patient in remembering the important details and information provided during the hospital stay. Patients receive a great amount of information during their stay, so having a Coach is important.
Group therapy sessions are held daily in the exercise gym located on the joint replacement center. Exercise handouts with pictures and directions will assist the patient and coach in the specifics of each exercise during therapy. Patients feel more motivated at the gym and at home when they have a family member or friend present to encourage them through their stay. Having participated in the group therapy sessions, the coach will feel comfortable and prepared in assisting and caring for the patient with exercises and other cares when returning home.
Activities of Daily living
Practicing activities of daily living is important prior to discharge home. This will ensure that all patients are safe and independent in the necessary daily activities and ensure a smooth transition from the joint replacement center to home. During the first few weeks at home, patients adapt what they learned in the hospital to their own home setup. The Occupational and Physical Therapists will work with patients to safely perform the necessary activities of daily living during patients stay on the Joint Replacement Center. Activities patients will practice may include:
Ambulation is an important rehabilitation activity on the Joint Replacement Center. It is important to track how far patients ambulate on the Joint Replacement Center to determine if they are prepared to return home. We encourage short, frequent walks increasing the distance walked each day (as tolerated). Patients will be ambulating in the hallways with staff members while room tags are “red.” When patients demonstrate independent and safe use of an assistive device for all transfers and ambulation, staff will turn the room tag to “green” indicating patients are able to ambulate in the hallways independently or with their coach.
In the community or at home, many patients will need to negotiate stairs. This may be necessary to get into your home, or access areas inside your home. Being able to safely use stairs is very important. Therapists will teach patients how to safely negotiate stairs.
a. The good leg goes first
b. The operated leg goes second
c. The cane goes last
a. The cane goes first
b. The operated leg goes second
c. The good leg goes last
To prepare patients, when cleared, to take a shower at home following surgery, Occupational Therapists will instruct patients how to safely get in/out of the shower. The use of a shower chair/bench may be necessary and patient specific. Note: Always use a rubber mat or non-skid adhesive on the bottom of the tub or shower.
Entering a tub/shower
- Make sure your soap, shampoo, wash cloth and any other items are placed in easy reach.
- Back up to the tub until you can feel it at the back of your knees. Be sure you are in front of the bath seat.
- Reach back with one hand for the bath sear. Keep the other hand in the center of the walker.
- Slowly lower yourself onto the seat, keeping your surgical leg out straight.
- Move the walker out of the way, but keep it within reach.
- Lift your legs over the edge of the tub
Leaving your tub/shower
- Lift your legs over the outside of the tub
- Push up with one hand on the back of the bath seat while holding on to the center of the walker with the other hand.
- Balance yourself before grabbing the walker
With assistance from a therapist, patients will be instructed on proper techniques for a vehicle transfer. This is especially critical for patients that underwent a total hip replacement, as they are at an increased risk for dislocation.
- Move the seat back as far as it will go. You may also recline the seat back to allow more room.
- You may place a plastic trash bag on the seat to help you slide and turn forward.
- Open the door and stand on the street, as close as you can get to the car.
- Turn until your back is facing the seat and back up until you feel the car seat on the back of your legs.
- Place one hand on the back of the car seat or headrest and the other hand on the dashboard or car seat. DO NOT use the car door for support as it can move.
- Lower yourself to the seat, keeping your operative leg straight out in front of you.
- Bring your legs into the car one leg at a time.
- Adjust the seat as needed to allow for a comfortable ride.
Following surgery patients may find it difficult to get dressed and may need to use adaptive equipment for a short period of time. With the assistance from an Occupational Therapist patients will work on getting dressed into their own clothes using adaptive equipment as necessary. This is patient specific and an Occupational Therapist will ensure every patient is sent home with the appropriate equipment for their needs.
How to use a sock aid:
- Slide the sock onto the sock aid. Make sure the heel is at the back of the plastic and the toe is tight against the end.
- Hold the cords and drop the sock aid in front of your foot.
- Slip your foot into the sock aid.
- Point your toe and pull the sock on. Keep pulling until the sock aid pulls out.
- To remove your socks, use the long-handled reacher to push the sock off your foot.
Using a reacher to put on pants:
- Sit down
- Place your surgical leg in first and then your non-surgical leg. Use the reacher to guide the waist band over your foot.
- Pull your pants up over your knees, within easy reach.
- Stand with the walker in front of you to pull your pants up the rest of the way.
- Using your reacher or shoehorn slide your shoe in front of your foot.
- Place the shoehorn inside the show against the back of the heel. Have the curve of the shoehorn match the curve of your shoe.
- Lean back, if necessary, as you lift your leg and place your toes in your shoe.
- Step down into your shoe, sliding your heel down the shoehorn.
How to use a shoehorn:
Following joint replacement it is important to strengthen the muscles around the joint to ensure a smooth recovery. Therapists will demonstrate and teach patients how to perform exercises that will increase strength of the necessary muscles to support the joint. Therapists will ensure patients and coaches are knowledgeable and independent performing strength exercises in the hospital to prepare for continued rehabilitation at home or at an outpatient rehabilitation clinic.
These are just a few of the activities patients will be performing during their stay on the joint replacement center. Patients may be asked to perform other activities with staff members to ensure a safe and independent transfer home.