Taking care of a severely injured or diseased joint is more than just applying state-of-the-art surgical techniques. It is the skilled, hands-on evaluation and appropriate diagnostic testing that determines the best overall plan of care for each patient. We are not treating joints, we are treating people.

Muscle, bone, and joint conditions can affect your ability to perform daily activities. Washington Health System Center for Orthopedics is at the forefront of providing advanced orthopedic procedures. Using our clinical expertise, we can provide an accurate diagnosis quickly, and then develop a plan of care that fits the individual needs of each patient suffering from joint pain or discomfort.

We realize no one wants to have surgery, that is why we exhaust every appropriate treatment option before a surgical approach is considered. However, if a surgical procedure becomes the right choice, our orthopedic surgeons are trained to correct problems related to joint pain.

Our Joint Care Program promotes an attitude of healthiness by focusing on wellness, motivation, and independence. Our patients participate in a blend of individual treatments provided by a multi-specialty team, along with designated group activities that provide encouragement and promote a successful recovery. Our goal is to return each patient to an active lifestyle, free of pain, as soon as possible.

Joint Care services are designed to address the personal needs of each patient and offer:

  • pre-operative education program
  • comprehensive individualized in-patient recovery process
  • support and assistance in discharge planning

The Joint Center Program incorporates six interdisciplinary components in the care of the orthopedic patient. These six components, each of which is designed to improve the patient’s experience, include:

The Joint Care experience begins with a preoperative education class. This class benefits the patient and the coach by better preparing them for the surgery, hospitalization, and rehabilitation. The class is currently offered three days a week; on Monday and Wednesday mornings, and Thursday afternoons. The class is held on the Ortho-Neuro Unit. This will provide you with an opportunity to briefly tour our unit, and meet some of the staff members who will be caring for you post-operatively. The Joint Care Program works in collaboration with the Pre-Admission Testing (PAT) department to ensure all necessary testing and education is done prior to the day of surgery, and in the most convenient way possible.

Not everyone experiences pain in the same way. Here at WHS we practice a “multimodal” approach to pain management. This means we use a combination of various medications and techniques to help relieve your pain. This includes, in some cases, the use of Ketamine and femoral nerve blocks to help reduce the amount of narcotic medication that is required to relieve your surgical pain.

Joint Care patients benefit from a variety of complimentary integrated therapies including aromatherapy, massage, and musical therapy. The aromatherapy uses essential oils for a physical, emotional and healthy well-being. The use of massage therapy promotes relaxation and soothes aching muscles. Music therapy provides an environment that encourages patient comfort. The use of these integrated therapies help the patients relax and decrease the amount of pain medication needed.

Each Joint Care patient has three sessions of physical and occupational therapy a day. These sessions include both individual and group therapy. There are many benefits to the therapy sessions including creative exercises, independence, motivation and enjoyment. Therapy at the Joint Center is tailored to meet the needs of each patient. If needed, more time is devoted to individual sessions.

The Joint Care Program is operated by a group of highly trained, skilled, and knowledgeable staff. The multi-disciplinary team is enthusiastic about, and dedicated to, the orthopedic specialty. The Joint Center staff members are familiar with your individual surgeons’ needs and preferences. A consistent team also encourages teamwork and a family atmosphere.

We feel that family/significant other involvement is the key to continued motivation. Therefore, we encourage patients to have a “coach.” This coach is encouraged to attend the preoperative education class and provide you with ongoing support throughout the hospital stay. The coach supports and encourages the patient from pre-admission to discharge.

Frequently Asked Questions

Your coach is someone whom you choose before surgery to support you through your recovery.

Your coach can be your spouse, daughter, son, best friend or a neighbor—anyone who is willing to help you through your joint replacement experience before, during, and after your hospital stay.

Yes. Your orthopedic surgeon will determine which type of clot-preventing medication you will take according to your individual needs.

  • drainage from the incision
  • unusual odor from the incision
  • redness/swelling at the incision
  • increase in pain
  • temperature above 100° F

Your wound care is ordered by your individual orthopedic surgeon and details will be communicated to you by your nurse. Complete wound care instructions will be on your discharge instruction sheet.

Your orthopedic surgeon will determine this on your day of discharge; specific instructions will be on your discharge instruction sheet.

Your orthopedic surgeon will discuss this with you at your post-operative office visit.

Your orthopedic surgeon will determine this based on your individual needs. Factors that will be considered include your recovery progress and the type of work you perform.

Your follow-up visit with your orthopedic surgeon is usually 10–14 days after your surgery. The date and time of your follow-up appointment will be included on your discharge instruction sheet.

This will be dependent on your surgery and your surgeon’s preference.

This information is included on your discharge instruction sheet:

  • Weight Bearing as Tolerated (WBAT)—able to put as much weight as you can tolerate.
  • Partial Weight Bearing (PWB)—usually about 25 to 50 percent of your body weight, unless otherwise specified by your orthopedic surgeon.

Yes. You may remove them at night before going to bed and reapply them in the morning. You must    continue to wear them until the orthopedic surgeon tells you it is safe to stop.

The proper sequence when using a walker is: walker, surgical leg, nonsurgical leg. You will be instructed on walker use during your hospital therapy sessions.

While you are using the walker, you cannot go up and down stairs. When you have progressed to using a cane, you can go up and down stairs. When using a cane and the handrail for assistance, the proper sequence is:

  • going up: nonsurgical leg, surgical leg, cane
  • going down: cane, surgical leg, nonsurgical leg

During your hospital stay, you will review your home exercise program with your physical   therapist. These exercises will also be done at home.