Pre-operative Education for Total Knee or Hip Replacement Surgery Patients
Preparing for your total knee replacement or hip replacement begins the moment you and your surgeon have scheduled a surgery date. At that moment, you have become the key player in your healthcare team. The more you know and the better prepared you are for your surgery, the greater chance there is for a faster and stronger recovery. For me, it’s important that my patients have a strong understanding of what my responsibilities are as your surgeon and what your responsibilities are as the patient and identifying and addressing clear expectations, so that your outcome is optimal.
My partners and I at Orthopedic Specialists of Louisiana and Specialists Hospital Shreveport, are very committed to educating our patients. One of the greatest resources we have for patients that are having total knee replacement or total hip replacement is Specialists Joint Camp. Typically, a few weeks before your surgery, we ask our patients to complete the following:
- Pre-admissions testing and labs (blood work, EKG and urinalysis; for robotic joint replacement surgery, CT Scan)
- Obtain any requested clearances from your other physicians (cardiovascular)
- Attend Specialists Joint Camp
So, what is Specialists Joint Camp? Joint camp is a pre-operative class that helps patients to prepare for their upcoming joint replacement. The group setting allows patients to address any questions or concerns they may have about their upcoming surgery and reduce their pre-operative anxiety. Topics discussed at Specialists Joint Camp include:
- What to expect before, during, and after joint replacement
- How to prepare for surgery
- Review exercises and physical therapy that will take place preoperatively and postoperatively
- Review information about pain control proper utilization of the pain scale.
- Discuss discharge planning, equipment, devices, and resources available during and after your joint replacement.
- Discuss protocols followed by your Specialists Surgeon and your healthcare team
- Diet & Exercise Guidelines (pre/post operative)
- Your Specialists’ Surgeon’s Protocols & Guidelines (pre/post operative)
- Important Contacts & Specialists Team Guidelines (pre/post operative)
- Patient Equipment Guidelines (pre/post operative)
- Pain Management Tools (pre/post operative)
- Time Management Guidelines (pre/post operative)
- Patient Goals & Expectations (pre/post operative)
- Follow-up Appointments with your Specialists Surgeon
My preference is that my patients attend joint camp at least two to three weeks before surgery. This gives the patient time to familiarize and begin working on their pre-operative exercises and diet changes prior to their surgery. We encourage loved ones who will be assisting the patient to attend joint camp, as well… loved ones can be a great resource to the patient offering encouragement and reminders both before and after surgery!
The goals we hope to achieve in Joint Camp Include:
- reduce patient anxiety prior to their surgery
- to increase patient participation in their recovery
- increase coordination and preparedness for the discharge process following surgery
- enhance the patient and their loved one’s knowledge about hospitalization and recovery
- address patient questions and concerns in a group setting
A big part of attending Specialists Camp is empowering the patient. Not only do we educate the patient on the protocols followed at the clinic, hospital and by your surgeon, we also educate and provide tools so that you become the most active and important participant before and after your surgery. It’s important that you are familiar with the exercise and strengthening regimes that we encourage both before and after your surgery and that you begin making simple, yet essential changes to your diet, like increasing your water intake. By working with your healthcare team. your loved ones and your surgeon, you can create realistic goals and expectations prior to surgery and go on to achieve these goals and expectations in an efficient and reasonable time frame after your surgery.
Setting up multiple lines of communication with your patients is very important… Joint Camp is a great opportunity for patients to learn and ask questions and allows for another avenue for the patient and their surgeon to communicate and learn from another. The more you do know, really will be a key factor in your successful and healthy recovery. If you have scheduled a total knee or total hip replacement, ask your surgeon if their facility offers pre-operative classes or similar resources for their patients… at Specialists we really have seen the positive impact that Joint Camp has made… it truly empowers our patients and their loved ones and sets them on a great path towards a healthy recovery!