Recovering as a Team
On the days following surgery, patients going through joint replacement
join one another for group physical therapy. They also receive occupational
therapy. Patients recover together- encouraging one another and celebrating
A physical therapist assists patients after surgery with sitting up in
bed, then standing and progressing to walking with the assistance of a
walker or crutches. Additionally, the therapist instructs patients in
flexibility and strengthening exercises to restore joint movement and
muscle strength. Stair climbing is practiced in preparation for the return home.
An occupational therapist assists patients in resuming activities of daily
living such as appropriate dressing and bathing techniques as well as
the use of adaptive equipment. If needed, the occupational therapist will
review homemaking skills prior to a patient's return home.
Identify a Personal Coach
Patients are encouraged to have a trusted friend, family member or spouse
serve as their coach. Coaches are a vital part of the recovery team and
they are invited to participate in the pre-admission visit with the program
coordinator before surgery. They are also encouraged to attend group physical
therapy and occupational therapy sessions. Coaches can provide encouragement
and support throughout the recovery process in the medical center and at home.
Patients return home with home health therapy services or outpatient therapy.
We want our patients to resume their regular routines as quickly as possible.
For more information on the Joint and Spine Institute at St. Mary's,