Every year more than half a million people in the United States undergo joint replacement surgery because of painful arthritis that has greatly limited their activity. With the enhanced technology and surgical techniques available today, joint replacement surgery has become a routine procedure for orthopaedic surgeons.
Approximately 90 to 95 percent of patients will experience a good to excellent result with relief of most, if not all, of their pain. However, the outcome does not depend solely on the surgeon. Rehabilitation after surgery is the key to success. This means that the patient must be prepared to put a lot of effort into his or her rehab, especially in the first few weeks after surgery, if they expect to have a great outcome.
To help patients achieve this success, Cape Fear Valley Medical Center has developed the Joint Replacement Club. Prospective patients are enrolled in this club even before they have surgery. It starts out with a special three-hour Joint Replacement Club class taught by a Physical Therapist.
Prior to surgery, each patient is given a Joint Replacement Club rehabilitation guidebook. The guidebook contains pre-operative exercises to help them become as fit as possible before the surgery. This is important because many patients with arthritis favor their sore joints and thus become weaker. Many patients undergo pre-operative physical therapy teaching prior to surgery.