New Program Allows Joint Replacement Patients Faster Recovery, Less Pain

October 7, 2004 – Posted at 3:12 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO -- Having a hip or knee replaced is a major surgery and it can keep you off your feet for a while. But one Region 8 hospital is working to make the process less painful and faster. Recovering from joint replacement isn't always easy.

St. Bernards Medical Center has a new program designed to help those having joint replacement.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Claiborne Moseley said, "I have folks in their 80's who are still going home in three days and doing quiet well with this and they used to be in the hospital much longer."

"Everyday, they are educated on what's happening, and they like that. In fact, they are very happy with the program," said Total Joint Camp Coordinator Joanne Woodward, RN.

Patients used to be in the hospital anywhere from two to six weeks, and spend up to year to getting over the surgery.

"We have people up and going the day of surgery or at the latest, the day afterwards," said Dr. Moseley.

St. Bernards decided to redo their Total Joint Camp patient's rooms in August. The newly redesigned rooms feature special couches that allow family member to spend more time with patients during their stay at the hospital. Also, special height chairs allow patients to get out of bed and stay mobile while in the hospital.

"We have realized that people do better the sooner you can get them up walking, the sooner they are going to get well," said Dr. Moseley.

The hospital also uses a new gym to help patients with rehab. They learn how to climb stairs and even how to get in and out of a car.

"We all work together to make sure the patient has the best care," said Woodward.

Part of the Total Joint Camp includes monitoring the patient's progress at three, six, nine and twelve months after their surgery.