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Pre-Surgical Education

The goals of the mandatory pre-surgical class are to improve patient readiness for surgery, provide a realistic overview of the hospital experience and recovery, preempt and decrease the anxiety that comes with elective surgery, communicate that joint replacement has a predictable course of surgery, treatment and recovery and, prepare the patient and family for post-discharge care needs.

Family and friends are strongly urged to attend as well.  A special focus on family involvement includes an invitation to family to be actively involved in all stages of Joint Works Rehabilitation therapies, including 1:1 and group sessions.

The class covers content developed with input from 10 orthopedic specialists and more than a dozen clinical departments from Pre-Admission Screening to the actual surgery, rehabilitation and post-hospital care at home. By addressing each sequential element of care, families are better prepared to help the patient on his or her road to recovery. 

Each department has a representative who speaks during the class, forming a relationship with attendees before the patient ever arrives for surgery.  Patients and family leave the class with realistic expectations about what they will see, the rooms they will enter, and the post-surgical recovery process.

Surgery is performed on either a Monday or a Tuesday, allowing patients to move through a carefully-designed course of treatment individually or as a group.  Most patients will stay in the the hospital for a total of three days, so patients having surgery on Monday will usually be discharged on Wednesday and patients with a Tuesday surgery will be discharged on Friday.  A small percentage of patients will require additional rehabilitation in a sub-acute setting.

Notebook for Hips, Notebook for Knees

In addition to the Patient Education Class, each patient receives his or her own copy of Notebook for Hips or Notebook for Knees, depending on their procedure.  Each 100+ page notebook provides practical information, critical for spouses, family and friends that spans from 8 weeks prior to surgery to one year after.  Also included are Frequently Asked Questions, a Pre-Surgical Checklist, Pre- and Post-Surgical Exercises and Activities of Daily Living (ADL) considerations specific to hip or knee replacement along with detailed photos and instructions. The notebooks are complementary with the Pre-Surgical Patient Education Class. The combination of the notebooks and Patient Education Class offer patients and family necessary reinforcement and peace of mind to approach surgery confidently.


Each patient is encouraged to have a family member or friend to act as a "coach" and be an active participant in the patient's recovery. Patients and coaches gather in a dedicated therapy room to participate in four group therapy sessions (during a typical 4-day stay.)  The Joint Works class and coaches stay together and support one another from surgery through discharge.

Dedicated Core Staff

The Joint Works Program has standardized assignment of staff.  From Perioperative Services through Acute Nursing, Rehabilitation and Home Health, a core staff have been identified in each service that routinely work with joint replacement patients.  Staff have been selected for their positive attitude, motivational skills, and their desire to provide outstanding healthcare.  Coupled with joint care-specific clinical education, the effect of this is specialization of care knowledge and techniques is a more competent and confident staff.

A "Well" Patient

Joint Works patients are not "sick" in the traditional hospital sense.  Each patient dresses in their own comfortable clothing, enjoy amenities such as hair styling before discharge, group lunch, and bedside flowers.  Additionally, each patient spends significant amounts of time out of their room in rehabilitation activities.

Community Seminars

Once a month, The Joint Works Program hosts a community educational presentation on musculoskeletal health and understanding joint pain.  Each presentation covers the most common sources of joint pain and their possible causes and treatments, non-surgical and surgical.  Emphasis is placed on getting a correct diagnosis.


If you have questions about The Joint Works at FMH, please contact our Joint Works Coordinator at 240-566-3785.



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