Patients who undergo joint replacement surgery are typically healthy. Often, these patients have chosen to have joint replacement to help them live fuller, more active lives without the hindrance of joint pain; therefore, they’re motivated to get out of bed and recover from their procedure as quickly as possible. Patients are encouraged to walk the day of their surgery, even if it’s only a few steps.
But many patients are soon engaged in a friendly competition to see who can walk the most steps. The special group dynamic that is developed from group therapy sessions is an integral part of the joint center’s program. It helps patients develop friendships and competitiveness that can lead the way to the recovery process.
Under the guidance of a physical therapist and a physical therapy assistant, patients who have undergone joint replacement concentrate on developing strength in their new joint and regaining mobility. While they participate in group and individual therapy sessions, patients are also encouraged to walk.
The Joint Replacement Center uses a progress board where each patient has their own shoe-shaped marker to track their daily steps. As they walk their laps and pass the board, they can find the visual motivation to make it one more step to get ahead.
What they soon find is that they are ahead in their own recovery process and making progress that can’t be seen on a board, but can be felt in their new joint.