Helping Patients Get Back on Their Feet After Surgery

March 25, 2024

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Recovering your strength after surgery can be a long, difficult process, especially if not done properly. To help ensure our surgery patients regain their stamina and return to the comfort of home as soon as possible, Valley Health Specialty Hospital employs a concept called the Rapid Recovery Protocol.

Rapid Recovery promotes a recovery process that includes education, exercise and rehabilitation. It is overseen by a group of orthopedic specialists who will guide patients from before surgery all the way to discharge. Most patients who follow the protocol return home at the end of the day or early the next day after surgery.

Joint Replacement Camp

The first step is our Joint Replacement Camp, which is designed to help prepare a patient for surgery. The class introduces common terms and procedures and provides an opportunity to ask questions. We encourage patients to bring a friend or family member as a “care coach,” who will help them before and after surgery.

“We understand that having a joint replacement can feel overwhelming or anxiety-inducing,” says Brendan Parry, PT, DPT, Therapy Supervisor at Valley Health Specialty Hospital. “Joint Camp is an excellent way to counteract these feelings. Patients and their coach get to see the facility, receive instruction from specialists and, most importantly, ask questions with others going through a similar experience.”

We will provide patients with many educational materials to help prepare for surgery and the recovery process. Topics include what to expect from surgery and rehabilitation, exercise instructions, transition of care and preparing the home for after surgery.

Physical and Occupational Therapy

Rapid Recovery ideally begins physical and occupational therapy within a few hours of waking up from surgery. This helps patients regain their strength as soon as possible and ensures they are confident in their recovery before leaving the hospital.

“Not all patients have the same needs or the same goals. Our therapists give patient-specific training based upon surgeon protocols and the current capabilities of our patients,” Parry says. “Our goal is to get our patients started on their recovery journey as quickly and safely as possible.”

Although it may seem sudden, the goal of Rapid Recovery Protocol is to provide the highest level of patient care to help patients achieve their recovery goals of relieving pain and reestablishing function, mobility and stability so they can return home as soon as possible.

“From start to finish,” Parry says, “We want our patients and their families to have an exceptional experience where they understand the process and feel confident they have the knowledge and training they need to get back to doing what they love.”