Total Joint Replacement Center

The Total Joint Replacement Center for Hip and Knee Replacement

Totally Different. Greatly Effective.

joint replacememtEmpowerment. Encouragement. Support. Patients who come to the Total Joint Replacement Center at GW Hospital are surrounded by an atmosphere of caring, comfort, and complete understanding. Indeed, it's a very different atmosphere than other replacement centers. And frankly, we wouldn't have it any other way.The Total Joint Replacement Center provides comprehensive preoperative and postoperative rehabilitation services for patients undergoing Total Hip Replacement and Total Knee Replacement. The center is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of rehabilitation specialists, including physicians, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, case managers, and orthopaedic technicians. Working together, these skilled professionals provide a full complement of patient services:

  • Preoperative Education Class
  • Advance Planning for Post-Hospital Care & Hospital Stay
  • Onsite Rehabilitation
  • Individual and Group Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy – Instruction on bathing, dressing, home safety, utilizing assistive devices, etc.

Special Instruction for Coaches/Family Members

Total hip and knee replacement surgeries generally take from two to three hours and involve affixing an artificial joint made of metal and plastic to the bone. After surgery, patients stay on the Total Joint Replacement Center Unit, where recovery and rehabilitation begins.

A Totally Different Approach

At the Total Joint Replacement Center, our goal is to get you back on your feet, both physically and psychologically. For that reason, our staff will not approach you as a "sick patient," but one who has elected surgery to help improve their quality of life. This means:

  • Our staff will work to help you develop and maintain a positive outlook throughout the rehabilitation process.
  • Your energies will be focused on maximizing functional mobility.
  • You will always play a very active role in your healthcare. In fact, you may be allowed to administer your own pain medication, up to a maximum amount as determined by your doctor.
  • By promoting a philosophy of motivation and empowerment, the Total Joint Replacement Center provides a different level of care that inspires patient success.

A Totally Different Beginning: Preoperative Education Services

The Total Joint Replacement Center's staff begins working with patients two weeks before their scheduled surgery. Physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses and clinical coordinators offer a special preoperative class for patients, their coach and/or family. That way, everyone knows what to expect before, during and after the procedure. Classes are designed to address:

  • Safety precautions
  • Deep vein thrombosis (blood clots) prophylaxis
  • Getting out of bed
  • Transfer techniques (from toilet & tub)
  • Weight-bearing status
  • Gait training with use of assistive devices, such as canes, walkers, reachers, etc.
  • Exercise
  • Stair training
  • Fall prevention
  • Training in activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, etc.)
  • Ensuring a safe home environment
  • Potential postoperative complications
  • Pain management

Prior to the class, patients will be mailed a packet of information, including a questionnaire regarding their home environment (stairs, meal preparation arrangements, etc.) and asked to bring their completed questionnaire to class. A clinical coordinator will assist patients with admission and preregistration paperwork and ensure that it is complete before surgery so that there is no delay on the day of surgery.

A Totally Different Recovery: Postoperative Rehabilitation

Provided onsite, the rehabilitation phase places a greater emphasis on functionality and post-hospital care. Rehabilitation includes:

Physical Therapy
Patients will receive morning and afternoon physical therapy daily. The first day, patients will be evaluated in the morning and participate in an individual session in the afternoon. From that point forward, sessions are conducted in a group setting where patients perform different exercises, practice correct transfer techniques, and learn to walk and move about with assistive devices.

Surgeons recommend continuing physical therapy at home, or if necessary, as an inpatient on GW's Rehabilitation Unit for a short period of time. For those who require further assistance, arrangements can be made for home health care or transition to a skilled nursing facility.

Occupational Therapy
Here patients will receive morning and afternoon group occupational therapy daily. Sessions will address such matters as bathing, dressing, and toileting while maintaining proper safety precautions and utilizing assistive devices.

In addition, patients will also participate in group therapy sessions that provide important instruction about safety in the kitchen and bathroom. Preparing simple meals, removing items from the refrigerator, and getting in and out of a bathtub or shower are some of the activities addressed.

Our aggressive rehabilitation program helps patients become functional in a short period of time. Patients receive 24-hour nursing care. Plus, nurses and orthopaedic technicians help reinforce exercises learned during physical therapy and occupational therapy groups.

Most patients are discharged three to four days following surgery. However, patients may stay longer if necessary.

A Totally Different Atmosphere: Comfortable and Convenient Facilities

The Total Joint Replacement Center is designed to make the patient's surgical and therapy experience as easy, pleasant, and productive as possible. The facilities are laid out in such a way that patients must walk short distances several times a day, which promotes activity and reduces the amount of time they spend in bed.

Patient rooms are housed within the orthopaedic unit and an activity area is used for fitness and exercise training. Patients eat meals in a spacious activity room, which is also used for entertaining visitors and various patient activities. A furnished kitchenette is located on the nearby rehabilitation unit.

Total Involvement for Family and Coaches

At the Total Joint Replacement Center, we realize that family members and coaches play a crucial role in the recovery process. Family members and coaches are encouraged to participate in our preoperative education class as well as various group therapy sessions. These provide important instruction on how to care for patients recovering from Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement surgery.

Of course, some patients may need to be admitted to the GW Rehabilitation Unit or a skilled nursing facility before returning home. And, other patients may need to utilize home health services for further assistance.

Orthopaedics Total Joint Replacement GW Hospital
Offering a full range of surgical and nonsurgical treatment of orthopaedic problems.
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Blue Distinction Center

The George Washington University Hospital Has Been Designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip ReplacementSM

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All admissions and preregistration work should be completed before surgery, to help avoid delays the day of your surgery. Generally, this information includes a prescreening history and physical, preoperative tests, x-rays, medical records, etc.

REGIE: Online Preregistration

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Classes for patients having total knee or total hip replacement.

Date and TIme: Every Friday at 2 p.m.
: Rehabilitation Dining Room on the 4th Floor.

Registration is not required.

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The George Washington University Hospital is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc.(UHS), a King of Prussia, PA-based company, that is one of the largest healthcare management companies in the nation.          

The George Washington University Hospital

900 23rd Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037

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