Central West health and rehabilitation
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Total Joint Replacement Program

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic, degenerative disorder characterised by loss of articular cartilage and bone remodelling. OA causes joint pain, typically worse with weight bearing and activity, and stiffness after inactivity.

Almost 1.2 million Australians have symptoms of OA making it our leading cause of musculoskeletal pain, disability and handicap (Access Economics, 2001).

Total joint replacement relieves pain and improves function over at least 10 years (Harris et al, 1990). However to be a suitable candidate for joint replacement surgery patients must be medically fit and able to participate in a rehabilitation program after surgery.

Central West Health and Rehabilitation offers a complete, evidence based total joint replacement preparation and rehabilitation program. Our team work with you throughout the three phases of joint replacement to maximise your recovery.


Pre-surgical Preparation

In the weeks prior to surgery we provide you with all the information you will need to prepare for your procedure including what to expect the day of and the days following your procedure as well as things you will need to be careful of in the days and weeks following.

You will also be given a chance to practice and learn the exercises and mobility aids you will need to complete and use in the days following surgery as well as full access to our gym area for pre-surgical conditioning. There is growing evidence that appropriate muscle strengthening exercise in the weeks prior to joint replacement surgery leads to faster and more complete post-surgical recovery (Gilbey et al, 2003).


Post-surgical Hospital Phase

Post operative rehabilitation is of the utmost importance. In the days following your joint replacement our physiotherapist will visit you in the hospital to progress your mobility, assist with pain management and assist to monitor your improvement.

The goal of this phase is to prepare you for your return home by meeting specific functional, medical and joint range of motion targets which vary depending on the procedure you have had.


Post-surgical Discharge Phase

The month following your discharge from hospital we will continue to work with you to maximise pain control and function.

You have full access to our rehabilitation gym where you will continue to build your strength and joint range of motion alongside other individuals at varying stages of the same process. We can also offer you hydrotherapy and other physiotherapy treatments where indicated.


References:

Access Economics. The prevalence, cost and disease burden of arthritis in Australia - 2001. Melbourne: Arthritis Foundation of Australia, 2001.
Harris W, Sledge C. Total hip and knee replacement. N Engl J Med 1990; 323: 725-731.
Gilbey HJ, Ackland TR, Wang AW, Morton AR, Trouchet T and Tapper J (2003): Exercise improves early functional recovery after total hip arthroplasty. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research 408: 193-200

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