Joint Care - Services

Joint Care Services Overview

 

Joint Care services are designed to address the personal needs of each patient and offer:

  • A pre-operative education program
  • A comprehensive individualized in-patient recovery process
  • Support and assistance in discharge planning

The Joint Center Program incorporates seven interdisciplinary components in the care of the orthopedic patient. These seven components, each of which is designed to improve the patient's experience, include:

 

Creative Scheduling

The creative scheduling is designed to maximize outcomes and create camaraderie among patients and staff. Surgeries are scheduled on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday with the day of discharge on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

 

 

Pre-Operative Education

The Joint Care experience begins with a pre-operative education class. This class benefits the patient and the coach by better preparing them for the surgery, hospitalization and rehabilitation. The class is offered three days a week and adjustments can be made to accommodate anyone who is considering and/or planning joint replacement surgery. The Joint Care Program works in collaboration with the Pre-Admission Testing (PAT) department to ensure that all necessary testing is done prior to the day of surgery.

 

 

Pain Management

Washington Health System Washington Hospital is the only community hospital in southwestern Pennsylvania to offer the continuous femoral nerve block. Patients having a single knee replacement are candidates for this form of pain control. The nerve block is used to assist with pain management by delivering a non-narcotic medication directly to the femoral nerve. The patient with a nerve block requires less narcotic medication decreasing the occurrence of unwanted side effects. The patient has a smoother recovery that results in an increase in the range of motion of the operative knee joint.

 

 

Integrated Therapy

Joint Care patients benefit from a variety of complimentary integrated therapies including aromatherapy, massage, music and hydrotherapy. The aromatherapy uses essential oils for a physical, emotional and healthy well-being. The use of massage therapy promotes relaxation and soothes aching muscles. Music therapy provides an environment that encourages patient comfort. Hydrotherapy helps improve circulation and control swelling. The use of these integrated therapies help the patients relax and decrease the amount of pain medication needed.

 

 

Therapy Sessions

Each Joint Care patient has four to five sessions of physical and occupational therapy a day. These sessions include both individual and group therapy. There are many benefits to the therapy sessions including creative exercises, independence, motivation and enjoyment. The therapy at the Joint Center is tailored to meet the needs of each patient. If needed more time is devoted to individual sessions.

 

 

Dedicated Staff

The Joint Care Program is operated by a group of highly trained, skilled and competent staff. The multi-disciplinary team is enthusiastic about and dedicated to the ortho specialty. By using a knowledgeable staff there is familiarity with individual surgeons’ needs and preferences. A consistent team also encourages team spirit and group support.

 

 

Family Involvement

We feel that family involvement is the key to continued motivation and encourages patients to have a "coach." This coach is encouraged to attend the pre-operative education class and provide ongoing support throughout the hospital stay. The coach supports and encourages the patient from pre-admission to discharge.

Foot/ Ankle

 

Eighty percent of Americans will suffer from some form of foot or ankle pain during their lives.


This pain can be caused by an injury, ill-fitting shoes, diseases such as arthritis and diabetes, poor circulation, genetic abnormalities, or simply wear and tear over time. No matter what the cause, the result can be the same: discomfort and limited mobility.

 

The orthopedic surgeons and other specialists of Washington Health System Orthopedics and Neurosciences are trained to correct foot and ankle problems and pain. A variety of assessment and treatment tools are used, including the latest technological advancements, to establish an accurate diagnosis quickly and develop a plan of care that fits the needs of each patient suffering from foot or ankle pain.


The design of the bones, muscles, and joints of the foot and ankle is a miracle of complex interaction. Each foot contains 26 bones and a multitude of joints and muscles that work in sync to provide mobility and stability. The intricate design allows for the up-and-down motion used when walking or climbing stairs, as well as the side-to-side movements required for navigating uneven surfaces and switching locations. Given that the average person takes about 10,000 steps each day, foot and/or ankle pain can often be debilitating.


It is our practice to exhaust every appropriate treatment option before considering surgery. However, if a surgical procedure becomes the right choice, our team of orthopedic surgeons and medical specialists are well versed in:

  • Sports-related injuries of the foot and ankle
  • Complex fracture care
  • Custom casting and splinting
  • Reconstructive surgery related to trauma
  • Manufacturing and fitting of custom braces and orthotics
  • Reconstructive surgery related to arthritis or deformity

 

Hand/Upper Extremity

 

Reaching, grabbing, writing, driving, lifting, and waving are all activities that we take for granted.


Each of these seemingly simple daily activities and many, many more are only possible because of the versatility and flexibility of the upper extremity. This area of the human body is uniquely complex and includes the joints, bones, and muscles of the fingers, hand, wrist, arm, elbow, and shoulder. Its intricate and mobile design, coupled with the use and abuse sustained each day, can make this region of the body highly susceptible to injury.

 

Evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of the hand require a special skill set. The orthopedic surgeons and certified hand therapists and therapy assistants work together to ensure that the recovery process is as effective and efficient as possible. Our clinic is newly remodeled with state-of-the-art equipment available to meet the individualized needs of each patient.

 

At Washington Health System Orthopedics and Neurosciences, clinical expertise is applied to quickly establish an accurate diagnosis and develop a plan of care that fits the needs of each patient suffering from upper-extremity pain or discomfort. We employ a team of orthopedic surgeons and other medical professionals who are well versed in treating a variety of conditions affecting the shoulder, arm, and hand, from carpal tunnel release to the replantation of a limb.

 

The orthopedic surgeons and medical teams we work with specialize in the treatment of:

 

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Soft tissue sprains, strains, and contusions
  • Overuse and traumatic injuries to the upper extremity and hand
  • Degenerative and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Impingement syndromes of the shoulder, elbow, and wrist
  • Instability of the shoulder
  • Fractures, dislocations, subluxations

 

We accept most insurance. Physician referral is required. Day and early evening appointments are available. Please call (724) 250-6280 to make an appointment.

 

Pre-Op Education

 

The pre-operative education class is an excellent resource for you and your support person to learn about what to expect as you prepare for and undergo your surgery and rehabilitation.


With major surgery, we understand that a fear of the unknown is a common feeling. The information provided in our pre-operative class will help to reassure you and decrease your anxiety about your surgery and the recovery process.

 

During the class, you will be able to meet other patients who are also preparing for joint replacement surgery themselves. The Joint Care Program works in collaboration with the Pre-Admission Testing (PAT) department to ensure that all necessary testing is done prior to the day of surgery.

 

The following topics are included in the educational program:

  • Understanding how the joint works
  • Pre-operative exercise program
  • Information about anesthesia
  • Common side effects of anesthesia
  • Post-Anesthesia Care Unit
  • After your surgery
  • Pain management
  • Individualized patient care
  • Orthopedic recovery
  • Discharge planning
  • Joint Care Activity Schedule
  • Physical therapy and occupational therapy
  • Exercises after you return home
  • Hints for homemaking
  • Purchasing adaptive equipment

 

Prepare your home enviroment for post-op surgery recovery

 

  • Remove small rugs, phone cords and extension cords from walkways to avoid tripping
  • Remove clutter from floor
  • Make sure all carpet is secure
  • Make sure stairways and hallways are well lit
  • Place nightlights throughout the home if needed
  • If possible, have one or two handrails installed on all staircases
  • Prepare meals ahead of time and freeze them
  • Keep frequently used items in easily reached cabinets using a step stool
  • Place commonly used items above knee level or on the top shelf of the refrigerator
  • Use non-slip mats on bathtub and shower floors
  • Consider a shower/bath storage unit that attaches to the side of the tub or shower. This can reduce the need to reach or turn to retrieve items