Camp is normally for kids, right? Well, not anymore!
Joint Camp, a program of the Mercy Center for Joint Replacement, is a specially designed center devoted to helping patients achieve successful recovery after joint replacement surgery. Unlike any other unit in the hospital, Joint Camp patients are individuals who have decided to take a proactive approach to health care in order to return to an active lifestyle. It is intended for patients who are preparing for, undergoing and recovering from hip or knee replacement surgery.
This all-inclusive program educates patients and family members about joint replacement surgery, provides a postoperative group exercise program to help patients make a full recovery and prepares patients to go home and gradually return to normal activities.
At Joint Camp, patients are up, dressed in their own clothes and ready to be discharged from the hospital just two to three days after surgery. It provides patients with a unique pre- and postsurgical experience where “fun” is a key component of the process.
Benefits of Group Therapy
Through group exercise, patients encourage one another to work harder and actually have a good time getting back in shape. The group setting also
enables patients and family members to meet other “campers” who are going through the same experience and form lasting friendships.
"Camaraderie and group support are an important part of the program and can be of tremendous help in the early days after surgery when patients often need the most encouragement."
—Mark R. Matthes, MD, co-medical director of the Mercy Center for Joint Replacement
As part of the program, family members are strongly encouraged to serve as a “coach” for the patient. The coach not only attends therapy with the patient, but also learns about the patient’s recovery process so he or she can assist the patient at home during the weeks immediately following surgery.
In addition to group exercise, patients also participate in a series called “Walk Around America.” This fun activity is comprised of different stations set up throughout the unit (each denoted by colorful, educational wall hangings). Each station features a game or activity that is unique to a specific part of the country. For example, a patient may “walk to Georgia” and use the golf putting green for a chance to win a piece of fruit or sweet treat.
Not only are campers able to complete rehabilitation in a fun wellness environment, but they also receive other special amenities such as a Joint Camp T-shirt upon discharge. Additionally, the Hip Tips and Knee Knotes daily newsletter provides campers with advice and tips on what to expect during their stay.
"This unique program not only standardizes
pre-, intra- and post-operative care, but also
improves patient outcomes."
—Craig R. Mahoney, MD, co-medical director of the Mercy Center for Joint Replacement