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Joint Replacement Center
For more about Unity Hospital's
If you are living with joint pain and are considering knee or hip replacement surgery, Unity Hospital's Joint Replacement Center can help you get moving and back to the lifestyle you enjoy.
Our comprehensive program will provide you with the care and support to complete your journey. From pre-surgery education to a unique group physical therapy program, our dedicated staff will be your guide. Contact one of our doctors for a referral.
What makes us special?
A pre-surgery education class will help you prepare for surgery and provide more information about successful recovery and rehabilitation, in and out of the hospital. This class is intended for patients who have already scheduled their surgery.
The Joint Replacement Center features nurses and physical therapists working together to care for patients who have had knee or hip replacement surgery. Many have chosen to specialize in orthopedic care and have received advanced certification.
Dedicated care center
After you wake up from surgery, you will be transferred to Unity Hospital's Joint Replacement Center. The Center combines nursing care and rehabilitation into a single, coordinated unit.
After surgery, your recovery will be encouraged and supported with group activities, therapy and meals.
The Joint Replacement Cener staff encourages patients to identify a friend or family member to serve as their "coach" to support and encourage them to meet milestones during recovery. Your coach will attend physical therapy with you in the mornings and afternoons.
Access to home health resources
Unity Hospital is part of Allina Health, the region's largest health care system. This partnership gives you unparalleled access to resources to continue your recovery after you leave the hospital.
Our social workers and Joint Center staff can help you order home medical equipment such as walkers or canes, schedule outpatient appointments for physical and occupational therapy, or connect you with home health resources.
Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement®
To earn the Blue Distinction, Unity Hospital had to meet additional criteria around clinical outcomes, participation in the nationally recognized Surgical Care Improvement Project, providing peri-operative patient education, as well as establishing experienced surgical teams and quality programs.
Note:Blue Distinction Center® designation means this facility's overall experience and aggregate data met objective criteria established in collaboration with expert clinicians' and leading professional organizations' recommendations. Individual outcomes may vary.
To learn more about Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement®, please visit bcbs.com.
Joint Replacement Center care team
The Joint Replacement Center at Unity Hospital is supported by a team of dedicated, experienced professionals who have many years experience working patients recovering from knee or hip replacement surgery. Your care is coordinated by a team of skilled professions including your surgeon, an orthopedic surgery team of nurses and technicians, hospital physicians who monitor your progress, registered nurses, physical and occupational therapists and social workers.
Our entire team works together with you to ensure that you experience a successful journey back to a more active life – pre-surgery, during your stay at Unity, and ongoing rehabilitation when you go home. Our commitment is to provide you with an exceptional experience through the highest quality education, guidance, coaching and care.
Orthopedic surgeons ?
Your OR team
Unity's surgical team is comprised of professionals who specialize in orthopedics, and who closely follow the latest evidence-based care guidelines and trends in joint surgery. This team participates in more than 450 joint replacement surgeries at Unity each year. Many nurses in the OR (operating room) have completed training to become Certified Nurses of the Operating Room (CNOR).
The nursing staff at the Joint Replacement has chosen to make orthopedic care the focus of their career. With ongoing education and specialized training, these nurses have cared for patients for decades. Many live in the north metro community, and are proud to be serving their neighbors.
Your rehabilitation staff
Physical and occupational therapy is provided in partnership with the Sister Kenny® Rehabilitation Institute, a leader in rehabilitative services in Minnesota. Using an integrated approach to your physical and occupational therapy, these professionals will help you to regain the strength and mobility to make every day tasks more comfortable. Sister Kenny also provides outpatient therapy for you to continue recovery after you leave the hospital.
Patients are encouraged to select a friend or family member to assist them with their recovery post-surgery. The coach will attend therapy sessions at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. each and help you with short walks, complete exercises for your hip or knee and provide encouragement and support. You will receive more information about your coach's role at your pre-surgery education class. For patients who do not have a coach available, a limited number of hospital volunteers have been trained as patient coaches.
Support at each step
Your journey starts with comprehensive education. Before your surgery, you'll attend an education class at Unity Hospital, where you will receive information about what to expect the day of surgery, rehabilitation, caring for yourself and continuing recovery after you leave the hospital.
Day of surgery
After surgery, you'll be brought to your room in Unity's Joint Replacement Center. Your care team will help you to sit up and move to a chair. Some patients may be well enough to take a short walk with assistance.
What to expect after surgery
Day one: After you are bathed and dressed, you'll be helped out of bed and into your recliner. The physical therapist will assess your progress and help you walk with a walker. Your nurse will work with you to assess your pain and provide pain medication as needed. At 1:30 p.m. - you'll participate in group physical therapy, your coach is strongly encouraged to attend. Visitors are welcome to visit, it is best for them to come in the late afternoon or evening.
Day two: Your coach should arrive at the hospital at 9 a.m. and help you walk to group therapy, which will at 9:30 a.m. In the afternoon, there will be another group therapy session at 1:30 p.m. Some patients may begin walking stairs with the help of a physical therapist. Your evening is free for visitors or relaxing. Many patients are discharged after the afternoon therapy session on day two, if therapy goals have been met and their pain is well controlled.
Day three: You'll be helped out of bed and dressed by 7:30 a.m. After a therapy session at 9:30 a.m., pending any unforeseen delays, discharge time will be between 11am – 12pm.
Discharge instructions: Understanding and remembering all the information you need to know after being discharged from a hospital after surgery can be confusing. MyChart provides online access once you get home to view your discharge instructions, refill a prescription and more.
Your care team will work with you and your family to develop a personalized discharge and home care plan that includes outpatient therapy, pain management and arranging for home medical equipment, such as a walker or cane.
The majority of patients (nearly 80 percent) are able to recover in their own home with help from family and friends and continuing outpatient physical therapy. Other patients will continue rehabilitation in a skilled nursing facility (or short-term rehabilitation center) where their medical needs can be monitored at all times and there are many types of help and services available.
Joint cartilage is a tough, smooth tissue that covers the ends of bones where joints are located. It helps cushion the bones during movement and because it is smooth and slippery, it allows for motion with minimal friction. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is a wear and tear condition that destroys joint cartilage. Sometimes as the result of trauma, repetitive movement, or for no apparent reason, the cartilage wears down, exposing bone ends. This can occur quickly over months or develop over a number of years. Cartilage destruction can results in painful bone-on-bone contact, along with swelling and loss of motion.
A knee replacement is really a bone and cartilage replacement with an artificial surface. The knee itself is not replaced, but rather an implant is inserted on the bone ends. This is done using a metal alloy on the femur and a plastic spacer on the tibia and patella (kneecap). This creates a new, smooth cushion and a functioning joint that can reduce or eliminate pain.
A hip replacement is an operation that removes the arthritic ball of the upper femur (thighbone) and damaged bone and cartilage from the hip socket. The ball is replaced with a metal ball that is fixed solidly inside the femur. The socket is replaced with a plastic or metal liner that is usually fixed inside a metal shell to create a smoothly functioning joint.
Your orthopaedic surgeon can determine if you are a candidate for the surgery based on your history, exam, X-rays and response to conservative treatment.
Results will vary depending on the quality of the surrounding tissues, the severity of the arthritis at the time of surgery, your activity level and your adherence to your health care team's orders.
While uncommon, complications can occur during and after surgery. Some complications include infection, blood clots, implant breakage, malalignment, dislocation and premature wear, any of which may necessitate implant removal/replacement surgery. While these devices are generally successful in attaining reduced pain and restored function, they cannot be expected to withstand the activity levels and loads of normal healthy bone and joint tissue. In most cases, implant surgery is extremely successful. Some patients will still experience pain and stiffness. No implant will last forever, and factors such as a patient's post-surgical activities and weight can affect longevity. Your surgeon will discuss all of the risks with you.
In many cases, patients with joint replacement think the new joint feels completely natural. However, it is a good idea to avoid extreme position or high-impact physical activity.
You are encouraged to participate in low-impact activities such as walking, dancing, golf, hiking, swimming, bowling and gardening. High-impact activities like running and basketball or activities that increase your likelihood of injury, such as downhill skiing are not recommended. You should discuss any specific restrictions with your physician.