The Joint University Experience

The philosophy of Joint University is unique. We support our patients with a wealth of educational materials and classes as well as unparalleled pre- and post-operative support. Our emphasis is teamwork.

Pre-Surgery — Teaching Patients What They Need To Know

Once the need for joint replacement has been ascertained, patients are introduced to Joint University at their doctor’s office and in pre-operative education classes. Here, doctors, the Joint University coordinator and care team members use videos, wall diagrams, brochures and patient guidebooks to teach patients what the surgery is all about, how it will impact them and what their role will be in their own recovery. Every attempt is made to set realistic expectations, put patients at ease and improve their level of confidence.

Joint University Care Coordinator

The Joint University care coordinator plays a very special role in the process. They are the link between the patient, the doctor and Weiss. In charge of Joint University’s daily operations, the care coordinator takes the lead in guiding the patient through the orchestrated process that begins in the surgeon’s office. Thanks to this process, patients and their families find they are active participants in the joint replacement and on a team with a common goal: recapturing the patient’s quality of life.

Patient Guidebook

A Patient Guidebook, which patients receive at their doctor’s office, is an important tool, providing key patient information and answering many patient questions. The Guidebook provides specific instructions issued by the surgeon and the Joint University care team. It covers what patients should do and should expect before surgery, while in the hospital, during the stay at Joint University and after discharge.

Patients are instructed to bring the Guidebook to the hospital and to Joint University to keep vital information at their fingertips. It is also a tool that clinicians use to document patient progress during rehabilitation.

Joint University Coach

An integral component of the Joint University is having patients select a friend or family member to function as their coach. Coaches are trained throughout the entire process, side by side with patients. They provide moral support and encouragement every step of the way, contributing to rapid recovery. Please note: Due to COVID-19 coaches are not permitted. Thank you for your understanding at this time.

Pre-operative Class

The Joint University care team offers a two-hour pre-operative class in which patients and their coaches are instructed on pre-operative needs, introduced to the daily routine that will be expected of them on the unit and taught some pre-conditioning (strengthening) exercises to start before surgery in order to improve their outcomes. Discharge planning and preparing the home for safety, comfort and recovery of the patient are also covered here. The Joint University care team addresses many other pertinent issues, such as performing post-surgery strengthening exercises, dealing with post-operative complications and bringing in assistive devices for the home.  Patients have the option of receiving their instruction online. It is mandatory that patients attend a live session OR watch the videos online. Please note: Due to COVID-19, Pre-Operative Classes are online only. Thank you for your understanding at this time.

Fourth Floor: Post-Surgery

Joint University, where patients stay after surgery, is located on the 4th floor of Weiss Memorial Hospital in a fully remodeled space. All patient rooms are private and most overlook Lake Michigan, providing hip and knee replacement surgical patients an environment that is pleasant and conducive to healing. All group therapy, lunches and other activities take place on this special unit, led by a dedicated care team chosen for their expertise and motivational skills.

Standardized Processes

Important for efficiency, standardized processes—orders, protocols and daily patient routine—assist the team in delivering all aspects of care in organized, anticipated incremental steps while creating a supportive environment based on teamwork.

Post-operative Expectations

To assure faster recovery and better future mobility, it is vitally important that patients begin rehabilitation as quickly as possible. Patients are evaluated by a Physical or Occupational Therapist Day of Surgery. The evaluation will focus on the assistance needed while ambulating day of surgery and recommendations for care needed at home.

Most patients undergoing a Primary Total Joint Hip or Knee Replacement may stay one night after surgery in the hospital and then be discharged home with Home Health Care or Outpatient Physical Therapy. Discharge arrangements will be made prior to surgery and finalized after surgery by the patient, surgeon, therapist and Joint University Team.

After Discharge from Hospital

  • Home Health Care or Outpatient Physical Therapy is started based on discharge plan.
  • Home Health care nurse and therapist initiate correspondence to surgeon based upon the progress of patient.
  • Follow up appointment with surgeon’s office within 2-3 weeks after discharge.