A pilot program at St. Joseph’s Health Care Hamilton is trying to set the standard for joint replacement surgery.
It’s called the Integrated Comprehensive Care Project and it gives patients a single contact to guide them through their hip or knee replacement.
The test phase has already been extended once because of its success.
Now staff and patients are hoping it will go from pilot project to permanent.
So far it has helped patients like Aureade Massy. She had her knee replaced and says being back behind the wheel is her top priority.
First though, she had to get her new joint up and running.
“If you leave things up to me if it comes to exercise, I will put it off and put it off and put it off.”
Fortunately, putting it off wasn’t an option at the St. Joe’s Integrated Comprehensive Care Program.
Coordinator Josie Knox monitors patients from start to finish, teaching them the importance of exercise.
“You risk that joint not working and seizing up, essentially and if you don’t use it, you lose it.”
Pre-surgery, Knox walks patients through modifications they’ll need to make before and once they return home.
“Throw rugs are out of the way, any lines, cords may be out of the way. You want to get rid of any tripping hazards that you may have.”
For Massey, who lives alone, Knox was a lifeline. Her transition home was seamless and she was able to focus on working in her new knee.
Almost a year after her surgery, she still does her prescribed exercises, so hitting the gas is no longer painful.
Her left knee is set to be replaced in September, and she hopes it goes just as smoothly.
Every week St. Joe’s performs 10 to 15 joint replacements and demand is rising as our population ages.