The Joint Center of Excellence is a service of East Alabama Medical Center, so you can rest easy knowing that you will have the full range of EAMC services available to you during your treatment. We are located on the 5th floor of EAMC.
Our Medical Staff
All of the physicians on our staff are board-certified and have more than 120 combined years of experience. Their expertise comes from that experience, as well as from fellowships at such prestigious institutions as the Mayo Clinic, Hughston Clinic, Tulane University and Anderson Orthopaedic Institute. They provide expertise and care you can trust.
Our Team Approach to Your Care
In addition to our physicians and surgeons, many other Joint Center staff members are dedicated to your care. Those staff members include nurses specially trained in orthopaedic care, physical therapists and rehabilitation services staff, pharmacists, and social workers. We all work together to provide high-quality care, not just for your joint replacement, but for all the other aspects of your life and health that are affected by it.
Goals and Philosophy
Our number-one goal at the Joint Center of Excellence is to improve your quality of life after surgery. Just as our name states, we are committed to excellence and believe in three major components of providing excellent care: being cost-effective, quality-driven, and focused on customer satisfaction. Our care is individualized and focuses on your goals and needs.
When You Are Ready for Joint Replacement Surgery
Once you and your orthopaedic surgeon have decided on joint replacement surgery, your surgeon will refer you to your primary care physician to get cleared for surgery.
Your primary care physician may order tests such as an electrocardiogram (EKG), lab work, and/or a chest x-ray. He or she will also collect your health history and compile a list of all the medications and supplements that you take. Once your primary care physician has cleared you for surgery, you will be ready to have your surgery scheduled.
Preparing for Surgery
Since joint replacement surgery may require you have limited mobility for some time afterward, you need to consider the following:
- Transportation home from the hospital
- Assistance in the home once you are discharged
- Pet care
- Child care and child transportation
What to Bring to the Hospital
- A list of all your medications and supplements, or just bring the medications and supplements with you.
- List of past medical conditions and surgeries, including any reactions to anesthesia or other medications.
- A robe
- Non-slip slippers or slipper socks
- Personal toiletries
- Loose fitting clothing to wear home.
- If you have a walker from a previous surgery, you may want to bring it with you.
Arranging for Post-Surgical Care at Home
On the day of your surgery, the social worker will talk with you and your family about physical therapy, home equipment and rehabilitation options. Depending on your insurance plan, you will either qualify to go home with home health care and home physical therapy, attend outpatient physical therapy, or you might be admitted to a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation. The social worker will also arrange for equipment for home use such as a walker and bedside commode. Be sure to ask the social worker any questions you may have about your care at home.
While you are in the Hospital
After your surgery, you will begin your rehabilitation in the hospital. The following list explains some of the things you may expect during your hospital stay.
- Nurses and other clinical staff will check on you around the clock. They will look at your surgical dressing and drain (if present), take your vital signs, and manage your pain.
- Immediately after surgery, there will be compression devices on your legs or feet to help prevent blood clots.
- You will have a dressing change the second day after surgery, and if you have a drain, it will be removed at that time as well.
- Clinical staff will draw blood for lab work every day.
- You may need to have sponge baths or bed baths during your stay.
- After your surgery, nurses or care assistants will assist you from the bed to the chair for meals.
- A physical therapist will meet with you on the day of your surgery to outline your rehabilitation plan. After your surgery, physical therapists will work with you twice a day until you are discharged.
- A social worker will check in with you and your family and help you make arrangements for care at home.
- A pharmacist will met with you and your family regarding outpatient anticoagulation (blood thinner) therapy and medication management.
As you can see, the time after your surgery will be busy, but the more quickly you work with the physical therapists and the more effort you exert in physical therapy, the better the outcome of your joint replacement.
A Note about Infection Control
East Alabama Medical Center is committed to protecting our patients and their visitors from hospital-acquired infections. To that end, we provide alcohol hand sanitizer inside or immediately outside each patient room. All caregivers are instructed in hand hygiene, and we would ask that you inform all of your visitors to use this alcohol foam before and after their visit. We also want you to feel free to ask any of your caregivers here – nurses, assistants, therapists, even physicians – if they have cleaned their hands before seeing you.
If you have any questions about the Joint Center, your surgery or any other aspect of your care, please feel free to call us at 334-528-5207.