Support for your joint replacement journey

Mission Partner poses in front of rows of ellipticals, treadmills and weightlifting machinesHip or knee pain can make everyday activities seem unbearable, like going up the stairs or even walking. If you’ve tried exercise, medication and physical therapy with none of it seeming to relieve your pain, you may consider joint replacement surgery.

Many people say they delay joint replacement surgery because of the fear of the unknown. But OSF HealthCare is putting those fears to rest with the Orthopedic Academy – a one-hour seminar that each patient takes after scheduling their orthopedic surgery. The seminar explains what to expect before, during and after surgery for joint replacement patients.

Preparation creates better outcomes

The Orthopedic Academy provides education on the total joint replacement experience at OSF HealthCare Saint Elizabeth Medical Center. The seminar reviews everything the patient will need to know, like:

  • What you need to do before surgery
  • What to expect the day of surgery
  • What to expect during your hospital stay
  • What is the purpose of a coach
  • What your health care team expects from you
  • Pain management
  • Precautions to consider
  • Discharge planning and more

“The main reason we created the Ortho Academy program was to ease anxiety and make it a stress-free process for our patients,” said Kari Tkach, clinical orthopedic supervisor at OSF HealthCare Medical Group. “We want our patients to know every detail of the joint replacement process, so they feel empowered to move forward with something that they ultimately need.”

Two orthopedic surgeons – Dr. Mohammed Awad and Dr. Emmy Ho – offer total hip and knee replacement surgeries to the communities of Mendota, Ottawa and Streator. In addition, Dr. Holly Brockman provides fracture and general care for other orthopedic patients.

“The Orthopedic Academy will improve the patient’s outcome and overall patient experience because they will know what to expect at every step throughout the process,” said Jeanna Schiltz, orthopedic registered nurse at OSF HealthCare Medical Group.

Patient’s perspective

Mission Partner poses with model stairs for rehabilitation patients

Though the orthopedic team created the academy, two previous orthopedic joint replacement patients were a part of the process as well to ensure the seminar was patient friendly.

“Those two patients were very helpful in the development of the seminar,” Jeanna said. “They provided feedback on things that could be worded differently. They also provided additional information that needed to be included that would be helpful for the patient’s point of view.”

Joint replacement surgery can be daunting to think about. But rest assured, once you go through the Orthopedic Academy, you’ll discover you made the best decision for yourself and be on your way to a pain-free life.

Last Updated: January 13, 2022

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