Joint replacement surgery is one of the most common orthopedic operations in the United States. The operation itself is the first step in your journey toward a more comfortable, active life. After your surgery, physical therapists will begin working with you to enhance your mobility and flexibility and address your pain—typically at your bedside, and usually the same day as your surgery—and continue to help you to get stronger and learn how to move with your new joint. NewYork-Presbyterian is a leader in joint replacement surgery and customizes your rehabilitation plan to your personal needs.
A Team of Rehabilitation Specialists
Your rehabilitation team includes physiatrists (rehabilitation medicine doctors), nurses, and physical and occupational therapists as needed. There is a strong and dedicated level of cooperation between the rehabilitation team, your orthopedist, and your other physicians to promote your recovery and ensure you receive the very best care. As part of a major teaching hospital, your team is also studying patient outcomes after therapy to continually raise the level of care.
Whom We Care For
We offer rehabilitation services for people who have had:
- Knee replacement (including single and double knee replacements)
- Hip replacement
- Shoulder replacement
Joint Replacement Rehabilitation Services
Your rehabilitation program may include one or more of these therapies:
- Physical therapy. Physical therapists use a variety of techniques to help you get moving, reduce your pain, restore your function, and prevent disability. Many of our physical therapists are certified by the American Physical Therapy Association as orthopedic clinical specialists. Your physical therapist will show you what to do during each session, but it is important for you to do “homework” exercises to fully benefit from the treatment.
- Occupational therapy. Occupational therapists help you relearn the skills of daily living, such as taking care of yourself, getting dressed, writing, regaining balance and coordination, and using supportive equipment. Their goal is to enable you to lead an independent, productive, and satisfying life. You will receive guidance on exercises you can do at home to ensure you receive the full benefit of your therapy.
Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation
If you have had a double knee replacement, joint replacement due to a fracture, or have other complex medical conditions, you may continue to receive acute inpatient rehabilitation in the hospital until your doctor feels it is safe for you to be discharged. Acute inpatient rehabilitation involves daily therapy in the hospital for several hours a day, with a minimum of three hours of therapy each day, six days a week (including a break for lunch). NewYork-Presbyterian has dedicated acute inpatient rehabilitation units that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the Joint Commission.
After You Leave the Hospital
Once you are able to leave the hospital, your doctor may recommend therapy in a subacute rehabilitation center—such as a skilled nursing facility—or at home. Subacute rehabilitation services are available at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale by RiverSpring Health, with whom we have established a program for our patients. NewYork-Presbyterian physiatrists are on staff there to ensure continuity of care for NewYork-Presbyterian patients.
Many people who have joint replacement therapy are able to have physical therapy in their homes, with regular visits by a therapist who comes to them. Once you complete this phase of your therapy (usually after two to three weeks), you will continue receiving physical therapy at a NewYork-Presbyterian outpatient rehabilitation center or at a center in your community until you have fully recovered.