Jim Weiss - Beaverton, MI
"At Joint Camp after my hip replacement, I found out therapy is important. I'm back on my feet now and doing just fine."
Joint Camp Helped Him Get Back on the Farm
Severe hip pain was complicating Jim Weiss’ retirement on the 160-acre hobby farm that he and his wife, Joan, had planned for years. Now, after hip replacement surgery and Joint Camp, the 76-year-old Beaverton man is back on the farm pain free.
Jim started having problems during the summer. It was hard for him to get on and off the golf cart that he and Joan drove to feed and care for their four alpacas (“the boys”) and three goats (“the girls”), rabbits and chickens. Then walking became difficult.
“I ended up walking with two canes to keep me upright,” he said.
Jim decided on Orthopedic Surgeon John V. Murphy, D.O., for surgery at MidMichigan Medical Center–Midland, and Joint Camp was part of the plan.
The Joint Camp concept streamlines hospitalization and recovery, with a staff devoted exclusively to patient care and families integrated into the process for a smooth transition from hospital to home. The program approaches patients as healthy people who can benefit from knowing the right ways to make the best possible recovery.
A few days before surgery, Jim and Joan went to an orientation session with the other people who would be having joint replacement surgery the same week. It enabled them to make some preparations in the house and know what to expect.
For surgery, Jim had a spinal nerve block, so he had no feeling from the waist down.
“I had a pain pump if I needed it,” he said, “but I didn’t have to use it very much. I didn’t have a lot of pain.”
The anesthetic wore off overnight, and the next day he was up and using a walker.
“I psyched myself up and took 40 steps that morning,” he said. “At noon, I took 40 more, and that evening, 120. After that, they sent me to Joint Camp.”
In the therapy room, Jim joined the twice-daily Joint Camp sessions. As he sat in a specially orthopedic chair, therapists showed him how to lift, bend and hold his leg in different positions.
“Knowing how to move and what to move was really helpful,” he said.
The patients also learned how to safely dress themselves, climb stairs, bathe and perform other daily living tasks.
The Thursday after surgery, patients and spouses had lunch together before going home. Therapists offered both patients and helpers more tips for success at home, such as how to enter and leave the shower and how to get in and out of a car.
“There’s a trick to it,” said Jim. “In fact, I was shocked at just how much there was to know. I figured I would just sit there and let my hip heal, but I found out therapy is important.”
Back home, Jim continued his recovery with a few weeks of outpatient physical therapy at MidMichigan Medical Offices–Gladwin.
“We went three times a week, so we opted to go to the closest one,” said Joan.
Jim had praise for everyone involved in his joint replacement experience at MidMichigan.
“All the people were just great: really courteous and right there for anything I needed. They told me what I needed to know, and everything came together the way it should. For that reason, I’m back on my feet now and doing just fine.”
The couple is back to living the retirement they planned.
“Why put up with severe pain, when you can have something like this done and be without pain?” said Jim. “The whole experience was positive and certainly well worth doing.”
MidMichigan Medical Center–Midland is the only tri-city hospital to offer Joint Camp–a unique program that offers faster recovery times, higher patient satisfaction, lower risk of infection and improved clinical outcomes. If you need a total hip, knee or shoulder replacement, attend one of our free classes or ask your doctor for a referral to MidMichigan. For more information, visit our Joint Camp page.