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Joint Academy Orientation

Joint Academy

Pre-Admission Orientation Program

Welcome to Howard County General Hospital and the Joint Academy.  Our orientation program allows you, your family and the hospital’s staff to plan and tailor nursing, physical therapy, dietary, social work, and home care services to meet your individual pre and postoperative needs for total knee or hip replacement surgery.

This educational session will introduce you to options for pain control, safe ways of performing activities postoperatively and will assist you with returning to activities of daily living.  Our goal is to provide a smooth transition from hospital to home for all of our total joint replacement patients.


Schedule your orientation meeting:
When you schedule your surgery, you will need to schedule your orientation meeting.  Meetings are held on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday afternoons and should be two weeks prior to your date of surgery and after you have seen your primary care physician. ** Please call 410-740-7780 to schedule this appointment.**  We encourage you to bring a family member or friend who will serve as your “coach” to the orientation meeting.

Three-four weeks prior to surgery:
You will need to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician for your preoperative physical exam, and lab work. If you are currently seeing any medical specialists (e.g., cardiologist, endocrinologist, pulmonologist), check with your primary care physician to see if you need medical clearance from them prior to surgery.

The weekend before your orientation meeting:
Please expect a call from one of our nurses during the weekend.  She will ask you questions concerning your health history.

Please have your physicians fax your information to Documentation Central at 410-884-4842.

Orientation Details

Joint Academy Orientation

The entire class takes approximately three hours. During this time, you will have an opportunity to:

  • Pre-register for your surgery in the hospital admission area located in the hospital’s main lobby. 
  • Talk with one of our anesthesiologists to discuss options for anesthesia and postoperative pain management. They will also review the information sent to us by your primary care physician.
  • Visit the 2 South / Joint and Spine Academy Unit.
  • Meet with the physical therapist, who will determine your preoperative needs and review your postoperative rehabilitation schedule.
  • Meet with our case manager, who will discuss your stay in the hospital and your discharge planning options.
  • Discuss how to prepare for surgery with the Joint Academy coordinator. You will learn how to reduce your risk of infection through preoperative bathing and staph infection screening.
  • We will review your hospital stay and what to expect when you leave the hospital.

Our preadmission program is a great way for our health care team to prepare you and your family for your upcoming surgery and recovery. Please call the Joint Academy Coordinator with any questions prior to your admission at 410-720-8000 and be sure to check out our FAQ page.

What to Bring

  • Insurance card
  • Medicare/Medicaid card
  • Name, social security number and birth date of insured
  • Referral forms from your physician (if required)
  • Worker’s compensation information (if applicable)
  • Driver’s license
  • A complete list of all medications, including over-the-counter medications, herbals and vitamins with dosages. Please bring your prescription medication bottles with you to this appointment.

Preparing for Total Joint Surgery

  • Contact your insurance company to find out about preauthorization, co-payments and your coverage for physical therapy after surgery.
  • Prepare your home. Stairs may be difficult initially. Arrange to stay on the first level for one to two weeks. Remove all throw rugs and cords that you might trip over.
  • Exercise your arm muscles to improve your ability to use a walker or crutches after surgery.
  • Strengthen and stretch your leg muscles to help support the knee while it’s healing.
  • You should not have major dental work within one month prior to surgery. If dental care is necessary, contact your orthopedic physician for instructions. Routine cleanings are okay.
  • Take multivitamins with iron daily.
  • If you smoke, cut down or quit. Smoking can delay healing and slow recovery.
  • Educate yourself about anesthesia options, risks, and side effects.

Helpful Websites

Contact Us

Email the Joint Academy

General Information

Admitting Office

OR Admitting

Joint Academy Coordinator

Orientation Appointments

Joint Replacement FAQs
Contact Form

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