• Preparing for your total joint replacement

    St. John’s joint care coordinator calls all elective surgery patients to schedule their attendance at a joint replacement class. This class is taught by health care professionals from nursing, pharmacy, anesthesiology, physical therapy and social work services. Classes are held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from Noon – 2 p.m. and cover everything patients need to know.

    Patients who would rather call us to schedule their class should call (217) 814-4973, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Patients are encouraged to attend the class two weeks before surgery, but those who must attend a class closer to their surgery date can do so if necessary.

    A person involved in your care is also encouraged to attend this class. We have found having a “joint coach” makes patients feel more comfortable throughout the process.


    Lifestyle changes to make before surgery 

    Making lifestyle changes before surgery can help make sure you meet your goals after surgery.


    Eat as healthy as possible (fruits, vegetables, protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy). Keeping your iron levels up is also important before surgery. Good sources of iron are lean red meats, fortified cereals and leafy green vegetables, such as spinach or kale.

    Take in enough fluids to help you have regular bowl movements. Most of that fluid should be from water, juicy fruits and vegetables.

    Weight loss 

    Seek the help of a dietitian or exercise specialist if you need to lose weight before surgery.


    Smoking causes breathing problems and can make you heal slower. Try to decrease smoking or find a way to stop smoking altogether. Your primary care physician can offer you ideas on how to stop. St. John’s Center for Living also offers the Stop Smoking...Start Living smoking cessation program. For more information, call (217) 544-LIVE (5483).


    Building up your strength now can help you achieve your goals after surgery. Low-impact exercise classes are sponsored by the local Arthritis Foundation and many local senior centers and fitness centers. Aquatic (water) exercise, such as walking in waist-high water or swimming two to three times a week, also can increase strength and endurance. Aquatic therapy is offered at St. John’s Rehab South. To learn more, call (217) 744-PLAY (7529).