Total Joint Replacement

Are you considering a total joint replacement? Start the process through our Rapid Assessment Centre (RAC)

About Musculoskeletal – Rapid Assessment Centres (RAC)

Across Ontario, patients who may need a hip or knee replacement surgery follow a “centralized intake process” that uses Musculoskeletal - Rapid Assessment Centres for assessments and referrals. This process also helps patients and their healthcare providers to understand all of the treatment options available to them and could include: education, behavior modification, weight loss management, physiotherapy, bracing, injections, or surgery. 

How it works:

1. If you are diagnosed with hip or knee osteoarthritis, your primary care provider will make a referral to a central intake centre.

  • You will receive a call from Bluewater Health’s Musculoskeletal - Rapid Assessment Centre to book an appointment. 
  • At Bluewater Health, the Rapid Assessment Centre is located on the 2nd floor London building, L2-670

2. A detailed hip or knee joint assessment will be completed by an Advanced Practice Physiotherapist to determine with you if a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon is required or if another treatment is the best choice for you. 

  • Your assessment will include physical, social, and lifestyle history along with a full physical assessment, and a review of your x-rays. You will be asked to bring in a copy of your x-rays if they were not completed at Bluewater Health.

3. If surgery is not right for you at this time, you will receive recommendations and education to help you manage your condition.

Total Joint Replacement Referral Forms for Primary Care

About Hip and Knee Replacements

Joint replacement surgery is needed when a joint becomes worn out, usually due to arthritis. An orthopaedic surgeon removes the damaged ends of the joint and replaces it with an artificial implant. The new joint is specially designed using metal and plastic parts that will be customized to your joint to restore smooth and painless movement. 

Eligible patients will be enrolled in the platform by a member of their care team.

If you and your healthcare team decide on a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon: 

  • You will have the option to choose a specific orthopaedic surgeon or the first available orthopaedic surgeon, 
  • An appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon will be made for you, and if the surgeon decides that surgery is needed you will be given an appointment for: 
    • Pre-admission clinic. This is a one hour assessment with a nurse who will discuss your past medical history, medications, take your blood pressure etc. You will also be asked to have bloodwork, XRay, EKG, and potentially a consult with an anesthesiologist  
    • Virtual rehabilitation education (virtual presentations and booklets) will be provided to help you understand what to expect during surgery, helpful tips and strategies to ease your recovery, and exercises to help you best prepare before and after surgery. Your surgeon's office will provide you with printed copies of the booklets. The electronic copy can be found here.
    • You will be seen in-person by a physiotherapist and occupational therapist if you are having an out-patient total joint replacement

In-Patient Total Joint Replacement Surgery is available at Bluewater Health. If your surgery is planned as an overnight stay, your discharge day is typically the next day following surgery for most patients. Some higher-risk patients may require a longer stay. Your length of time in the hospital will depend on several factors, including the type of joint replacement you have and your overall health. Generally, most people do best when they can recover in their own home. Before you leave the hospital, we will ensure that:

  • You have all your prescriptions, understand your follow up appointments, have transportation home, and provide you with information about home care services if your care team decides they are required.

Out-Patient Total Joint Replacement Surgery has also recently been made available at Bluewater Health. If your total joint replacement is an outpatient surgery (you are not staying overnight) you are expected to go home the same day. Your surgeon will discuss this with you and provide you the information you require to discharge safely.

7. Outpatient Physiotherapy is included in both in-patient and out-patient care plans and is available at Bluewater Health in Sarnia or Petrolia at Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital of Bluewater Health. If you choose to return to Bluewater Health for your physiotherapy, a time will be provided to you when you discharge home. If you choose to go elsewhere locally, you will be provided a resource of local options in your education materials.

If you are from out of town, visit your local for physiotherapy services available near you. You will be expected to arrange your therapy prior to surgery. 

If you are booking your own physiotherapy appointments, it is important that your initial assessment is booked within the recommended time-frame. More information is in the education materials provided.

  • Hip replacement surgery information and education, click here.
  • Knee replacement surgery information and education, click here.
  • Shoulder replacement surgery information and education, click here.

For more information on the total joint replacement program, click here

(New) SeamlessMD© Electronic Platform for Patients Undergoing Hip & Knee Replacements

Bluewater Health patients requiring total knee and/or hip replacement surgery will now have access to an electronic tool, called SeamlessMD©, that will help them prepare for their procedure and support them through their recovery afterwards. This interactive step-by-step platform offers automated patient reminders, to-do lists, daily health checks, and access to self-care information before and after their surgery. Patients and their caregivers can access the platform via an app on any smartphone or tablet, or a web link on their computer.

About your Total Joint Replacement Team 

A number of healthcare professionals may be involved in your care, inclusive of: orthopaedic surgeon, nurses, advanced practice physiotherapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, Home and Community Support Services Care Coordinator, and your primary care provider. 

Orthopaedic surgeons practicing at Bluewater Health: 

Dr. Akindolire  
176 Essex St, Sarnia, ON N7T 4R9
(519) 491-5677

Dr. Garach 
110 Water St, Sarnia, ON N7T 5T2
(519) 332-3330

Dr. MacKinlay
185 Mitton St N, Sarnia, ON N7T 6H3
(519) 332-8040

Dr. March
Unit 204, 429 Exmouth Street, Sarnia ON  N7T 5P1
(519) 336-7860

Dr. Matlovich
176 Essex St, Sarnia ON  N7T 4R9
(519) 491-2398

Dr. Wong
221 Mitton St N, Sarnia, ON N7T 6H5
(519) 332-8005

Additional Resources

Maps & Directions

Bluewater Health’s programs and services are distributed across two locations, Bluewater Health in Sarnia and Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital of Bluewater Health in Petrolia. 

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