Total Joint Replacement

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. 

Hip and knee replacement surgery at Bluewater Health is considered Inpatient Surgery. For more information about Inpatient Surgery, click here

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.

4. 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  
    • A group education class called ‘Intake and Assessment’ will 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

5. Total Joint Replacement Surgery is considered ‘inpatient surgery’ at Bluewater Health. You can expect to remain in hospital for 1-3 days depending on what joint is being replaced and what time the procedure is being done. 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.

6. Outpatient Physiotherapy is included in your care plan and is available at Bluewater Health in Sarnia or Petrolia at Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital of Bluewater Health. If you are from out of town we will provide you with a list of clinics in your area. You will be expected to arrange your therapy prior to surgery. You may wish to pay privately or use private insurance to access physiotherapy or access an OHIP funded clinic.

Total Joint Replacement Patient information handout, click here. 

To learn more about Hip Replacements, click here

To learn more about Knee Replacements, click here.

About your Total Joint Replacement Team 

A number of health care professionals may be involved in your care, inclusive of: Orthopaedic Surgeon, Nurses, Advance Care Physiotherapists, Physiotherapists (PT), Occupational Therapists (OT), Social Workers, LHIN Home and Community 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

Total Joint Replacement Resources

Total Joint Replacement Referral Forms for Primary Care

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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