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Joint Center at Fort Sanders

Many individuals have joint pain that hampers everyday activities, either because of arthritis, overuse, a fracture or other conditions. If medications and other treatment options do not provide relief, patients - after consultation with their doctor - may find relief from their pain with joint replacement surgery. The goal of joint replacement surgery is to relieve joint pain caused by damage to the cartilage or bone.

The Joint Center at Fort Sanders is a new and exciting way to treat patients undergoing knee or hip replacement surgeries. The goal of the program is to get patients out of bed and moving as quickly as possible. This is accomplished through education, surgical expertise, and intense physical therapy.

What is unique to this program is that patients go through their experience together.

The emphasis is on recovery - patients are provided information about joint replacement and are challenged to take the lead in their recovery. A family member is designated as the patient's "Coach" and both participates in the patient's therapy and is taught how to assist him/her at home.

At the Joint Center, patients are not treated as "sick" but as healthy adults undergoing a procedure that will allow them to return to an active life.
For a copy of our Joint Center brochure, please click here


Patients attend a pre-surgery education class about two weeks before their scheduled procedure.  This gives patients and their caregivers an opportunity to meet each other and discuss details of the surgery and recovery as well as and meet both one another and the staff that will be caring for them.  This extensive education ensures that patients and their loved ones know exactly what to expect during the entire joint replacement process.

Surgical Expertise

During “surgery week” each patient has his/her procedure, usually on a Monday or Tuesday.  The goal is to have all patients enter the rehabilitation phase of the program by Wednesday of surgery week.  If you have surgery on Wednesday, do not worry.  The staff will ensure that you receive the proper level of therapy to meet your individual needs.

Physical Therapy

The Joint Center offers a unique combination of both group and individual therapy.  Patients will work with each patient to encourage mobility as soon as the patient is able.  Patients meet again in group therapy sessions which are designed to be both fun and motivational.

Each patient is encouraged to walk every day.  Progress for each patient is tracked on a large walking board, featuring the Great Smoky Mountains National Forest trails as their guide.

Seeing others that have had the same treatment, close to the same time, motivates patients to meet their therapy goals “as a team”.   The more rehab you do, the faster you recover.

This program also reduces the time patients spend in the hospital which can lower the cost of the procedure.  Once discharged, patients continue their therapy on an outpatient basis at a therapy center of their choice. Faster recovery, lower cost – that’s Regional Excellence!

For additional information on the Joint Center program for hip and knee replacement please call our Program Coordinator, Deborah King, at (865) 541-1226.