Neighbors Helping Neighbors


Our Approach

The Orthopedic Joint Center of Northern California is a program of Howard Memorial Hospital designed to effectively educate and rehabilitate patients receiving total joint replacement surgery. The program provides specialized education for patients, advanced pre-operative care, an enhanced in-patient experience and coordinated after-care, all resulting in an enhanced quality of life for joint replacement patients.

Joint replacement patients are provided with dedicated rooms that are near our orthopedic joint rehabilitation room where they will be able to take part in group exercises. Patients will generally have their surgery on a Monday and go home on Thursday. If your surgery is on a Wednesday your expected discharge day is Saturday.

Some features of the program include:

  • Nurses and therapists who specialize in the care of orthopedic joint patients
  • Emphasis on group activities and therapy as well as individual care
  • Family and friends educated to participate as “coaches” in the recovery process
  • Group lunches with your coach and staff
  • A Joint Care Coordinator who manages pre-operative care and assists with discharge planning
  • A comprehensive patient guide
  • Coordinated after care program and Coumadin tracking
  • Reunion luncheon for patients and coaches
  • Newsletters to update patients and coaches on activities
  • Healing Touch massage therapy
  • Hair care services

How does someone get into the program?

Patients are referred to the program through their surgeon’s office when the decision for joint replacement is being considered or has been made. A detailed Joint Center Guidebook is given to patients with information on the many aspects of their care. The Guidebook is used as a reference before, during and after surgery and to document exercises and the patient’s progress for the surgeon and physical therapists to review during rehabilitation.

What is expected of me?

Pre-operative care begins with patients attending a class prior to surgery, to learn the many aspects of the operative routine, nursing care routine and physical therapy. The class is approximately one-and-a-half hours long, and is taught by the Joint Care Coordinator and inpatient Physical Therapist. The daily rehabilitation routine is reviewed with patients ahead of time so they can better understand in order to promote the best outcome for recovery after surgery.

Planning Your Visit

For more information, please feel free to contact our Joint Center Coordinator, Patti Nichols at 707-456-3180.

When planning your visit to the Orthopedic Joint Center in Willits you may find the links below helpful in finding lodging and activities for you and your family.

Willits Chamber of Commerce

Visit Mendocino

Skunk Train

The City of Willits

KOA Campgrounds

Mendocino County Museum

Willits Frontier Days