The Trail Ride: Rapid Recovery Joint Program

What Is the Trail Ride?

Scott & White Trail Ride Rapid Recovery Joint Program

The Trail Ride: Rapid Recovery Joint Program is an innovative, self-paced education program designed to get you back on your feet and active within three days of your total joint replacement surgery.

Our therapists, working in collaboration with your surgeons, provide you with therapies and techniques you can safely and effectively do at home to help you achieve:

  • Balance
  • Strength
  • Mobility

To participate in the Rapid Recovery Joint Program, you must:

  • Be selected by your surgeon
  • Be in otherwise good heath
  • Have a positive attitude toward working hard toward recovery

Trail Ride to Recovery

Most patients who participate in the Trail Ride have osteoarthritis and are having a total knee or hip replacement.

There are four elements to the Trail Ride to Recovery:

  • Attendance at a pre-op class
  • Evaluation by and therapy sessions with a physical therapist
  • Therapy sessions with an occupational therapist
  • Consultation with a case manager

Pre-op Class

A key component of the Trail Ride to Recovery program is our pre-op class. Before surgery, you attend an information session where you learn what to expect before, during and after your total joint replacement surgery. At the class, you’ll receive:

  • Preparation before surgery
  • Activity goals for progress you should make in the hospital
  • Discharge instructions for leaving the hospital
  • Information on the kinds of exercises you’ll be expected to do at home

You’ll also have the opportunity to ask questions. Come prepared.

Physical Therapy

After your surgery, you’ll have an interview with a physical therapist, who’ll assess your therapy needs based on:

  • How your house is set up
  • What type of equipment you have at home
  • What kind of help you will be having at home after your surgery

Your physical therapist, in conjunction with your surgeon, will draw up an individualized therapy plan for your recovery.

When your therapist considers you ready, you’ll go to physical therapy in the gym on the Orthopedic unit:

  • You’ll perform individualized, targeted prescriptive exercises twice a day for at least 30 minutes.
  • Knee replacement patients will do one set of exercises, while hip replacement patients do a separate set.
  • You’ll be working with a physical therapist on safely bending and stretching.

You’ll also learn how to:

  • Step over the threshold
  • Step off a curb
  • Go up and down stairs

You’ll practice on a step in the gym. If you have stairs in your home, you’ll also practice on a set of steps with and without handrails.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists will assist you in learning how to do your activities of daily living (ADLs), such as how to:

  • Stand to brush your teeth
  • Bend over to put on your socks
  • Safely transfer to tub or shower

 

Above all, your occupational therapist will work with you on how to perform your daily activities safely.

Case Manager

You’ll also meet with a case manager – a discharge planner – who will discuss what equipment you’ll need when you get home, such as:

  • Walker
  • Cane
  • Shower chair
  • Raised toilet seat

The equipment will be delivered to you before you leave the hospital.


The more armed you are with information, the more prepared you are to have surgery and the more successful the surgery is. If you have questions, you’re often all tied up in knots and anxious. This program helps alleviate your fears. You and your family will know what to expect, in addition to being well prepared for a positive outcome.

—    Christine Payne, RN, C, ONC, Coordinator of the Rapid Recovery Joint Program

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