JOYNT Program

JOYNT Program

Hip and knee pain due to the damage of arthritis can be debilitating and greatly impact quality of life.  For patients with an elevated body mass index (BMI) that disqualifies them for surgical replacement of the joint, the prognosis can be discouraging.  OrthoIllinois is here to help those patients who are motivated to qualify for surgery and begin to enjoy a more pain free lifestyle.

If your orthopedic surgeon has shared that to be eligible for joint replacement surgery you need to achieve a weight loss goal, then JOYNT could be the program for you!

JOYNT stands for “Judson-OrthoIllinois-YMCA-Navigating-Transformation” and is a comprehensive, weight loss program designed for patients with osteoarthritis in their hip or knee ineligible for surgical treatment.  This innovative program offers a combination of exercise, diet and social support to help guide patients on their weight loss journey through a partnership between OrthoIllinois, the YMCA, and Judson University in Rockford.

JOYNT runs in 12-week sessions and depending on the patient’s weight loss goal one or multiple sessions may be utilized.  Each 12-week session includes:

  • Water Aerobics twice weekly to help with strength, weight loss and mobility.  Patients are encouraged to utilize the YMCA beyond these classes at discounted membership, if desired.
  • Dietary consultations with a registered dietitian, tailored to each patient’s health and weight loss needs.  Meetings will occur at week one, four, eight and twelve.
  • Weekly support group meetings.  Patients will have the ability to learn coping skills for eating and exercising.

“I’m so glad I joined the JOYNT program!  My doctor told me I needed a hip replacement but first needed to lose a few pounds and strengthen the muscles for a more successful outcome.  He suggested water exercises, which puts less strain on the joint than regular walking.

Initially I was too self-conscious to even consider getting into a pool so I tried Weight Watchers which helped some, but because my hip still hurt I was moving less instead of more.  Then I learned about the JOYNT program and decided to give it a shot.  It was the best thing I ever did!  I just completed my 12-week session and lost the weight needed to qualify for surgery.  But I’m choosing to continue with the program to get even stronger and healthier before my surgery.

With JOYNT, I’ve met some wonderful new friends and am even trying new classes at the Y, including my favorite, Cardio Drumming!

Thank you Dr. Chmell, Megan Salser, and all the instructors at Judson and the YMCA.  Everyone has been so encouraging!”

-Carol G.

Upon program completion, patients will follow up with their orthopedic surgeon.  If weight loss goals have been met, they may become eligible for their hip or knee replacement.  Patients will be instructed to continue with their exercise program and meal plans during the pre-operative period.  Once surgery has been completed, patients need to wait four to six weeks before resuming JOYNT activities while their incision heals.  Then they are encouraged to attend water aerobics

JOYNT has been recognized by the Illinois State Alliance of YMCAs for Program Excellence.  Read more.

Patient Criteria

  • BMI of 38 or higher
  • Diagnosed with osteoarthritic joint that qualifies for a hip or knee replacement.
  • Must be referred to program by a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who recognizes the need for weight loss prior to consideration for surgical intervention.


The cost for a 12-week session is $195.  Once the JOYNT program is complete, the patient is offered an ongoing discounted $25 monthly YMCA membership.

For more information

Contact Megan Salser at OrthoIllinois for more information or to schedule your program consultation at (815) 484-6917.

Downloadable brochure.

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