Outpatient Joint Replacement
Knee replacement and hip replacement are often associated with a lengthy recovery as not long ago patients would require a 7-10 day hospital stay. Today the majority of our knee and hip replacement patients go home the same day or within 24 hours of surgery. Significant improvements have been made in pain management, surgical techniques, and implant technology which have allowed healthy patients to have a knee or hip replacement and go home the same day of their procedure. Another factor that has helped spur these improvements in knee and hip replacement is the demand by younger patients who are choosing to have their knee or hip replacement. In the late 1990's it was unheard of for a 40-50 year old to have a knee or hip replacement. Today patients in their 40s and 50s regularly have knee, hip, or shoulder replacement. The majority of these "younger" patients need to return to their job, children, or active lifestyle quickly.
Improvements in anesthesia techniques has also contributed to these shortened hospital stays. Traditionally general anesthesia is administered to patients and it is dispersed through the blood stream affecting the nervous system. This is why when you wake from surgery you are tired and groggy in the recovery room. General anesthesia also can make you experience undesirable sides effects such as a sick stomach, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, or a cold and restless feeling. Many times is takes hours to days for the anesthesia and side effects to completely wear off. Newer anesthesia techniques allow patients to have femoral regional blocks that cause a centralized anesthetic effect allowing the patient to feel no pain and often no side effects. This allows the patient to be on their feet faster and start the recovery process sooner.
For the majority of our outpatient knee replacements we use an advanced implant technology that utilizes 3-D printing from a CT scan to create custom implants for each patient. This technology allows patients to have an exact replica of their natural knee anatomy created in an implant. This process allows us to reduce OR time and blood loss as we know the implant will be an exact fit prior to surgery.
When considering outpatient joint replacement you should select a surgeon and facility with extensive experience. Preoperative education, pain management, home health, and many other facets of healthcare must be coordinated to work together. Also, there is considerable cost savings in outpatient joint replacement as these procedure do not require a overnight hospital stay. If you are considering short stay knee or hip replacement contact our office to determine if you are a candidate for an outpatient joint replacement.