Outpatient Knee Replacement
(Rapid Recovery Program)
What is outpatient knee replacement (rapid recovery program) surgery?
Traditional knee replacement surgery, which is used to remove damaged and worn joint surfaces from the knee area, supplanting them with manufactured, artificial components, involves an overnight hospital stay. However, outpatient knee replacement, which also replaces worn and damaged joints with artificial workings, is an operation that does not require an overnight hospital stay. Patients that undergo such a procedure spend less than 24 hours in the hospital.
Does outpatient knee replacement address the same problems that overnight surgery does?
Yes, it does. Knee replacement surgery is undertaken when a patient is experiencing severe pain and when they are unable to utilize their knee joint in a normal manner in order to engage in everyday activities.
If you are suffering from knee problems at first, your physician may prescribe pain medication, injections, physical therapy, and other treatments, as knee replacement surgery is an invasive procedure. The goals of knee replacement surgery are to relieve pain, reinstate alignment, and restore functionality.
How does outpatient knee replacement (rapid recovery program) work?
The outpatient procedure works in the same manner as inpatient joint replacement, except for the fact that the patient may return home within 24 hours of their surgery. Thus, a patient has the convenience and comfort of being at home rather than in a hospital.
When the patient goes home after surgery a nurse, who is in the patient’s home, performs the same tasks they would if in the hospital, including monitoring vital signs and the patient’s condition. Additionally, over the course of several days, physical therapists are available for in-home sessions, working with the patient on various motion and flexibility exercises.
What changes have made outpatient knee replacement possible?
There are numerous advances that have led to the development of outpatient knee replacement techniques. Methods that are less invasive have been developed and refined, as well as improved anesthetic techniques and pain protocols have affected the advancement of this type of surgery. Also, rapid physical rehabilitation protocols have helped to foster the expansion of outpatient knee replacement techniques.
Who is the right candidate for this type of procedure?
A patient who has good support from those at home, is highly motivated in terms of addressing physical rehabilitation challenges, and enjoys overall good health, being free of substantial disease or other complicating factors, is often considered to be a good candidate for outpatient knee replacement surgery.
Medical conditions that would negate candidates from this type of surgery include pulmonary disease, advanced heart disease, diabetes, and advanced sleep apnea. The average age for candidates is between 45 and 65 years.
What are the benefits of outpatient knee replacement surgery?
There are numerous benefits for those who are able to take advantage of an outpatient knee replacement (rapid recovery program). Along with the fact that there is no hospital stay, patients will recovery more quickly and become mobile sooner. Recovery periods are usually a few weeks, rather than months, as is the case with traditional knee replacement surgery.
Being at home allows patients convenience in terms of access to their personal affects. With improved pain management protocols and careful home monitoring, patients are more comfortable and enjoy better outcomes. In addition, improved results are realized due to the fact that those who go home quickly are able to engage in rehabilitation therapy sooner, lessening the chance of blood clots, which are a leading complicating factor.
Costs for the outpatient procedure are considerably less than those for the inpatient. Finally, patients who undergo this type of knee replacement surgery tend to have a more satisfying experience.
What if I change my mind and want to stay in the hospital?
Patients are able to elect to stay in the hospital rather than going immediately home. Also, in order to return home in less than a day, a patient must pass specific discharge criteria. These include confirming that they do want to return home, being comfortable with their pain relief, and being able to walk a certain number of steps. They must also show that they can use a walker, and they must be able to go to the bathroom.
OSPI is the top joint replacement practice in the East Valley with Board Certified orthopedic surgeons who are experts in hip and knee replacement. Most insurance is accepted, simply call (480)-420-3499 for more information and scheduling today!