Benefits of outpatient joint replacement surgery
Not so long ago, inpatient joint replacements could keep patients in hospitals for weeks. Today’s outpatient joint replacement procedures significantly reduce the length of hospital visits, which can lower infection risk and improve recovery time. Outpatient surgery can provide long-lasting pain relief during and after surgery.
Who’s a candidate for outpatient joint replacement?
Outpatient joint replacement can be performed at an outpatient facility, but not everyone can take advantage of outpatient surgery. Only patients in good health are considered for the procedure. Patients with certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes would not be good candidates for outpatient joint replacement.
How to prepare for an outpatient joint replacement?
Patients who are good candidates for outpatient joint replacement must undergo a physical therapy evaluation to determine if the appropriate at-home care is available after the surgery. Once approved, a patient will undergo an introductory class at the outpatient facility to become familiar with the surgery process. An anesthesiologist will meet with the patient, examine the medical history, and determine the anesthesia protocol.
What happens during a joint replacement?
On the day of the surgery, a nurse will stand by the patient’s side and monitor the entire process, which could take a few hours. A surgeon will remove the damaged bone and cartilage from the joint and replace the piece with an implant made of ceramic, plastic, or metal. The prosthesis is meant to replicate the original joint’s shock-absorbing and mobility functions.
How to recover faster from an outpatient joint replacement
Recovery times will depend on the type of joint replacement surgery being performed. Generally, new joints can be used relatively quickly after the surgery. Patients can follow a recovery program that includes specific exercises intended to strengthen the joint and regain mobility. Successful replacements can provide less pain and more flexibility and strength for many years to come. For more information about outpatient joint replacements, speak with an orthopedic surgeon.