Outpatient Knee Replacement
Outpatient Knee Replacement
What is Outpatient Total Knee Replacement?
Outpatient knee replacement surgery, also called “rapid-recovery knee replacement,” “same-day knee replacement” or “ambulatory knee replacement,” is a total knee replacement procedure that allows qualified patients to return home on the same day of the operation, rather than stay overnight on an inpatient basis.
Total knee replacement is the surgical treatment for knee arthritis, where the damaged knee is removed and replaced with an artificial knee implant. Traditionally performed as an inpatient procedure, total knee replacement surgery is now being conducted on an outpatient basis, allowing you to go home on the same day of the surgery.
This is made possible with recent advances such as improved perioperative anesthesia, minimally invasive techniques and initiation of rehabilitation protocols soon after surgery.
How do I know if can have an outpatient knee replacement?
Patients who are in good general health, do not smoke, are motivated and have a good support team at home are the best candidates. Those who qualify are given special education on their recovery, which must be followed closely. We perform a thorough evaluation of each patient’s individual circumstance in order to determine their eligibility for outpatient knee replacement surgery.
If you can answer "yes" to all of the below questions, you may be able to have outpatient knee replacement surgery.
- Are you between the ages of 30 to 70?
- Will you have support at home from a family member or friend after your discharge?
- Are you generally healthy, with no significant medical conditions (for example, sleep apnea, history of heart attack, use of a pacemaker, etc.)?
- All patients who express interest in the ambulatory joint replacement surgery program are evaluated by both the orthopedic surgeon and our Anaesthesiateam in order to determine their eligibility for same-day knee replacement surgery.
What are the benefits of rapid-recovery/Outpatient knee replacement?
The benefits of this surgery include:
- Less pain.
- Lower Infection Risk.
- Better Recovery at Home.
- Quick Return to Normal activity from faster,more aggressive Physical Therapy.
What kind of incision will I have?
The incision will be in front of your knee and is usually five to six inches long.
How much pain will I have after my knee surgery?
This varies between patients, however, the advances in pain management have allowed our total knee patients sufficient pain relief to undergo this procedure on an outpatient basis. On average, the pain being reported is generally four out of a 10-point scale. You will have one of us by your side when you wake up and throughout the day until you leave our facility. We can address any pain that you may have promptly and efficiently.
What should I do when I get home?
We ask that you rest. Even though our patients typically feel good, it has still been a long day. On the day of your surgery you will learn how to safely transfer in and out of both the bed and the car. We ask that you use the bathroom as needed, eat dinner and rest. You will have nursing and therapy services the very next day. Wait for further instruction from them.
What medications do I take at home?
You will be given a list of medications to take and when to take them.
When can I take a shower after outpatient knee replacement?
You can take a shower the day after your surgery. Please wait until the visiting nurse and physical therapist arrives. The nurse will check your dressing and your overall health that morning, and the therapist will educate you on how to safely get in and out of the shower.
Your outer padded dressing and tape can be removed. Underneath you will find a clear tape that is glued to your skin. Do not remove this. You may shower with this and get it wet. Please do not scrub the surgical area. Pat dry with a clean towel when you are finished. We also ask that you do not let your surgical site get “soaked” with water. Do not take a bath or get into a pool or hot tub.
When can I drive after outpatient knee replacement?
You will discuss this with your surgeon. It usually averages two to four weeks from the date of your surgery.
What to Expect after Outpatient Total Knee Replacement?
Several hours after surgery, you will be discharged from the hospital/Surgery Center following a thorough examination to make sure you meet the requirements for discharge such as stable vital signs during exercise, ability to eat and take pain medicine by mouth. You will select to either go Outpatient Physical therapy or Home physical therapy.
Advantages of Minimally Invasive Outpatient Total Knee Replacement
The advantages of the Minimally Invasive outpatient procedure include:
- Minimal surgical dissection
- Shorter recovery period
- Shorter hospital stay
- Reduced postoperative pain
- Less blood loss during surgery
- Increased range of motion after surgery
- Less damage to surrounding tissues