This article is part of the Ultimate Guide to Hip Pain Relief.
Joint replacement surgery has traditionally been performed in a hospital setting, requiring a hospital stay and lengthy rehabilitation. As a regional leader in outpatient joint replacement surgery, Illinois Bone & Joint Institute (IBJI) offers an outpatient surgical approach that allows you to get back to your everyday life sooner. Outpatient joint replacement allows you to leave the facility within a few hours after surgery and recover from the comfort of your own home.
The evolution of joint replacement surgery has included the adoption of less invasive surgical techniques, as well as significant improvement in anesthesia and pain management, which now allows [qualified] patients to undergo the operation on an outpatient basis. This means that within a few hours of surgery, often times performed at an ambulatory surgical center (ASC), patients are able to return to their own homes.
Your outpatient team will take care of you from beginning to end. IBJI’s outpatient care involves a pre-surgical evaluation and plan to determine the needs of a specific patient and a home health agency provides nursing and physical therapy services in the home until the patient is able to drive, which is usually in two weeks or less.
Benefits of outpatient joint replacement include being mobile shortly after surgery, recovering at home and a lower risk of hospital-acquired infections.
The best candidates for outpatient joint replacement are:
- Younger patients
- In good health
- Patients who have a support system at home to assist in early phases of recovery
Outpatient surgery is generally not recommended for older patients, patients who have significant medical conditions, or patients with an anticipated complex surgery.
Research done by IBJI orthopedic surgeons Alexander Gordon, MD, David Raab, MD, and Ritesh Shah, MD, found that there was no increased risk to patients having outpatient joint replacement surgery at an ASC. Newer technologies, such as robotic- and sensor-assisted techniques are being used to improve knee replacement and aid in a faster recovery, helping facilitate outpatient surgical procedures.
To read the rest of the research backing up the safety of outpatient joint replacement, please read: Is it safe? Outpatient total joint arthroplasty with discharge to home at a freestanding ambulatory surgical center.