Outpatient Joint Replacement: Considerations and Benefits

Not long ago, all joint replacements were done as an inpatient procedure that often required weeks in the hospital. Today, advanced minimally invasive procedures and enhanced pain management techniques allow you to be on your feet and walking out the door the same day.

Many patients who need joint replacement surgery choose Andrew B. Richardson, MD, because he specializes in outpatient joint replacement. Whether you need a hip replacement or a partial or total knee replacement, you may qualify for an outpatient procedure.

Qualifying for outpatient joint replacement

Though outpatient joint replacement offers distinct benefits, not everyone qualifies for this option. Making sure you’re a good candidate ensures that the procedure is safe for you and that you’ll achieve the same outcomes as you would with an inpatient procedure.

There are a few roadblocks to getting outpatient surgery. If you use a walker or wheelchair, you’ll need to stay in the hospital for close monitoring during your recovery. You’re also not a good candidate for outpatient joint replacement if you have a medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, or a blood clotting disorder.

You qualify for outpatient joint replacement if you:

In addition to these basic qualifications, we perform a thorough physical examination and talk with you about your circumstances before deciding if you qualify for outpatient surgery.

Rapid recovery protocols

There are two primary reasons we can perform complex joint replacement on an outpatient basis. The first is minimally invasive surgery. We now have specialized tools and techniques that allow us to replace a joint without performing open surgery.  

Rapid recovery protocols are the second reason you can go home the same day even after a major procedure like a joint replacement. You need to be willing to participate in these protocols, which include:

Preoperative education

Before your outpatient surgery, we engage in extensive preoperative education. We cover the details of everything you need to know, including explaining your surgical procedures, describing your rehabilitation regimen, and telling you what to expect the first few days at home.

Multimodal medication management

Outpatient surgery is successful because we use medications that reduce your pain and eliminate nausea. As a result, you’re able to move right away. We can make sure you’re steady on your feet and have enough balance and strength to walk before you go home.

We may also give you an anesthetic that lasts several days. After you go home, this medication relieves your pain and eliminates the need for narcotics. Additionally, it doesn’t make you lightheaded, so you can start your rehabilitation right away.

Gain the health benefits of outpatient joint replacement

Minimally invasive surgery alone offers an array of health benefits. During a minimally invasive procedure, you have less bleeding and a lower risk of complications. After your procedure, you experience less pain and can move and recover more quickly.

Spending less time in the hospital translates into lower costs. Beyond costs, our patients are thrilled to sleep in their own bed and recover in the peace and quiet of home. You’ll immediately start physical therapy at home, so you’re on the way to faster healing.

To learn if you qualify for an outpatient joint replacement, call Andrew B. Richardson, MD, or book an appointment online.

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