Knee Replacement Surgery
Mercer-Bucks Orthopaedics, in conjunction with Mercer County Surgery Center, now offers knee replacement surgery in the outpatient setting. This unique, multi-disciplinary program allows for patients to safely undergo knee replacement surgery in the outpatient setting and arranges and monitors all care following the procedure.
What is outpatient joint replacement?
Outpatient knee replacement is a new pathway for certain, select patients to be able to undergo knee replacement surgery in the ambulatory surgery center and be discharged home the same day. Nursing and physical therapy care are then provided in the comfort of the patient’s home and all directed by the surgeon and the specialized outpatient joint replacement team.
Who is a candidate?
Outpatient joint replacement should only be performed on patients who are healthy enough to be a candidate for this surgical setting. Patients with significant medical problems or who require more complex surgical procedures should not undergo joint replacement in an outpatient setting. Patients also need to be comfortable with the idea of going directly home on the day of surgery and have an appropriate living situation (such as not too many stairs at home) and an appropriate home support system to be available to help them after the surgery.
Is the surgery itself different?
There is no difference in the surgery itself when joint replacement is performed in the outpatient setting. A more strict protocol for pain control and early mobility are what differentiate outpatient joint replacement from traditional joint replacement performed in the hospital. Further, a dedicated, multi-disciplinary team, including specialized nursing staff, anesthesiologists and physical therapists are necessary to safely complete outpatient surgery. All of these are now available through Mercer Bucks Orthopaedics and Mercer County Surgery Center.
Are there any advantages or disadvantages?
The major advantage of outpatient joint replacement is that there is no need for a hospital stay, which could lead to a decreased risk for hospital acquired infections, as well as increase in overall patient satisfaction. Further, rapid recovery programs have been shown to decrease complications such as blood clots after surgery. Some possible disadvantages include the possible need for admission to the hospital if a complication occurs at home, or difficulty with postoperative pain management at home. However, in most available studies, the outcomes for outpatient joint replacement patients have been overwhelmingly positive with extremely low complication rates and very high patient satisfaction.
What is the process like for undergoing an outpatient joint replacement?
If you and your surgeon decide that you might be a good candidate for outpatient joint replacement, the next step is a physical therapy evaluation. A specialized, highly trained therapist will meet with you and your coach (a family member or friend that will be with you throughout the process) to help determine if you would be comfortable and safe through the at-home recovery period. If the therapist agrees that the outpatient setting is right for you then you would meet with the surgery center staff and undergo a pre-operative education class to learn what to expect from surgery. Finally, you will meet with the anesthesiologist to discuss your medical history and the anesthesia protocol for your surgery. Throughout the day, you will notice that there is one singular focus in preparing for an outpatient joint replacement….you!
How about the day of surgery?
On the day of surgery you would be greeted in the morning by the same surgical staff members you had met before, including the highly-trained nurse that will be by your side from start to finish. Then you will meet with your surgeon for any final questions before surgery as well as the anesthesiologist. The surgery will be performed and you will be transferred to the recovery room where your nurse will monitor you until you are ready to start walking. When you are ready to walk, your physical therapist will come and help you get out of bed and walk around. Then you will sit back down, relax, eat a meal, and when you are ready, you will walk over to the physical therapy gym to practice your exercises as well as going up and down stairs. Once you and your therapist agree that you are ready, you will be discharged home. Most patients are ready to go home by around 4 PM.
How can I find out if outpatient joint replacement is right for me?
If you are interested in outpatient knee replacement, want more information, or want to see if you are a candidate, come visit any of the joint replacement specialists at Mercer-Bucks Orthopaedics. We will be happy to answer all of your questions and see if this pathway would be right for you!
Unfortunately I'm an orthopedic pin cushion. Before my TKR (3/7/16) on my rt. knee at MCSC, I had had 6 knee, 2 shoulder, and one Fusion surgery. So I've been to many a practice and had several Doctors in my lifetime of surgery. Without fail every single employee I worked with @ MBO (shout out to Michele, Sharon, Amanda, Sue (PT day of surgery) and Stephanie (PT Day of surgery) was wonderful in every way. Always professional, efficient, communicative, helpful and with smiles on their faces. Having surgery is a largely coordinated event and I could not have asked for better. And last but not least...I cannot even adequately explain how over-joyed and relieved I am to have found my surgeon. I had a reasonable amount of stress & anxiety b4 surgery and my surgeon was wonderful at easing some of that. He spent all the time I needed answering all of my many questions. To have such a significant surgery at age 50 was daunting...and I could not be more ecstatic, & so pleasantly surprised at 3 weeks Post Op. Between the great surgical skill of my physician and such a competent and kind staff, a patient could not ask for more. With great Thanks & gratitude I thank each and every one of you.
On November 30, 2015, I had my first of two total joint knee replacements, having the left one done first. When discussing my options for the surgery, I was offered inpatient surgery at my choice of three different hospitals, along with the option to have it done on an outpatient basis at Mercer Bucks Surgery Center. To me it just made sense to have it done as an outpatient. I knew I could leave, go home and be comfortable, relax and just recuperate all in the comfort of my own home. I immediately knew I’d made the right choice when I went in for my surgery center meeting. Here, I got to meet everyone who was going to be a part of my big day! Each and every person who would be in the room with me was there. They took the time to introduce themselves, explain to me what their part of the surgery was going to be, and made sure to answer every question I had. That appointment is what sealed the deal for me. The day of surgery everyone treated me wonderfully, and seemed to really care about me and how I was progressing throughout the day. They had me up walking around (with the help of a walker of course) that afternoon, and because I had progressed so well, I was able to leave the facility earlier than expected (personally, I feel I did so well because of how great the team helping me was). I started in-home physical therapy a couple days after my surgery, and that continued for just about two weeks. At that point, I started regular physical therapy, which I’ve just completed. I have just about full range of motion, no pain, and have been off meds for well over a month now. It’s now just a little over 2 months post-operation, and I feel wonderful. This was the best decision I’ve made and I’m looking forward to having my right knee done as an outpatient in a few months!