In a study published in the Journal of Arthroplasty, Dr. Menenghini and colleagues sought to study patients’ perspective on hip and knee replacement performed as an outpatient surgery. The authors found that a majority of patients were not aware that this option existed at the time they were considering surgery and most patients still perceived that joint replacement was associated with a 2-3 day hospital stay. On the other hand, when further questioned, most patients agree that home is the best place to recover, and that faster recovery and decreased risk of infection are likely associated with outpatient surgery. The authors concluded that further education about the potential for outpatient joint replacement and its potential advantages are needed so that patients can play an active role in their own successful recovery.
In our experience of nearly 1200 outpatient joint replacement procedures, patients have enjoyed a high level of satisfaction recovering at home with a level of patient safety equivalent to or better than hospital or rehab-based recovery. Our comprehensive AVATAR program has proven highly successful in enabling patients to go home within hours of surgery. Modern techniques in anesthesia and pain management, as well as other methods to promote rapid recovery by reducing surgical stress, have allowed patients to recover in a fraction of the time of joint replacements performed even 5 years ago. When it comes to same-day joint replacement, an experienced team and center are key to success. We are leaders in New England and well ahead of most centers in performing these procedures safely and efficiently.