There was a time when nearly all major surgeries required spending at least a few nights in the hospital, followed by a lengthy recovery period that often included weeks or months of severe pain, heavy medications, and immobilization. This was especially true of total joint replacement surgeries, in which hospital stays were often followed by days – sometimes weeks – in a rehabilitation or recovery center.
Modern medicine has vastly improved this paradigm. The majority of patients undergoing total joint replacement surgeries today often spend the morning in an outpatient surgery center and that evening sleeping in their own homes.
If your doctor has recommended total joint replacement for you, be sure to discuss whether you may be a good candidate for an outpatient procedure.
The benefits of outpatient joint replacement surgery include:
Total joint replacement is considered major surgery. However, the traditional approach to joint replacement – with long incisions and clunky implants or prosthetics – has become a thing of the past.
Orthopedic surgeons today prefer minimally invasive techniques when performing surgery. This results in shorter and fewer incisions and state-of-the-art implant devices made of materials like ceramic and titanium carbide. These materials create an incredibly sturdy, smooth, and friction-free replacement in lieu of organic substances like skin, muscle, and tendons, which run the risk of infection and developing scar tissue.
Less Cost to You
Outpatient total joint replacements cost less than procedures performed in hospital settings. This keeps your co-pay low and makes it more likely that your insurance carrier will grant you pre-authorization to have the procedure done.
Improved Health and Comfort
Unfamiliar surroundings, awkward sleep cycles, and sharing a bathroom all contribute to stress and can affect your health and well-being. As a result, it’s best to recover from the comfort of your home after surgery. Unless there are complications or your surgeon has concerns, you should spend time at home immediately following surgery. This can help you stay relaxed and comfortable following the procedure.
Faster, More Pain-Free Recovery
Outpatient total joint replacement surgeries also help facilitate a quicker recovery. At outpatient surgery centers, doctors oftentimes use an anesthetic that keeps the area numb for a few days. This contributes to faster recovery times with less pain, as the patient will be able to manipulate and move the joint soon after surgery – and the sooner you get moving, the faster you will recover.
Are You a Candidate for Orthopedic Outpatient Surgery?
While the benefits of outpatient surgery for total joint replacement usually outweigh the negatives, not everyone is a candidate. Determining factors include:
- Whether you have a significant medical condition that may require extensive hospital observation before, during, and after surgery. You will need to discuss with your surgeon beforehand if you have any particular health conditions, such as coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Your age.
- Whether you have an at-home support system in place for your discharge and subsequent therapy.
- How much pre-op and post-op preparation you’ve taken – such as training on crutches or a walker, preparing your home to accommodate you during recovery, and an exercise rehabilitation plan.
- Whether a minimally invasive surgical technique can be used to treat your particular condition.
Outpatient Joint Replacement in Maryland
If you are in need of joint replacement surgery and want to explore whether an outpatient procedure is right for you, the experts at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland can help you figure it out. We have several convenient offices located across Maryland, and offer joint replacement in both hospital and outpatient settings.
If you would like to learn more about the services we offer or to schedule an appointment, call us today at (410) 644-1880, toll-free at (855) 4MD-BONE (463-2663), or fill out our online request form. We look forward to serving you.