If you’ve known anyone who has undergone joint replacement surgery or if you have considered it yourself, you’ve likely heard that a hospital stay of two to three days is a normal part of the recovery process. Thanks to advancements in surgical care, some patients of Olympia Orthopaedic Associates are able to go home within hours of their knee, hip or shoulder replacement.
Nearly three years ago Olympia Orthopaedics introduced a program pioneered at its Olympia Surgery Center and the area’s two hospitals: the RESTORE Outpatient Joint Replacement Program. The program focuses strongly on preoperatively preparing patients to be discharged safely and effectively to home the same day of surgery.
“Outpatient joint replacement is a great option for people who are generally healthy and motivated to recover,” says Becki Taylor, RN, BSN, surgical services program manager. “Closely following the exercise and activity regimen prescribed after surgery by the surgeon and physical therapist is key to a successful outpatient procedure.”
For the right patient, the technology and techniques used with this surgery can reduce the average recovery time, compared with traditional inpatient surgery. Patients also tend to experience fewer side effects postoperatively, such as nausea and pain. The elimination of an inpatient hospital stay reduces the cost of the procedure and minimizes the risk of acquiring an infection.
Recovering in the comfort of your own home is one of the advantages of outpatient total joint replacement that patients appreciate most. “Once we have determined that a patient is ready for discharge, which averages about 3½ hours after surgery, the individual is sent home to recover with the help of a ‘coach’ or family member,” explains orthopaedic surgeon Stephen Snow, M.D. In most cases, he says, a patient is able to perform activities of daily living independently within a day or two.
Olympia Orthopaedic’s expertly trained surgeons have performed more than 600 outpatient joint replacements. They were among the first 5 percent of providers in the nation to make joint replacement available in an outpatient setting and are the only clinic in the area offering the procedure.
For more information about outpatient joint replacement at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates:
3901 Capital Mall Drive SW, Olympia