Orthopedic surgery, and specifically joint replacement of the hip and knee, continues to make advances in implant technology, materials, and techniques which ultimately improve patient long-term outcomes. In addition to this, we have also refined the patient experience in the period directly following surgery with better pain control, less blood loss, early rehabilitation, and quicker recovery. I have implemented many of the protocols as well as the experience gained while training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The result of all these advances is that we can provide joint replacement in an outpatient setting for patients so that they can recover safely and comfortably in their own home. Care is provided through an experienced home health team with nurses available 24/7 for medical concerns as well physical therapists who begin therapy in your home as earlier as the same day as your surgery.
The main advantage of outpatient joint replacement surgery is patient satisfaction, safety, and cost. Patients have higher satisfaction rates with procedures performed in an outpatient setting. Studies have shown that procedures performed in an outpatient setting (i.e. a surgical center) have lower complication risk and infection risk. Moreover, in an ever-increasing cost-conscious healthcare system as well as being stewards of appropriate resource utilization, there is a great need to provide high quality procedures and care at a lower cost. In general, an outpatient joint replacement surgery will be 25% of the cost of an inpatient procedure with patients generally expecting to save anywhere from 30-50% direct savings. Finally, you can recover in the comfort of your own home with accessible healthcare providers to guide you through the process safely.
The most common procedure performed in this setting is a Partial Knee Replacement, although Total Hip Replacement and Knee Replacement are being performed in the appropriate setting. Partial knee replacements are performed in a minimally invasive fashion with significantly less pain and substantially faster recovery compared to total knee replacements. Also known as a “Uni Knee” replacement, this procedure is not new and has been practiced for over 2 decades. The idea behind it is to perform the least amount of surgery required to eliminate pain. It requires special training to perform this procedure which I learned while at the Mayo Clinic. I personally have found that when performed in the patient who meet the criteria for it, they often comment that their knee feels “normal” to them and are very satisfied with their return to activities that they love to do.
Blake Gillette, MD
Canyon View Orthopedics