Outpatient Joint Replacement Surgery: The Patient Perspective

As we age the likelihood of needing a hip or knee replacement surgery greatly increases, making it one of the most commonly performed orthopedic operations in the United States.

Outpatient Joint Surgery Patient

If you are considering a joint replacement you are not alone, more than 7 million people in the U.S. have undergone knee or hip replacement surgery. According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, there are approximately “one and a half times as many people living with a hip or knee replacement in the U.S. as people living with heart failure.” As we age the likelihood of needing a hip or knee replacement surgery greatly increases, making it one of the most commonly performed orthopedic operations in the United States. 

Quick Navigation

  1. Addressing Patient Concerns
  2. Before the Surgery
  3. During the Surgery
  4. After the Surgery
  5. Pain Management
  6. Follow up Appointments

Joint Replacements after Age 50

  • 2.3% require Hip Replacement
  • 4.6% require Knee Replacement

Hip Replacement is Surgery of the Century

Total hip replacement has been called the surgery of the century because of its history of successful outcomes and a high rate of patient satisfaction. The procedure has revolutionized the ability to stay active as they age and increased the quality of life of arthritic and elderly patients.

Total knee replacement has also been groundbreaking in its ability to improve mobility after an injury and as we age.

Minimally Invasive Outpatient Surgery

While it may not be for everyone for patients who are healthy enough, outpatient surgery is a great option for many people. 

Addressing Patient Concerns

Even though these procedures are now common and high-tech, undergoing major surgery can be intimidating. Patients may feel vulnerable, and unsure of what to expect during the process. A 2013 study found that patients may feel distressed and overlooked by health professionals if they aren’t given enough information about their joint replacement surgery. To alleviate some of the stress associated with this experience, we’ve outlined what you can expect before, during, and after your joint replacement surgery with Dr. Bashyal.

Before the surgery

A week before your outpatient surgery an at-home care team will visit your home. During this time, the team will help make your living conditions more accessible for your post-surgery needs. During these personalized home visits, our team will teach you to properly execute recovery exercises that will strengthen your muscles and joints. Further, you and your caregivers can attend a class to learn more about to expect throughout the operation and during the recovery period.

During the surgery

During the surgery, Dr. Bashyal will use ultra minimally invasive surgical techniques to perform the joint replacement. This includes avoiding cutting major muscles and tendons, which reduces muscle and tissue trauma and decreases pain post-surgery. Dr. Bashyal often uses advanced technologies such as uses computer assistance, robotics, and patient-specific instrumentation to assist with putting in the joints and ensuring perfect joint alignment. These techniques are intended to speed the recovery period, with many patients being released a few hours after their surgery, and limit the need for opioids to manage pain. 

After the surgery

After the surgery, you will rest in a designated recovery area and then spend some time in a special post-op recovery room with therapy equipment. A physical therapist will walk you through exercises designed to aid recovery and joint function. After you leave the hospital, an on-call healthcare team member will meet you at your home to ensure that you are settled in for the night. The at-home healthcare team will initially visit daily then several times in the following weeks to ensure that your recovery is going smoothly. During this time, you are also provided with an on-call number that you can reach 24 hours a day. 

Pain management

The pain management program for ultra minimally invasive joint replacement surgery includes a local anesthetic to reduce pain immediately after the procedure and oral medications to manage pain during recovery. Dr. Bashyal’s team arranges for an individualized consultation and management for pain medication after surgery. Fortunately, after this procedure the need for opioids is limited.

Follow up appointments

Patients will have a follow-up appointment with Dr. Bashyal two to three weeks after the surgery as well as appointments with a physical or occupational therapist. While at home a physical therapist will visit. Once you have met your goals, you will continue to have regular appointments with physical and occupational therapists.

Excellence on the Northshore

Undergoing joint replacement surgery can feel overwhelming. That is why Dr. Bashyal and his team take a patient-focused and patient-friendly approach to the total joint replacement experience. Dr. Bashyal performs approximately 500 ultra minimally invasive joint replacements every year and is proud to work alongside the very best anesthesiologists, nurses, physical and occupational therapists at Northshore Orthopaedic & Spine Institute, a joint replacement center that has been recognized as one of United Health Care Centers of Excellence and a Blue Distinction® Center. If you or a loved one is considering a hip or knee replacement, reach out to us for more information at (855) 929-0100 or complete this consultation request form.

Author: Ravi Bashyal, MD

Ravi K. Bashyal, MD is a Chicago native and an orthopedic surgeon specializing in ultra-minimally invasive hip and knee replacement at NorthShore University System in Chicago, IL where he is Director of Outpatient Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery.