Joint Replacement VA | Town Center Orthopaedics

Joint Replacement

What is a joint replacement?

Joint replacement surgery treats the joints’ painful conditions by replacing the damaged joint surface. The surgeons at Town Center Orthopaedic Associates offer joint replacement surgery utilizing the latest technology, including robotic surgery. During the procedure, metal implants and a plastic bearing surface allowing for smooth, pain-free movement replace the damaged parts of the joint.

Joint Replacement Q & A

What is outpatient joint replacement?

Orthopedic surgeon holds a prosthetic knee joint before a surgical procedure.While joint replacement is a fairly significant procedure, they are increasingly being performed on a same-day or outpatient basis. This means that most patients are able to return home a few hours after surgery.

The surgical procedure for outpatient joint replacement at Town Center Orthopaedics

is identical to an inpatient procedure. Our surgeons use the same advanced technology and tools to remove the damaged parts of the joint and replace them with prosthetics.

In most cases, the patients spend a few hours in the surgical center for an outpatient joint replacement. However, every patient is different, and some require a longer stay. You won’t be discharged until you’re ready.

Outpatient surgery is an option for:

Who is a candidate for outpatient joint replacement surgery?

Two people help an older person use a walker after hip surgery.While most joint surgeries can be done on an outpatient basis, not everyone is a candidate. Your surgeon will consult with you to determine whether you should receive an outpatient joint replacement at Town Center Orthopaedics, or whether an inpatient procedure is a better option. This decision is based on several criteria, including:

  • Home support system, i.e., do you have family and friends who are available and willing to help with exercises, meal preparation, medication management, chores, and transportation, while you recover?
  • Your medical history. If you have a history of surgical complications or other concerns, inpatient surgery where you can be closely monitored may be necessary.
  • Your chronic conditions. Patients with chronic conditions like heart disease, respiratory conditions, or a previous organ transplant, may not be good candidates for outpatient surgery.
What are the benefits of outpatient joint replacement?

Middle aged couple walks outside smiling and happyFor most people, the prospect of going home the same day is the greatest advantage of outpatient surgery. However, research shows that outpatient procedures offer additional benefits, including:

  • More comfortable at home. Most people are more comfortable in their own surroundings than in a hospital. Patients report getting more rest since they aren’t frequently awakened by the hospital noises. More rest typically means a faster recovery.
  • Reduced pain medication. Most outpatient joint replacements at Town Center Orthopaedics use spinal anesthesia, followed by a local nerve block. Together, these can provide pain relief for up to two days without the need for additional pain medication.
  • Reduced risk of infection. A shorter hospital stay reduces the risk of a hospital-acquired infection like staph or MRSA, which can slow your recovery and lead to complications.
  • Higher overall satisfaction. Research shows that patients who undergo an outpatient joint replacement procedure report high levels of satisfaction with their experience, particularly their preparedness to go home.
What makes an outpatient joint replacement different from an inpatient?

While the biggest difference between inpatient and outpatient joint replacement surgery is the length of your hospital stay, you can expect a few other key differences.

An emphasis on “prehab.” When you have an inpatient joint replacement, much of your time in the hospital is spent on rehabilitation to help you begin the process of regaining strength and  mobility. This often includes performing exercises, learning to use equipment like a walker, and receiving education on how to prepare your home to support a full recovery.

When you have outpatient surgery, much of this education takes place before the procedure—hence the term “prehab.” You can expect to learn the information you need for a safe, comfortable recovery during appointments before surgery. You may also have physical therapy to begin conditioning your body for recovery. When you wake up after surgery, you can go home and rest rather than spend time learning about your recovery.

Changes to anesthesia protocols. Most outpatient surgical procedures are performed using spinal anesthesia rather than general anesthesia. This means the anesthetic is delivered via a needle in the lower back rather than putting you completely under. Most people tolerate spinal anesthesia better than general anesthesia and recover more quickly. Spinal anesthesia also has fewer risks of complications.

What should I expect after outpatient joint replacement surgery?

After the procedure is complete, you can expect to remain in recovery for about 3-4 hours before discharge. You might still be somewhat groggy, and should plan to rest when you get home. You’ll receive detailed instructions regarding pain management, exercise, activity restrictions, and follow-up care, including physical therapy.

An expert joint replacement team

When you experience pain, injuries, or problems with your physical performance, the specialists at Town Center Orthopaedics can provide the treatment you need to return to your routine.

To schedule your evaluation with a joint replacement specialist for your orthopedic needs, call Town Center Orthopaedics any time at (571) 307-4985, or request an appointment online.

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