Outpatient Joint Replacement Surgery: The Benefits & How to Prepare

Outpatient Joint Replacement Surgery: The Benefits & How to Prepare

The idea of an outpatient procedure is always an attractive one—the ability to have your surgery and return home the same day can be valuable. In fact, at Orthopedic Institute (OI), joint replacement surgeries can often be performed outpatient—as much as 90 percent of such surgeries at OI are outpatient for select scenarios.

From total shoulder replacements to knee and hip procedures, why does outpatient matter—and how should you prepare?

The Benefits

Among the obvious benefit of being in the comfort of your own home post-surgery, outpatient procedures can have other marked benefits. Without the expense of a hospital stay, outpatient surgery will typically save money on your final bill. It has also been shown anecdotally to be less stressful—the familiarity of home often makes a great recovery space. It also means less of a time strain on your schedule—you can book your appointment on an ideal day and keep any unnecessary time off from work or other commitments to a minimum.

Preparing for Surgery

Informing Your Team

One of the first steps of prepping for an outpatient joint replacement surgery is informing your team of physicians about what medications you’re currently taking regularly. Some medications may need to be halted in advance of your surgery day, including over-the-counter medicine such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Make sure to provide honest answers to medical history questions—these will play an important role in clearing you for the procedure.

Getting Tested

Your doctor may order some tests prior to the procedure—these pre-op examinations may include X-rays, blood tests and EKGs to determine your readiness for surgery. Your physician should also provide you with materials you may need to help you better understand what the surgery entails—including what to bring on the day of, what will be the goal of the surgery and joint exercises to try leading up to the date.

Post-Surgical Recovery

Upon leaving the clinic, your surgeon or physician will offer you advice on how to care for yourself from home. For starters, you should plan on having someone to drive you—post-surgery, it’s recommended you don’t operate a vehicle due to drowsy or dizzy conditions. You should use medication as prescribed or recommended by your doctor—and make sure you have a phone number handy to call a qualified nurse or physician if you have any questions about medications or other elements of the recovery process.