By Todd Cronin
The time it takes to recover from joint surgery has improved in recent years, and that’s great news if you are considering having a joint replacement procedure. In the past, this type of surgery typically resulted in several days in the hospital. Today, in some cases, you might even be able to go home on the same day.
Collaboration is key
Over the past decade or more, collaborative efforts among support services like anesthesia, nursing, and physical and occupational therapy have made great advances. As a result, the orthopedic surgery process has been fine-tuned through evidence-based strategies rooted in best practices and patient outcome data.
Surgeons at Northern Light Mercy Hospital are engaged in the entire patient journey. Having a proper assessment before surgery includes more than a review of medical history—it offers an opportunity to identify ways to reduce surgical risks and optimize patient health prior to surgery.
Patient education is critical to successful outcomes, and it’s a key component to any surgery that takes place at Mercy. Patients learn detailed information about conditions, treatments, and rehabilitation before surgery ever takes place. While this helps provide a full picture of the process, it also helps patients and caregivers know what to expect as partners in the care process. For example, patients may need to enlist friends and family to assist them after surgery, drive them home, stay with them until they are comfortable on their own, and plan out rehabilitation needs.
Knee replacement in a day
A patient who has a plan and dedicates themselves to their recovery will be more successful and back on their feet sooner, doing what they may have missed out on for years due to pain. This collaboration with patients and their caregivers pays off, and it has greatly improved the entire patient experience.
Instead of an extended hospital stay, certain knee replacements, for example, are now outpatient day surgeries. Preparation before surgery and continued advances in anesthesia allow patients to awaken and function very quickly, and many can now walk and climb stairs hours after leaving the operating room. Added benefits offered at Mercy, such as private rooms and serene water views, also make a real difference in the process.
While many orthopedic advances have changed the way we approach procedures, the biggest gains have come from increased engagement and collaboration between the orthopedic surgeon and the patient—before, during, and after a procedure.
Content provided by Mercy Hospital.