Recover from outpatient knee replacement in the privacy of your own home.
Knee replacement surgery is the surgical treatment to remove the damaged part of the knee and replace it with an artificial knee implant.
- This is now being conducted on an outpatient basis.
- This allows patients to return home the same day as their scheduled procedure.
With advances in preoperative anesthesia, these minimally invasive techniques allow patients to recover in the privacy of their own home.
New Methods Allow for A Less Invasive Process
Advancements in anesthetics allow hospital stays to be eliminated. One such technique uses a femoral regional block. This is a centralized anesthetic that wears off quickly. There is no need to wait at a hospital for its effect to diminish, like traditional general anesthesia. The procedure is done a bit differently as well. The knee being operated on receives several small incisions that are three to four inches in length. Traditional surgical methods use incisions that were eight to twelve inches long. This updated method allows for faster recovery, and the muscles and tendons are not severed. A special tool is used to trim the damaged portions of the femur bone to ensure the implant fits perfectly. Finally, the damaged area of the tibia and back of the knee cap is removed and replaced.
Updated Implants Leave Little Room for Error
All implants are custom-made by using a 3-D model from a CT scan. This ensures that the implant fits correctly and there is only minimal trimming done around the soft tissue areas. A femoral component is secured with bone cement to the end of the femur. Also using cement, the tibial component is secured to the end of the bone. A polyethylene liner will act as a surface between the thigh bone and the shin implants. This will ensure a smooth gliding movement when utilized. After all the components are in place, the range of motion of the new joint is inspected.
Any excess cement is removed from the area. The joint is cleaned and sterilized with a saline solution, which helps to prevent infection. Before the incision is enclosed, drain tubes are strategically placed, and a surgical bandage is applied. It takes just over an hour from start to finish.
A few hours after surgery, the patient is discharged. In order to be discharged, a patient must meet the criteria after a hospital examination. They must have stable vital signs, be able to eat, and be able to take medications by mouth. It normally takes anywhere from two to four weeks to recover. This is compared to two to three months’ recovery time with the typical knee surgery.
Who Qualifies for This Minimally Invasive Procedure?
The many advantages of this procedure include a shorter recovery period, reduced postoperative pain, less blood loss during the procedure, shorter hospital stay, a better-increased range of motion after the surgery, and less damage to surrounding tissues. To be a candidate for outpatient knee replacement, one must have no severe bone loss around the knee. There should be no prior history of knee surgery. Soon, traditional methods will be replaced altogether by this new, innovative method.