Patients who have suffered an injury to their knee, as well as those with a degenerative condition like osteoarthritis, may be advised that a total knee replacement surgery is a good option for them. This surgical procedure offers the patient a modern solution with fewer complications.  Up to 90% of modern-day total knee replacement surgeries conducted will provide successful and effective results for more than a decade.

Due to modern techniques used in these procedures, less than 2% of the patients who undergo this procedure will experience a serious complication, rendering total knee replacement an effective, safe option.

The US government-backed national health insurance programs, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, recently moved to approve the procedure at ambulatory surgery centers, beginning in 2020.  Michael Gillman, MD, CMO, called the move “long overdue.”

A sharp increase in popularity

The overall volume of knee and hip replacements is expected to double in the next seven years, according to Sg2, a medical analytics, intelligence and consulting firm.  Nearly half of the procedures will move to outpatient centers, representing some 900,000 patients.   The sharp increase is driven by a move toward more economical settings, advances in technology, an aging population, and an ever-expanding number of eligible patients.

Inpatient vs. outpatient surgery

When a patient is advised that total knee replacement surgery is the best option for their condition, they can choose between an inpatient or outpatient procedure. While inpatient procedures used to be the recommended option, most patients prefer the advantages of the outpatient option.

There have been significant advances made in how knee replacement surgeries are performed.  Surgeons can better determine which patients will recover faster, making them good candidates for outpatient surgery.  This is one more reason for the trend toward shorter hospital stays – or moving the procedure to an ambulatory surgery center.

The benefits of outpatient surgery

Patients now have more options, and can realize significant benefits when opt for an outpatient surgical solution.  Understanding these benefits is important and can help a patient make a more informed decision.  At the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual Meeting, March 12-16, 2019, in Las Vegas a survey was presented about the patient outcomes of joint replacement surgeries.  The survey found that joint replacement outpatients are as happy as patients who received a much costlier procedure at an inpatient environment.

Let’s take a look at the benefits that are now associated with total knee replacement in an outpatient setting:

  • Minimally invasive techniques are now widely used.
  • Tranexamic acid transfusions have significantly reduced the need for blood transfusions during total knee replacement surgery and many similar procedures. This reduces the risk of significant blood loss and preps the patient for at-home recovery.
  • The patient gets to recover in the comfort of their own home, without the need to worry about specific rules and regulations of the hospital. This also ensures the patient has easy access to their own belongings without restriction.
  • Advancements in pain management have allowed specialists to provide local anesthetics that can provide long-lasting relief of pain without the need for continuous intravenous administration of medication, or an opioid prescription. The inpatient surgery at a hospital often has poor pain control, with the patient experiencing nausea or vomiting, or experiencing sedation caused by narcotics.
  • Since the patient is not exposed to the many sick people in the hospital setting, there is a lower risk of suffering an infection following the procedure.

Total knee replacement surgery used to be an inpatient operation that required the patient to remain hospitalized for 5-10 days or longer in some cases.  Now, this procedure can be done in an outpatient setting in surgery centers.  Patients are provided with significant benefits when they decide to undergo this surgical procedure as part of an outpatient solution.


About the Doral Orthopedic Center

The Doral Orthopedic Center is a center of excellence, assembled to supply an exceptionally high concentration of expertise and related resources in orthopedic medicine.  DOC physicians deliver associated care in a comprehensive, interdisciplinary fashion to afford the best patient outcomes possible.

Delivering enhanced healthcare experiences, the patient is emphasized above all other elements of the operation.

Services on-site at 3560 NW 82nd Ave in Doral, Florida, include diagnosis and treatment by an esteemed team of South Florida’s leading orthopedic surgeons, an ambulatory surgery center, an urgent care center, physical therapy, MRI, digital x-ray, fluoroscopy, PRP and stem cell treatments.

Leave a reply