Patients can now walk home the same day after a hip replacement surgery

Hip joint damage can disrupt everyday activities like walking and sitting, leaving normally-active people in pain and immobilized. Hip replacement surgery offers hope to many, and now the procedure can be performed in a day, with patients going home the very same day.

Mr. Paul Price was admitted to Medcare Orthopaedic and Spine Hospital on the morning of 4 December 2016. He was taken to the operating room the same day, where Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Chris Whately inserted a new ball-and-socket hip prosthesis into his left hip.

By 2 pm the same day, Mr. Price walked with a walker out of his hospital room, along a hallway and successfully negotiated a few stairs. By late afternoon he graduated to using crutches. He had supper at the hospital and went home to his family by 8 pm on the same day.

For many, a hip or knee replacement means a lengthy recovery, and involves a number of days in the hospital followed by weeks of rehab and physiotherapy.

Medical experts are now helping patients with ‘Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols’, a modern evidence-based approach that helps people recover more quickly after having major surgery.

There are several reasons making short hospital stays possible after joint replacement surgeries, including less invasive techniques, better anesthesia, improved pain management strategies and better physical therapy.

“Having an operation can be both physically and emotionally stressful. Enhanced recovery programs aim to get you back to full health as quickly as possible. At Medcare, we are now performing some of the most advanced techniques for musculoskeletal surgical procedures in the region. These include LIA (local infiltration anaesthesia) where freezing is applied to the operative area before and after surgery to enable patients to wake up after their operations with little or no pain. We are using ‘intraperative cell savers’ to collect the patient’s own blood and return it to the patient at the time of surgery. This eliminates the need for blood transfusions and minimizes the chance for infection” explained Dr. Chris Whately, Orthopaedic Surgeon at Medcare Orthopaedics and Spine Hospital

“To help patients set and meet their recovery goals, my team works closely with them, before and after they have surgery. We make sure that patients know what to realistically expect immediately after surgery, measures to be adopted in the following weeks and months, and how best to prepare their homes and loved ones for their recovery.” added Dr. Whately.

During hip replacement, a surgeon removes the damaged sections of the hip joint and replaces them with an artificial joint (prosthesis) that helps reduce pain and improve function.

Also called ‘total hip arthroplasty’, hip replacement surgery may be an option for a person, if hip pain interferes with daily activities and more-conservative treatments haven't helped.

Hip resurfacing procedures for more active younger patients are also an excellent option where a more bone preserving procedure can be performed. Arthritis damage is the most common reason to need hip replacement or resurfacing

“Common patient apprehensions regarding pain control and becoming dependent on others have been addressed and optimized. We have a better understanding of the entire pain pathway and can therefore effectively control pain using a combination of approaches beginning at the level of the tissue all the way up to the central nervous system. Patients are discharged on the same day of the surgery and can demonstrate the ability to move away from a bed, a chair, walk and even use the stairs.” said Dr. Usama Hassan Saleh, Specialist Orthopedic Surgeon, Medcare Orthopaedics and Spine Hospital.

Making all of this possible requires a team of individuals dedicated to the entire care experience including preoperative care, imaging, anesthesia, postoperative management and outpatient therapy providers.

If one needs to have an operation, ask whether there's an enhanced recovery program in place for the particular condition at the hospital. The doctor will determine the best possible course of action based on the health condition.

They will identify and stabilize any health conditions that may affect the operation.

For patients who are appropriate candidates the surgeon efficiently controls the local environment and therefore can directly improve overall patient care and satisfaction in an outpatient setting.

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