Based on data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 600,000 people in the United States have knee replacement surgery each year. Though routine and common, a hospital stay may be required following the procedure. But with advances in surgical procedures, it’s possible to go home the same day after your knee replacement surgery.
At Chicago Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, our skilled orthopaedic surgeon, Vasili Karas, MD, MS, performs many advanced knee replacement procedures and, depending on specific factors, he may consider it safe for you to go home the same day you get your new knee.
More than one knee replacement surgery
Knee pain can develop from many causes. For most people, however, knee pain results from arthritis, which is a degenerative condition that worsens with time. When conservative treatments no longer alleviate your knee pain, then you may be considered a good candidate for knee replacement surgery.
Dr. Karas offers two knee replacement options:
Total knee replacement
During a total knee replacement, Dr. Karas removes your damaged cartilage and the damaged bone and replaces them with metal and plastic replacement parts that act just like your natural knee. The procedure is conducted under general anesthesia and takes up to two hours.
Partial knee replacement
A partial knee replacement is a less invasive procedure and involves replacement of only one part of your damaged knee joint. You may be a good candidate for partial knee replacement if the arthritis or knee damage only affects one side of your knee.
At Chicago Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, we prefer taking a minimally invasive approach to surgery and offer partial knee replacement whenever possible. Dr. Karas also uses Mako® robotic-assisted technology to perform joint replacement surgery. This innovative tool allows Dr. Karas to perform your knee replacement surgery with precision, which may result in less pain following your procedure and better overall satisfaction.
When outpatient knee replacement is safe
Most knee replacement surgeries require a stay at the hospital, especially if you’re undergoing total knee replacement. A stay in the hospital allows Dr. Karas to more closely monitor your recovery and initiate physical therapy when you have the full support of the experienced medical staff. Dr. Karas does his best to get you home as quickly as possible.
However, if you’re undergoing a partial knee replacement, it’s possible that Dr. Karas may let you go home the same day. When determining if it’s safe for you to go home the same day of your knee replacement surgery, he takes into consideration your overall health, age, and support system. How well you bounce back while you’re in the surgical suite recovery room is also a factor that determines whether you can go home right away.
Preparing for your return home
Whether you go home the same day or you need to spend a few days at the hospital, it’s important that you prepare your home well in advance of your knee replacement surgery to make life during recovery as easy as possible. We provide you with specific instructions on the steps you need to take to prepare your home after knee replacement surgery, which may include:
- Setting up a sleeping area on the first floor
- Picking up all throw rugs
- Clearing out your hallways to improve mobility
- Filling your cupboard with easy to prepare foods
- Keeping all essential items (food, medication, phone) at waist or shoulder level
Once you’re at home, you can expect physical therapy to start the day after your surgery. Engaging in therapeutic exercise immediately following your surgery speeds up recovery and may prevent complications.
For some people, it’s safe to go home the same day after knee replacement surgery. To see if that’s an option for you, contact one of our four Chicagoland locations by phone or online today to schedule a consultation.