Innovative Options For Knee Replacements
Knee replacement surgery is common. In the US, physicians perform about 700,000 knee replacement surgeries every year. Still, the decision to have any surgery is personal. Most patients want to exhaust all treatment options before opting for the procedure. For the right candidates, knee replacement can be performed on an outpatient basis, also known as a total joint arthroplasty (TJA).
What happens during a TJA?
A TJA is a procedure where a surgeon removes part of the damaged joint and replaces the joint with a prosthetic device. This prosthetic device is intended to act in the same way as a healthy joint. Many patients can get the procedure done in a facility that specializes in outpatient surgery. These facilities are also called ambulatory surgery centers or ASCs.
Benefits of outpatient surgery
For the right patients, outpatient knee replacements can be an ideal option. TJA often involves reduced risk of infection and reduced need to stay in the hospital. Many people also experience cost savings when having surgery at an ASC over a hospital. TJAs are only recommended for patients who are healthy enough to have surgery. This includes patients with a normal BMI and no other underlying health conditions. Patients also need to make sure that there is appropriate care available at home during recovery.
When to consider the surgery
Most of the time, patients should get a total knee replacement when the surgeon recommends. If patients delay surgery too long, there can be additional risks. Forgoing surgery can lead to deformities near the knee joint, weakening and loss of function in the surrounding muscles or ligaments, and an increased difficulty performing daily activities.
Should I get a knee replacement?
Patients suffering from a knee injury or osteoarthritis experience significant pain and loss of normal function. Eventually, the deterioration of the knee joint can make daily life nearly unbearable. Some signs that surgery may be necessary include:
- Regular movements, such as getting out of bed, are impossible without assistance
- Pain is severe enough to interfere with daily life
- Other treatments, like steroid injections and physical therapy, aren’t helping
Outpatient surgery is possible
For the right candidates, total knee replacements can be done on an outpatient basis. This means that patients can go home the same day and experience a faster recovery. Talk to a surgeon to find out if total knee replacement at an ASC is a possibility.