All You Need to Know About Outpatient Knee Replacement

December 5, 2022
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G2 Orthopedics
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Knee replacement surgery is often thought of as an inpatient procedure that requires a hospital stay. However, advancements in technology and medicine have contributed to a growing preference for outpatient knee replacements. So what is outpatient knee replacement and how does it differ from traditional knee surgery? Keep reading to find out!

Benefits of Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery is a common outpatient procedure that can provide a number of benefits for patients. The most obvious benefit is the relief of pain. Nine out of ten people who have knee replacement surgery experience pain relief. Knee replacement surgery can also help to improve range of motion and mobility, and it can reduce the risk of further damage to the knee joint.  

The main benefit that sets outpatient knee replacement surgery apart from traditional knee replacement is that the patient can rest and recover from the comfort of their own home.

Types of Knee Replacement Surgery

There are two basic types of knee replacement surgery – partial and total.

You may be a candidate for partial knee replacement if you have damage limited to one side of your knee joint. This type of operation is less common than total knee replacement but has certain advantages, such as a quicker recovery. In this surgery, the damaged, arthritic cartilage is removed and the affected knee compartment is replaced with a knee replacement device. Healthy bone, cartilage, and tissues are preserved.

In total knee replacement surgery, all of the joint surfaces in the knee are replaced. Damaged cartilage is removed from the knee as the bone is prepared for the knee replacement device. A femoral or thigh bone piece fits over the bone like a “glove”. The tibial or shin bone piece sits atop the bone with a small stem that helps hold it in place. A small kneecap button is attached to the back of the kneecap after the arthritis is removed.

Procedure Process & Recovery

Since this procedure requires anesthesia, you will likely have to stop taking certain medications, and avoid eating before the procedure. At G2 Orthopedics, we prepare all our patients for what to expect on the day of the surgery.

On the day of your outpatient knee surgery, everything happens within one business day. An anesthesiologist will give you a nerve block prior to surgery to numb your leg, the effects of which will last another 12-24 hours after surgery to reduce discomfort.

During knee replacement surgery, Dr. Goradia will remove the damaged surface of your knee joint and replace it with an artificial joint made of metal alloys and plastics. To help manage pain after knee surgery, a pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be recommended for you to take up to four times a day. Applying ice to the knee may also reduce pain and swelling during recovery. Other prescription medications to combat severe pain will be prescribed.

At G2, we have our patients return to see their physical therapist within 3 days of being discharged on the day of the surgery. Routine PT visits occur 2-3x/week during the recovery period, which can take 12 weeks. These visits ensure that the joint is healing properly so you can get back to the activities you enjoy. Total recovery for most people occurs within 3 months to one year of the procedure.

Are you a Candidate for Outpatient Knee Replacement Surgery?

Most people who have knee replacement surgery are age 50 or older and have osteoarthritis, which comes with recurring pain that cannot be effectively managed by other medications. If you fit this description, are otherwise healthy, and have a BMI less than 35, you may be a candidate. To determine your eligibility for this procedure, your doctor will perform an exam to verify the extent of your knee joint damage and recommend a treatment plan.

Let G2 Orthopedics Help you Through Your Knee Surgery 

If you’ve been experiencing knee pain and medications or other treatment options aren’t working, you might benefit from outpatient knee replacement. Dr. Goradia at G2 Orthopedics uses cutting edge technology and collaborates with a team of experienced physical therapists to get his patients back on their feet (and knees) quickly and efficiently with the least pain possible. Call (804) 678-9000 or complete the form today to request your appointment!