A custom joint replacement program, based on evidence that healing at home is best.

Same day joint replacement is a newer pathway OrthoNebraska can offer to patients who are healthy and appropriate, and who want to be actively focused on recovering more quickly. Cutting edge pain management protocols enable safe recovery away from the hospital.

What is Same Day Joint Replacement Surgery?

Same day joint replacement, sometimes also called outpatient or short-stay joint replacement, are all terms that refer to a customized pathway that offers certain eligible patients the opportunity to undergo their surgery and go home the same day, with no overnight stay. Our team works with patients who are willing and able to follow this program prior to surgery and immediately following surgery in order to have a safe and rapid recovery before discharge to home.

How Do I Know If I Am Eligible?

Your surgeon will discuss different criteria for eligibility with you. While multiple medical factors are considered, non-medical factors are also important. Generally speaking, patients who are motivated to recover quickly and are in general good health, or with stable, controlled medical conditions are good candidates for our outpatient total joint surgery program. Help and support at home from a family member or friend will also be essential.

What Are the Benefits of Same Day Joint Replacement?

  • Early recovery in the comfort of your home, a familiar environment
  • Improved and aggressive early pain control
  • Increased patient satisfaction
  • Reduced risk of infection

How is This Different From Staying Overnight After surgery?

The process of going home the same day after total joint replacement is a large, team effort. The process actually starts one week before surgery. You will meet with our therapy team, and undergo a pre-habilitation assessment. Teaching  you without the anxieties of imminent surgery allows for you to be better prepared when you arrive on surgery day. We also emphasize proper hydration prior to surgery. Our hydration protocol starts 72 hours before your surgery day and continues until three hours prior to surgery. You will discuss these details with your surgeon. From the minute you check into the hospital for your surgery, you will be placed in the rapid recovery pathway, which will alert the hospital staff as you move from the preoperative area, to surgery, and eventually to the recovery floor. Specialty orthopedic hospitals like OrthoNebraska are more easily able to implement these protocols than larger health systems that have all sorts of different patient needs to consider.

How Will My Pain be Controlled After Same Day Joint Replacement?

You will start a multi-modal approach to pain protocol the morning of your surgery. Joint surgery is never completely painless, but our staff is trained to ensure that your pain is well-controlled throughout the day and prior to going home. Pharmacy shortages or delays can cause unfortunate problems, so medications used in the hospital will be sent home with you. Your hospital nurse will go over a detailed pain control protocol prior to discharge home and be available to answer any questions you have.

What Should I Expect for My First Night Home?

Your surgeon will personally call you on your first night home to ensure all is going according to plan. You will have a detailed pain protocol plan to follow.  Ice and elevation will be essential for pain control during your early recovery.  Our staff will work with you prior to your discharge to ensure you are safe and comfortable with the techniques and equipment needed to accomplish necessary daily tasks as you move about your home.

What Will I Do If I Encounter a Problem While at Home?

You will discuss any issues you may have over the phone with your surgeon on your first night at home. Our team has a surgeon on-call 24/7 to answer any emergency questions, should your surgeon be unavailable.

Is Same Day Joint Replacement Safe?

Multiple randomized-controlled studies and large data studies have shown reduced complications and reduced readmissions with same day joint replacement surgery when compared to patients staying overnight. Of course, proper candidate selection is an important part of this, as it’s not the right choice for every patient. But for the right patients, it works really well. More than 94 percent of our patients who opt for this option do in fact go home the same day.

How Will I Know When I’m Ready to Go Home?

You will work with our hospital staff and your surgeon to ensure you have met the criteria for safe home discharge, which primarily consists of us answering ‘yes’ to the following questions:

  • Are you medically stable?
  • Is your pain adequately controlled?
  • Have you met your therapy goals?