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Inpatient Compared to Outpatient Joint Replacement

invsoutWith outpatient (same-day discharge) hip and knee replacement procedures becoming more common, it’s crucial to keep up with the latest research. In a recent article published by Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, Authors Basques, Tetreault and Della Valle conduct a cohort study taking a look at patients who underwent outpatient joint replacement compared to patients who underwent inpatient joint replacement.

The authors researched 177,818 patients who underwent primary elective total hip arthroplasty, total knee arthroplasty or unicompartmental knee arthroplasty from 2005-2014. They found no significant differences in overall postoperative complications or readmission between the inpatient and outpatient procedures, though the study did find that inpatients did have a higher rate of thromboembolic events (blood clots in the legs) and outpatients had a higher rate of reoperation. The researchers also noted that patients with elevated body mass index, (overweight) diabetes and an age over 85 years had an increased risk of readmission rate following outpatient surgery.

In another recent study published by Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, authors Arshi et al. take a look at the nationwide trends and risks associated with outpatient total knee replacement. The study is a retrospective review of patients who had undergone total knee arthroplasty as either inpatients or outpatients from 2007-2015. The data demonstrated a higher risk of perioperative complications including component failure, surgical site infection, knee stiffness and deep vein thrombosis for outpatients.

This research may seem a bit conflicting, but in the end, it highlights the importance of being in good health before considering outpatient joint replacement surgery. Outpatient joint replacement can be a very successful, cost-saving option, but your orthopedic surgeon should only recommend it if you meet certain health requirements. We work with our patients through all stages of joint replacement to ensure they enjoy a quick, pain-free procedure and recovery and can get back to their healthy lifestyle as soon as possible.

Dr. Stickney, a Kirkland orthopedic surgeon, is an expert in joint replacement surgerysports medicine and more. Contact Dr. Stickney and return to your healthy, pain-free lifestyle!


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