Understanding Fast Track Joint Replacements
Grace Weatherby
/ Categories: WELLNESS, 2024

Understanding Fast Track Joint Replacements

Fast track joint replacements aim to get you back on your feet and home sooner than traditional joint replacements. While they share many similarities with standard procedures, the key difference lies in the approach to discharge. Instead of staying in the hospital for a night, patients are discharged on the same day as their surgery, provided certain criteria are met.

One of the critical factors in determining eligibility for same-day discharge is your psychosocial situation. How do you typically deal with pain and adversity? Do you have a strong support system at home? These are essential questions to consider, as patients who struggle with pain management or lack adequate support at home may find same-day discharge challenging.

Things you need to consider in advance of a procedure include:

Preparing Your Home for Recovery

Preparing your home for recovery is crucial for a safe and comfortable transition after surgery. Consider eliminating stumbling risks, stocking up on essentials, and arranging for a recovery partner to assist you in the initial stages. Having a recovery partner can provide invaluable support and assistance as you navigate the early stages of recovery.

Physical Therapy and Recovery

While some studies suggest that patients can do well without formal physical therapy after surgery, many patients benefit from the guidance of a physical therapist. A physical therapist can serve as a coach, guiding you through exercises and activities to promote healing and recovery.

Staying Active Before Surgery

Staying in the best shape possible before surgery can help expedite the recovery process. Engage in exercises and activities that are still tolerable with your arthritic joint to maintain strength and mobility leading up to your surgery.

Recovery Timeline

The duration of your recovery will vary depending on your individual circumstances and goals. On average, most patients can walk without assistive devices and engage in desired activities with significantly reduced pain after 6-8 weeks.

Fast track joint replacements offer a promising option for individuals seeking a quicker recovery and return to daily activities. By considering the psychosocial factors, preparing your home, and engaging in pre-surgery exercises, you can set yourself up for a successful recovery journey. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider to determine if fast track joint replacement is the right option for you.

 

Michaela Schneiderbauer, MD, MBA, is a board-certified fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon and a member of the SVMC Orthopedics team.

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