The Benefits of Outpatient Joint Replacement
Outpatient joint replacement allows a patient to have surgery without the need to remain at the hospital afterwards, heading home to recover in their own bed with their own family and possessions. Most kinds of joint surgery are safe and predictable enough to allow this kind of practice with ease, but not everybody will take this option.
Whether you are put off by the idea of extra hospital time or just want to recover at home, you can always ask your orthopedist to see if you are a qualifying outpatient. Even if you are taking that option purely out of personal preference, it can come with many valuable benefits and almost no downsides.
It’s a nicer experience
For many people, being an outpatient means that they get to enjoy their own home at their own pace, doing whatever they want without having to worry about other patients around them. They can sit back and play video games, watch TV, read, or just sleep for as long as they want.
Moving out of the hospital environment can sometimes contribute to better recovery, offering a comfortable and convenient environment that the patient has far more control over. It also means that they can be visited by family and friends on a more regular basis, especially if they live with family.
Beyond that, there is also the fact that it is simply nicer to be home than it is to be in the hospital. If you want to heal quickly, then getting comfortable is the best way to do it, and that often means that you will heal and recover faster in your own bed.
It’s less invasive
Most kinds of joint surgery can become far less invasive, making them a convenient and simple (for the patient) process that does not disrupt your life too much. However, a stay in a hospital can be very disruptive, especially if there are things you could be doing at home that you can’t do in a hospital bed.
While you will still need to settle into bed and recover, these faster and more reliable surgery methods have enabled more chances for outpatient recovery. This makes it much safer to recover at your own home and massively reduces the risks of new scar tissue or unexpected medical issues.
This not only makes it a more comfortable process but can actually help you recover faster due to the lower stress and better conditions. This makes outpatient options a very desirable choice for people who want their recovery to be quick, simple, and self-guided where possible.
You get a longer-lasting anesthetic
Outpatients are generally given a stronger and longer-lasting anesthetic that can keep an area numb for days rather than hours. This allows you to avoid taking extra pain medication and can help you recover faster, all while enjoying your time in your own home instead of a hospital bed.
While this might not sound like a benefit at first, it can be much more important for people who just want to sleep and heal. The extended anesthetic reduces the chance of being woken up with sudden pains and does not force you to follow a short-term schedule.
Combine this with the added comfort of recovering at home, and it is easy to see why many people take this option if they are worried about pain or discomfort. Not only is it cheaper, but the overall level of comfort they will feel during the healing process can be much higher.
It costs less
Paying for hospital treatment can be very expensive and is often the reason that many people will refuse to go to a hospital entirely. If people think they can’t afford it, then many would rather ignore their hip issues than try to get them fixed through surgery – which only makes these issues worse.
The reduced costs involved in being an outpatient makes it much more affordable. In the best circumstances, this means that you can afford the treatment that was previously over your budget, making it a much easier way to get the surgery that you need.
Even if you could already afford the entire surgery, having a lower cost can help you save money for other purposes, meaning that it is always a useful option if you want to cut down on the costs. For many people, this could lead to savings in excess of thousands of dollars.
Being at home reduces the chance of common hospital threats, with the most notable being infection. Even well-done surgery work can get infected if the wrong germs spread into the wrong place, and it is entirely possible to contract a nasty infection at the tail end of your recovery.
While being at home does not completely remove the chance of infection, it can significantly reduce it. With no other sick patients around to spread germs, you can recover in peace, making your rehabilitation a lot faster and safer as a whole. This can be extremely important if your immune system has always been terrible at resisting sickness.
It is important to remember that even non-dangerous infections can hamper your recovery. If you are paying out of pocket for a hospital stay, then you do not want to get an infection that increases your time at that hospital, especially if it is already becoming a costly venture.
You heal faster
Despite what you might think, having doctors and nurses surrounding you all day doesn’t make you heal faster. If anything, the stress of being in a hospital and the discomfort of staying stagnant can often make your healing process slower.
An outpatient can tuck themselves into their own warm bed, then enjoy their favorite tv shows, movies, and games – and this all improves their recovery time. If you have family on standby to help in emergencies, then it can be a much more convenient and time-efficient choice.
If you consider the fact that you will naturally have to do your own physical therapy (even if that is just walking around your own home), then you can also get through the rehabilitation process a lot easier, too. Instead of waiting for dedicated sessions, you can exercise and practice whenever you want, as many times as you are comfortable doing it.
Speak with an Orthopedic Specialist Today
Are you suffering from a recent injury? Make an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists today to start your healing journey. OrthoArizona has nearly two dozen offices throughout the Valley, each focused on quality care, compassion, and excellent customer service. Since 1994, OrthoArizona has been dedicated to compassionate care of the highest quality.
The advice and information contained in this article are for educational purposes only and are not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or other educational medical material.