OSI’s Role in Outpatient Joint Replacement Surgery
There now are options for joint replacement surgery that did not exist even just a few years ago. At the High Pointe Surgery Center St. Croix Orthopaedics (SCO) have been performing outpatient joint replacements (OJR) since March 3rd, 2012, when Dr. Mark Dahl performed the first one.
Outpatient joint replacements (which include Total Knee Replacement, Uni-compartmental Knee Replacement, Total Hip Replacement, and Birmingham Hip Resurfacing) at High Pointe Surgery Center are a collaborative effort by SCO, The High Pointe Surgery Center team, OSI Physical Therapy, and multiple home health agencies.
The goal of the collaborative team was to provide similar care and services to what a patient of traditional, inpatient joint replacement would receive without the typical 2 to 3 night hospital stay while maintaining excellent outcomes. This goal has been realized.
The role of the Physical Therapist (PT) at OSI is to provide services before, immediately after, and at about 5 days post-operatively.
Before surgery the OJR patient meets one-on-one with a PT from OSI to evaluate the knee or hip and will recommend any pre-operative exercises to help with any deficits in strength or ROM that could improve post-operative outcomes. This is also a great time for OJR patients to discuss rehab goals and have any specific questions relating to expected function or the rehab process answered. We also discuss post-operative mobility; what the best option is for an assistive device (usually crutches), fitting of the assistive device, and instruction on how to use it correctly on level surfaces and stairs. After all, most patients are walking with the use of crutches just hours after surgery! We also will instruct all patients in an initial post-operative home exercise program. These are gentle exercises to encourage early movement of the joint as well as early strengthening exercises to begin to build back strength, improve blood flow and to promote healing.
OSI Therapists are also involved on the day of surgery. A therapist from our High Pointe clinic will meet OJR patients within a few hours of surgery and will walk with them for the first time on their new joint to ensure safety and correct use of the assistive device. We again will answer any questions that the patient or family members may have, and review the initial home exercise program.
Patients then leave the High Pointe Surgery Center when they achieve criteria for discharge, including the mobility check out from PT. When patients return home (or to the nearby Holiday Inn if they are from outside of the Metro area), they are met with home health Nursing. The following day, a home health PT continues the therapy.
Five days after surgery, the patient then returns to OSI Physical Therapy for their continued rehabilitation. The frequency and duration of treatment will be determined by their PT depending on surgery type, current condition, and desired functional goals.
Only the surgeon can determine if outpatient joint replacement is right for you. If you are considering joint replacement and would prefer to recoup at home rather than in a hospital, consult with your doctor to determine if you are an eligible candidate.
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