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General Orthopaedics


Current Concepts in Joint Replacement (CCJR) – Spring 2015


Total joint arthroplasty (TJA) has historically been considered primarily an inpatient operation. However, the actual length of stay (LOS) has diminished over time. At our institution the LOS from 1987 to 1990 averaged five to seven days. This decreased to three days from 1993 to 2002 and down to one to two days from 2005 to 2011. With the adaptation of improved anesthesia and pain management protocols, minimally invasive surgery techniques, rapid recovery protocols, and proper patient selection, outpatient (OP) TJA appears to be the next step in maximizing peri-operative efficiency; especially as younger patients are undergoing TJA. Other potential benefits of OP TJR include improved patient care and control, better patient and surgeon satisfaction and a lower overall cost.

Over a twenty-four month period (July 2012 to June 2014) we performed 250 primary TJAs (139 hips and 111 knees) and twelve revision TJAs (six hips and six knees). All patients received 400 mg of celecoxib pre-operation and 200 mg/day for ten days. In addition to general anesthesia, hips received a short-acting spinal and knees received an adductor canal block. Tranexamic acid (IV or topical) and a pericapsular injectable cocktail of liposomal bupivacaine was routinely used. There was one deep infection (0.4%) and one readmission for pain control (0.4%). Two cases of deep vein thrombosis were diagnosed (0.8%).

Patient education, home health care utilization, and proper patient selection are key factors to keep hospitalization rates, emergency room visits, and re-admission rates to a minimum.