Healthy Tahoe: Advances in knee and hip replacement |

Healthy Tahoe: Advances in knee and hip replacement

Jeffrey Orr, MD
Dr. Jeffrey Orr

The number of outpatient joint replacement surgeries has been steadily growing in the United States. Between 2012 to 2015, there was a 47% increase in elective same-day joint replacements. With the advances in surgical procedures, and perioperative programs (patient care that happens before and after surgery), who wouldn’t want to recover from the comfort of home, instead of staying overnight at the hospital?

These advances in joint replacement services for knees or hips are now enabling qualified patients in our community to have surgery and leave the hospital the same day. While the surgical procedure, instruments, and medical joint implants are the same as with regular joint replacement surgery, there is more ground work before patients meet surgeons in the operating room for their outpatient procedure.

Pre-surgical programs have paved the way for qualifying patients to go through a step-by-step process with their surgeon and care team to optimize health before their procedure. Individualized health plans working up to the procedure make for better patient results with surgery and recovery from home. The successes these programs deliver makes same-day joint replacement surgeries favorable by patients and medical providers alike. In fact, the demand for these services is expected to grow 77% over the next 10 years, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

It is important for patients considering same-day joint replacement to have medical clearance with their surgeon, and discuss any underlying health concerns. Not everyone is a candidate for outpatient knee and hip replacement, or going home the same day as their procedure. Patients qualifying for same day joint replacement surgery are in good overall health and have a healthy body mass.

The pre-operative program through Barton Health takes weight and other considerations in mind to optimize individuals for their procedure as well as their recovery. Age is another factor, and typically outpatient surgeries are provided to those younger than 65.

Home Health nursing and physical therapy visits support patients in their recovery; however, having continued care from friends and family is important. Accommodating for stairs, house pets, family members, and other personal factors are all things to be considered and discussed with an orthopedic surgeon.

Just as the Barton Health team is here to support surgical success, it’s important to have a recovery team at home.

Dr. Jeffrey A. Orr is a board-certified Tahoe Orthopedics & Sports Medicine physician and orthopedic surgeon practicing at Barton Health. He sees patients in South Lake Tahoeband Carson City. For more information on orthopedic services available to the community, visit or call 530-543-5554.

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