Advances in technique and technology make it possible for some patients to have joint replacement surgery as a same-day procedure, outside of a traditional hospital setting. Hip, knee and shoulder replacement surgeries are routinely performed in outpatient or ambulatory surgical settings such as the Stamford ASC. Patients go home on the same day as their procedure to begin recovery in the comfort and safety of home.

What are the Benefits of Outpatient Joint Replacement Surgery?

Thanks to new surgical and anesthetic techniques, outpatient joint replacement surgery is as safe as inpatient surgery for most patients. It may also offer a number of benefits. Research data shows that patients who undergo outpatient surgery can have:

  • lower risk of infection
  • less pain
  • faster recovery than patients who have surgery in a hospital
  • a more comfortable recovery in their home supported by family/friends
  • lower levels of anxiety and stress due to a coordinated post-operative clinical care team

Who is a Candidate for Outpatient Joint Procedure?

The best candidates for outpatient joint replacement are active, healthy, and committed to getting back to their normal routines as fast as possible. They are:

  • motivated: The ideal patient has a positive attitude and will carefully follow the doctor’s post-operative instructions.
  • in Good Health: Patients who are active, independent, and healthy before surgery are often best prepared for the post-operative rehab process that is vital to achieving a full recovery. Additionally, patients who take few medications and are not managing other serious health issues are better candidates for outpatient surgery.
  • supported: Patients who have a support network of friends or family members to help out in the early days after the procedure will have an easier recovery.

Preparing for Outpatient Joint Replacement Surgery

Our specialists know that patients have better outcomes when they know what to expect and can be an active participant in their post-surgical healing and recovery experience. 

Your ONS Outpatient Joint Replacement Case Manager will provide comprehensive information for patients and family members about all aspects of outpatient total joint replacement, from pre-surgery and throughout recovery. You can learn more in greater detail by clicking on any of the brochures below.

What to Expect Following the Procedure

A visiting nurse will be scheduled for the day of surgery and the following day to monitor your progress and assist with post-op care in your home. The nurse may return as needed to evaluate your wound and change the wound dressing. At each visit, the nurse will review your diet, hydration, medications, and pain. This is also a good time for you to discuss any questions or concerns.

A physical therapist will also visit your home on the day of surgery and for the following, five to ten days at regular intervals. The therapist will provide a rehabilitation exercise program and schedule. They will also teach you the safest way to move through daily tasks, such as getting in and out of the shower, bed, a car, etc. It is extremely important to practice your exercises and walking program several times a day as instructed. Be sure to take your pain medication as directed to allow you to exercise on your own more effectively.

You’ll use a walker for the first week or two and then transition to walking with a cane. You will not be able to drive for one to four weeks, depending on which lower extremity is involved. Additionally, you cannot drive until you no longer take narcotics. You should avoid lifting or carrying anything over five to ten pounds while walking for the first four to six weeks. You should be able to resume activities as tolerated after three to four months, depending on your progress and your physician’s recommendation.

Your new joint is designed for activities of daily living and lower impact sports such as walking, swimming and cycling. Aggressive sports, such as jogging, running, jumping or heavy lifting may impair or compromise the function and long-term success of your joint and are not recommended.