New protocol could lead to quicker discharge after hip op

4th July 2011

A new protocol being trialled in US hospitals could see people being discharged sooner after undergoing a hip op.

The study, which was undertook at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and detailed in the HSS Journal, found that a carefully screened group of patients could be released two days after their operation without any adverse side effects.

In order to ready patients for an earlier release, the doctors encouraged them to move around earlier following surgery and more frequently, and also stopped epidural pain relief sooner.

The average length of stay for people on this 'fast track' was 2.5 days, compared with over four.

"Since there were no differences in complication, readmission, and reoperation rates for the Fast Track group compared with the control group in this study, we feel this proves that a two-day discharge following uncomplicated total hip replacement in a select group of relatively healthy patients is safe," the study authors concluded.

According to the National Joint Registry, approximately 160,000 total hip and knee replacement procedures are performed in England and Wales each year.

Posted by Edward Bartel

Gulotta LV et al (2011). Fast Track THR: one hospital's experience with a two-day length of stay protocol for total hip replacement. HSS Journal

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