Sign In
HomeNewsSame day joint replacement trial shows promise

Same day joint replacement trial shows promise

A trial allowing joint replacement patients to return home on the same day of their surgery is underway at Royal North Shore Hospital, and early results are promising.

Patients like Susan Stackhouse, the first patient to take part in the trial, have nothing but praise for the concept which turns a potential two to five day stay for a hip or knee replacement, into a same day discharge.

“I’d been two years in pain since the start of COVID-19. My university work reduced me to being in front of a computer eight or more hours a day which exacerbated my pain. 

“The few months before the operation, I could hardly walk down the road – it was that painful.”

Sport orientated and a yogi with 40 years of experience and her own studio, she said she was a little anxious on the morning of the operation, but was at ease when she met those who would be helping her in her rehab.

“Everybody was very helpful, they reassured me and made me feel very comfortable,” she said.

Orthopaedics Clinical Nurse Consultant Wassim El Abed, who has spearheaded the trial, said the feedback from patients had been stellar.

“We are still in the trial phase of the program, meaning we are still bumping into small issues and finding out the best way to do things… but so far the feedback has been really positive,” he said.

I was very excited because it meant I could recover at home in familiar surroundings
Surgery patient, Susan Stackhouse

“Patients really enjoy being in their home when recovering, while being cared for by the hospital in the home (APAC) staff and their friends and family.”

The trial has strict eligibility criteria, and patients must commit to practicing their rehab exercises and crutch use in the weeks prior to their surgery.

“The day of surgery is intense as the patient is seen multiple times by different people – including physiotherapist, occupational therapist, acute pain service, pharmacy, the orthopaedics clinical nurse consultant and orthopaedics team – and is provided with plenty of education prior to being cleared to discharge. We aim to discharge the patient by 6pm,” Wassim said.

 “APAC will then see the patient daily for seven days. They are also followed up by the orthopaedic team every day for the first four days as part of their ‘virtual rounding’.”

The trial, should it be implemented on a permanent basis, also holds promise in helping others get their surgery quicker.

Meanwhile for Susan, who is now almost two months post-op, the results are not just a new hip, but a whole new lease on life.

“Since I’ve had the surgery, people have said my whole demeanour has changed, and I am back doing the things I want to do” she said. 

What others found interesting…