Joint replacement patients at Scunthorpe General Hospital recovering quicker
PATIENTS needing joint replacement surgery are recovering quicker and being sent home sooner than traditionally with the introduction of a new way of working.
People being admitted to Scunthorpe General Hospital for hip and knee replacements are taking part in an enhanced recovery after surgery programme.
This programme of care – which hinges on patients being active participants before, during and after their surgery – aims to help people recover quickly and safely after surgery.
Orthopaedic consultant Mr Peter Molitor said: “As soon as people hear they need a joint replacement they automatically think they will be off their feet for a prolonged period of time. However, it is no longer a case of them coming in, getting in their pyjamas and then being in bed for two weeks.
“Now they come into hospital, walk to theatre if they are able to do so, and on the same day of their procedure they get out of bed and use their new joint. They are encouraged to walk about, as the faster they mobilise, the better it is for their recovery.”
Patients are often anxious about having undergone major surgery and what pain they will experience. However, the programme ensures they receive clear education and information in clinic and at their pre-assessment, and they are advised of their estimated length of stay in hospital and their date of discharge.
In the past, stays in hospital after joint replacement were between 10 to 14 days. On average they are now four to five days but with this new programme they can be as low as two to three days.
From a surgical approach, the operation is no different, but the anaesthetic technique has to be modified. Mr Molitor said: “Patients on the programme receive a spinal anaesthetic and specific analgesics. They also receive local anaesthetic directly into the area where the new joint has been inserted. All of these things mean they recover more quickly after the operation.”
A multi-disciplinary team works with patients. This includes surgeons, anaesthetists, physiotherapists, discharge planning team, pre-assessment nurses, theatre nurses and ward staff.
Mr Molitor added: “Using the enhanced recovery after surgery programme means patients recover quickly following their operation and they can be discharged from hospital and go home, as soon as it is safe for them to leave.”
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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