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If you’re in good general health, don’t smoke, and are looking for a knee replacement that doesn’t involve a hospital stay, you could be a good candidate for outpatient knee replacement surgery.

Thomas Calton, MD, at Utah Orthopedics is well-known for his expertise in orthopedic surgery. At his modern, world-class medical facility in Ogden, Utah, he focuses on hip and knee replacements — especially outpatient procedures. Modern techniques can provide incredible results with less pain and discomfort.

What knee replacement surgery involves

Each year, more than 600,000 Americans undergo knee replacement surgery, making it one of the most common orthopedic procedures performed in the country. It involves replacing the damaged cartilage and bone in your knee joint with a new, prosthetic joint.

In the past, you could expect to spend up to three days in the hospital after having knee replacement surgery. However, Dr. Calton uses minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques, which means you can often start recovering in the comfort of your own home the same day of your surgery.

What sets apart outpatient knee replacement surgery

Instead of making a large incision that is necessary with traditional joint replacements, Dr. Calton performs knee replacement surgeries with a few small incisions and an arthroscope.

An arthroscope is a tiny camera, and once he makes a small incision, he inserts the camera into your knee joint. The camera then sends images to a nearby video monitor, and Dr. Calton uses these high-definition images so he can make precise cuts with his miniature surgical instruments.

Because of this innovative approach, Dr. Calton can see in detail what’s going on and replace your entire joint without causing unnecessary trauma in the area. This offers numerous advantages, including:

  • Less risk of infection, blood loss, and pain
  • A more comfortable recovery
  • Faster return to regular activity
  • Decreased medical costs

Plus, you can often go home the same day and recover in familiar surroundings.

When to consider outpatient knee replacement surgery

If your knee pain hasn’t responded to conservative treatments, it could be time to consider a joint replacement. However, outpatient, arthroscopic techniques aren’t right for everyone.

Dr. Calton often considers the following when recommending outpatient knee replacement surgery, including your:

  • Overall health, including existing medical conditions, age, and weight
  • Nicotine and alcohol use
  • History of chronic pain and opioid use
  • Mental health, especially significant depression or anxiety
  • Cognitive state and ability to follow instructions

Having outpatient knee replacement surgery also requires significant post-surgery support, so it’s important to have access to in-home help — whether family, friends, or hired — to assist with household tasks, meals, and transportation. You also need to have easy access to a bed and utilities.

Dr. Calton evaluates each of his patients on a case-by-case basis to determine whether outpatient knee replacement surgery can offer the best results.

What to expect after having outpatient knee replacement surgery

Even when Dr. Calton uses minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques, a knee replacement is still a significant surgery.

Having outpatient knee replacement surgery usually takes approximately two hours. After your procedure, you can expect to have some pain, swelling, and physical limitations while you heal. Dr. Calton and our team will offer detailed instructions to aid your recovery, including:

  • Keeping your leg elevated and iced during the first few days
  • Taking medications, such as aspirin, to reduce your risk of blood clots
  • Caring for your dressing
  • Avoiding driving and bearing weight on your knee
  • Performing rehabilitation exercises and physical therapy to support your recovery

In most cases, you can expect to resume most activities in 6-8 weeks, but it can take longer to return to high-impact pursuits safely.

Are you ready to explore knee replacement surgery? To learn more, book an appointment over the phone with Utah Orthopedics today.

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