"We will get the patients out of bed sometimes the same day of the operation." Doctor Thomas P. Sculco, Surgeon-in-Chief at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, reports on the usual duration of a hospital stay for a patient who has just undergone hip replacement.
Dr. Sculco: One of the other real advances in hip replacement surgery has been acceleration of rehabilitation.
Janet Cahill: We do have a fast-track program that if the patient meet certain criteria: they're under 65 years of age, they have BMI of under 25, they can walk 2-3 blocks with a cane prior to surgery... they might be appropriate for this program.
Dr. Sculco: I believe you should move your patients very quickly. So, 20 years ago, you had a hip replacement you didn't get out of bed for 4-5 days. And that's all changed. We will get the patients out of bed. We will get the patients out of bed sometimes the same day as the operation. So I'll operate on them in the morning, and I'll sit them up in the afternoon, and I stand them in the evening. And maybe even walk them.
Janet Cahill: We initiate physical therapy the day of surgery, they do receive physical therapy twice a day... striding on the day of surgery, and they are discharged within 48 hours home.
Dr. Sculco: Now, those patients who were very disabled. Who were elderly. The patient will leave the hospital and go to a rehabilitation center. So they generally go on day 3 or day 4. Because they're generally a little slower. So the average hospital stay for a fit person is about 3 days.
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