Over the years, Joint Replacement has become more common. This may have been because of the advances in technology, the increase in obesity rates during the past decade and the aging of the population. One important factor is thought to be expanding of indications to younger patients and the number of patients living longer with knee replacements continues to increase. Moreover, people nowadays have come to expect a certain type of life and they want to be able to keep up their lifestyle inspite of the demands it may make upon their body.
Over the past 20 years, the mean duration of hospitalization decreased for patients who underwent arthroplasties from approximately 14 to 2 days. This has been attributed to multiple factors, including surgical techniques with less soft tissue damage, improved pain management, early mobilization, changes in rehabilitation techniques, and discharges to inpatient rehabilitation facilities. Joint replacement surgery is the newest wave of outpatient procedures.
This shift from being a hospital “inpatient” to an “outpatient” where recovery takes place out of the hospital and at home has already happened for procedures such as major ligament reconstruction and rotator cuff repair. Refinement of surgical techniques, anaesthesia protocols, and patient selection has enabled this transformation.