Surgical techniques which are less invasive are enabling patients undergoing joint replacement surgery to return to normality much faster.
Patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, for example, are often discharged within three days after surgery and can function normally after one to two months, according to Dr Andrew Spitzer, associate director of the Institute for Joint Replacement.
This is a direct result of using less invasive surgical techniques for knee and hip replacements, as well as the technological advances in prostheses, Dr Spitzer revealed.
"Lesser-invasive joint replacement is valuable to the extent that it shortens the window between when the surgeon finishes the operation and the time the patient is able to mobilise and get back into an active, productive lifestyle," he explained.
"Shrinking the rehabilitation period – from three to six months to one to two months – is a very enticing goal both from the healthcare industry's viewpoint of resource management and economics and from the patient's viewpoint of more quickly returning to the workplace and being able to remain active there for a longer period of time."
In addition, Dr Spitzer said that better pain management programmes and improved patient education are helping to increase independence after hip and knee replacement procedures.
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Knee and hip replacement surgery news : 25/08/2006