Hip replacement patients can be up and about within four hours of their operation thanks to a new approach to pain relief, reports suggest.
The technique uses local infiltration analgesia, which involves a continuous infusion of local anaesthetic into the wound.
This rapid rehabilitation regime has already been trialled in Australia and could help to free up hospital beds more quickly, reducing the NHS waiting times that frequently lead patients to seek private hip replacements.
Orthopaedic surgeon Professor James Richardson told the Daily Telegraph that the surgeon injects a large amount of local anaesthetic into the wound before attaching a pump that continuously administers anaesthetic.
"It means that within a few hours of having surgery you can get up and move around without any pain," he explained.
"This development is great news for patients because they will get their new hips more quickly and will be able to recover sooner in the comfort of their own home."
Patients who decide to seek hip replacement surgery in a UK private hospital can expect to pay in the region of £7,000 to £9,000