If you’ve been delaying hip or knee replacement due to concerns about long recovery times or lost work days, you could be a candidate for outpatient joint replacement at Blount Memorial. For patients who qualify, opting for a state-of-the-art outpatient procedure offers the opportunity to return home hours—instead of days—after surgery. Blount Memorial board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Shane Asbury explains.
“The minimally invasive and muscle-sparing subvastus approach for knee replacement and anterior [front] approach for hip replacement result in significantly less pain and recovery time than traditional joint replacement surgery,” says Asbury, physician leader of Blount Memorial’s nationally recognized joint replacement program. “For the patient, the biggest advantage is a [same-day] return to a more comfortable environment. We are trying to minimize time spent in the hospital.”
Asbury explains that unlike conventional posterior (back) hip replacement surgery—which requires cutting and then reattaching the muscles—the anterior approach allows surgeons to work between the muscles and tissues without detaching them from either the hip or thighbones. Preserving the muscles makes this procedure less invasive, reducing post-operative pain and promoting a faster return to regular activities.
“We actually have performed more outpatient hip replacements than knee replacements at Blount Memorial,” he adds.
The outpatient knee replacement procedure employs a similar approach to spare the quadriceps muscles and tendon. Asbury says, “In a traditional knee replacement, the quadriceps tendon, or the large tendon on the front of the knee, is split in two. In a subvastus approach, the tendon is completely spared.”
One notable Blount Memorial outpatient joint replacement patient is former Maryville High School football coach George Quarles, who had both hips replaced (by Blount Memorial board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Eric Morgan) using the same-day, anterior approach.
Being an athlete isn’t a requirement for outpatient joint replacement, however, potential patients do need to meet certain fitness standards to qualify for this type of procedure. “The most suitable candidate would be a patient with a good fitness base who has few medical comorbidities,” Asbury adds. “We want to pick candidates who are least likely to suffer post-operative complications.”
To see if you qualify for outpatient joint replacement at Blount Memorial, call the Blount Memorial joint replacement coordinator at 865-980-4929.