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Arthroplast Today. 2018 Sep 22;4(4):484-487. doi: 10.1016/j.artd.2018.08.002. eCollection 2018 Dec.

Is it safe? Outpatient total joint arthroplasty with discharge to home at a freestanding ambulatory surgical center.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Illinois Bone and Joint Institute, Morton Grove, IL, USA.
Illinois Sports Medicine & Orthopedic Surgery Center, Morton Grove, IL, USA.
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery Specialists, Park Ridge, IL, USA.
Department of Anesthesia, Midwest Anesthesia Partners, Park Ridge, IL, USA.



Total joint arthroplasty (TJA) is trending toward shorter hospitalizations; as a result, there are many ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) starting to perform outpatient TJA. However, there are limited studies examining the safety of outpatient TJA in the freestanding ASC setting. This study aims to evaluate 30-day and 90-day complication rates in patients who underwent outpatient TJA at a freestanding, independent ASC with direct discharge to home.


A retrospective cohort review using health records was performed on the first 115 TJAs performed between August 2015 and March 2017 by one of the 4 orthopedic surgeons. Before the first TJA, the ASC had developed a multidisciplinary TJA pathway.


Of the 115 TJAs, 37 (32%) were total hip arthroplasties (THAs), 53 (46%) total knee arthroplasties (TKAs), and 25 (22%) unicompartmental knee arthroplasties, with a mean age of 57 ± 7 years and body mass index of 30 ± 5 kg/m2. There were no intraoperative or direct ASC-related complications. There was 1 instance (0.9%) of a postoperative minimally displaced intertrochanteric femur fracture after THA due to a fall treated nonoperatively complication within 30 days of surgery. Of the 90-day complication events, there were 2 patients (2%) with postoperative arthrofibrosis of the knee after TKA requiring manipulation under anesthesia, 1 postoperative patellar tendon rupture during therapy after TKA requiring surgical repair and 1 delayed hematogenous infection after international travel after THA requiring 2-staged exchange.


Outpatient TJA with discharge to home at a freestanding, independent ASC is a safe option after development of a multidisciplinary TJA pathway.


Complications; Independent ambulatory surgical center; Outpatient; Total joint arthroplasty

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