Outpatient total hip arthroplasty : the future?


total hip arthroplasty ; outpatient ; ambulatory ; safety

Published online: Sep 14 2021


Solange De Wouters, Steven Petronilia, Daniel Paulet, Tom De Baere, Etienne Willemart, Olivier Cornu

From the Saint-Jean Hospital, Brussels, Belgium


With advancements in minimally invasive surgical technique, pain management and rehabilitation proto- cols, and prevention of post-operative complications, outpatient total hip arthroplasty became a realistic goal. This study reports our experience of performing outpatient total hip arthroplasty assessing its feasi- bility and safety.

Between December 2015 and January 2018, 52 outpatient total hip arthroplasties were performed. We implemented a peri-operative management proto- col that included education, improved analgesia and rapid rehabilitation. Patients were asked about any complications they had experienced after surgery and about the perception of their experience as outpatient. Any early post-operative emergency department visits, acute office appointments or hospital re-ad- missions were registered.

Fifty-one of 52 patients (98,1%) enrolled in the study met the discharge criteria and achieved their goal of going home on the day of surgery, and only one patient (1,9%) required an overnight stay. There were two visits to the emergency room, with one hospital re-admission (1,9%) on the night of the surgery. There were no major post-discharge complications in the short-term follow-up (minimum of three months). Only one patient (1,9%) reported a significantly negative experience.

With this first Belgian experience reporting on out- patient primary total hip arthroplasty, our data demonstrate that early discharge does not result in excessive re-admissions or other post-discharge complications due to an early discharge. This study suggests that total hip arthroplasty can be performed safely and successfully in appropriately selected patients and that patients who experienced that ambulatory protocol declared themselves highly satisfied.