Study: Inpatient surgery leads to more successful knee replacement surgery recovery

February 20, 2012 at 9:03 am in Healthy Living by VN Editors

A study of Medicare beneficiaries shows that those who have inpatient procedures have a better, less complicated knee replacement surgery recovery periods. If you want to have the best possible recovery, start planning for it before you ever have your knee replacement surgery.

Knee replacement study

Data from more than 100,000 Medicare beneficiaries was studied to compare numbers between those who had inpatient knee replacement surgery and those who opted for outpatient procedures. In the first 90 days after the procedure, mortality was markedly higher in those who were treated on an outpatient basis, as compared to inpatients who had standard stays of three to four days following surgery. Outpatients also had a higher rate of revision surgery, meaning they had to have additional surgeries and procedures following knee replacement.

The study was originally devised to compare costs between the two types of surgical patients. There, the numbers varied little. Patients who received outpatient surgery had costs averaging around $30,000, compared to costs of $35,000 for those who stays three to four days after their surgery. Patients who stayed for five days or more experienced a significant jump in costs, which averaged at $42,000.

Knee replacement surgery

Recovery from knee replacement surgery can be intense. Patients, whether treated on an inpatient or outpatient basis, must undergo physical therapy that involves daily exercises. Many consider the knee pain relief alone to be reason enough to undergo the surgery, though it can be terrifying to have an entire joint replaced and go through an arduous recovery period. But new data gives pain sufferers another reason to think about total joint replacement: it can increase your life.

Researchers at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 2012 Annual Meeting presented data showing that patients with severe osteoarthritis who opted for knee replacement had a 7-year mortality rate. The data is compared to sufferers who didn’t undergo the procedure, who had a mortality rate half as long. As in the previous study, Medicare data was analyzed to achieve the data.

Again, this study looked closely at money spent by patients. Those who did not get knee replacement surgery spent around $63,940 on healthcare over a period of 7 years; those who did spent $83,783. Is the price tag worth four more years of life?

Knee pain relief

For some, it’s impossible to put a price on knee pain relief, and the numbers don’t reflect the individuals who experience pain. You are not a statistic, and everyone’s knee replacement surgery recovery experience is different. If you don’t opt for knee replacement, you’re not doomed to suffering and pain. There are many over-the-counter supplements which can be used for knee pain relief. Physical therapy and various gadgets can also be used to provide non-surgical relief.

Find more ways to treat your aching joints with our free special report, 5 Keys to Knee Pain Relief Without Surgery.

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