Outpatient Joint Replacement Explained By George Branovacki MD


Outpatient joint replacement surgery for hips and knees is becoming increasingly common for eligible patients, eliminating the need for long hospital stays and inpatient care. I began performing outpatient hip and knee procedures in 2013, and a third of my practice is now outpatient.


The benefits of outpatient total joint replacement include:

  • Shortened hospital stays
  • The possibility for fewer hospital-acquired infections
  • Lower costs
  • Increased patient satisfaction

Some downsides are slightly increased chances of complications at home and readmission to the hospital. Patients must have a certain level of health to be candidates for the procedure.

Outpatient Joint Replacement Basics

In this brief video, I explain my approach to outpatient joint replacement surgery and how the surgeries typically work.

There are three steps for outpatient total joint replacement surgery:

  • Patients are admitted to the hospital or surgery center.
  • The surgery is done in about 45 minutes.
  • Patients are discharged home a few hours later after walking and having some lunch.

I’ve been performing outpatient total joint replacement surgeries for hips and knees since 2013, after starting with colleagues from other local hospitals. We’ve worked together for years and have perfected the procedures.

Team-Oriented Approach

Outpatient joint replacement therapy requires a team-oriented approach. It’s important that the surgeon, physician’s assistant and nurses work as a team to take care of the patient, and the patient is also a part of the team. Patients need to be empowered to make decisions, in conjunction with their surgeon, as to their care.

The most rewarding part of these surgeries is seeing patients be very satisfied. Usually when the patient is being discharged, they’re very happy they’ve gone through with outpatient joint replacement as a treatment plan.