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Arrive in the Morning, Back Home in Just Hours

When even standing for a few minutes became excruciating, Mark Beckman knew it was time for a hip replacement. He began researching hospital rankings, quality ratings and surgeons’ reputations, and one name kept coming up: St. Jude Medical Center.

After having outpatient joint replacement on both hips, he says he understands why. “I did my homework and it paid off: It couldn’t have been a better experience,” says the 54-year-old father of two. “The attention to detail and expertise was phenomenal.”

Beckman is one of hundreds of patients who have learned firsthand how same-day joint replacement is significantly changing care for deteriorating and painful joints—and why St. Jude is a national leader in accelerating recovery and elevating outcomes.

NOT SIMPLY SHORTER, BUT A WHOLE NEW APPROACH

Less invasive surgical techniques, better pain management and advanced rehabilitation protocols have all played a role in transforming what was a three-day hospital stay into an outpatient procedure.

“We used today’s best evidence-based protocols to transform conventional approaches about what happens before and after surgery,” explains Stewart Shanfield, MD, the board-certified orthopedic surgeon who performed Beckman’s hip replacements. “The result is: Patients are happier, do better and typically recover faster at home.”

LESS PAIN MEANS BETTER OUTCOMES

A “multimodal” approach to pain management allows the hospital’s surgeons and anesthesiologists to target multiple pain pathways in the body, offering far better pain control with fewer side effects.

“Today we know so much more about how to prevent and minimize pain,” explains Shawn Solhpour, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive solutions to knee conditions. He says the traditional approach of general anesthesia followed by narcotic pain relievers often delayed rehabilitation and recovery.

“Instead of only targeting those pain receptors that respond to narcotics, we target every major type of pain receptor—before, during and after surgery,” Dr. Solhpour says.

A combination of long-acting local and regional anesthesia, some of which is injected into the joint during surgery, creates a synergistic effect that more effectively stops pain while allowing patients to begin physical therapy within an hour of surgery ending—an approach shown to fast-track recovery.

GETTING BACK TO LIFE SOONER

At St. Jude, rehabilitation often begins before surgery, with an innovative approach called “prehab,” to increase strength and improve recovery, and continues almost immediately after surgery. A series of home visits from St. Jude physical therapists typically starts the next day.

“By continuously refining our therapy protocols to reflect new research and improvements, we have turned each step of recovery into a national best practice,” says Dr. Solhpour. The result: St. Jude patients exceed national averages and benchmarks in every measure.

Carefully matching the patient with the procedure—relatively healthy individuals without serious medical conditions—and turning patients into experts on maximizing their recovery are key. From comprehensive pre-op education and a unique digital app that surgeons use to communicate with patients, to ongoing support from a joint replacement nurse navigator, the result is more confident and knowledgeable patients.

Shortly after surgery, Beckman walked with his two children to an amusement park for the first time in years. “It was such a joy,” says the Irvine resident. “Dr. Shanfield is going to stay at the top of my Christmas list for a long time."

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