Outpatient total knee arthroplasty is becoming the new standard: 3 research insights

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An article published in the Journal of Arthroplasty examined the increased prevalence of outpatient total knee arthroplasty, and how surgeons and health systems can adapt to the new trend.

David Backstein, MD, Mohamad J. Halawi, MD, and Michael A. Mont, MD, examined the need and the benefits of outpatient arthroplasty as well as areas for improvement.

Here are the key details to know:

1. Outpatient total knee arthroplasty is safe, has a low rate of readmission and is cost-effective. An analysis of Medicare's 5 percent Limited Data Set sample found outpatient total knee arthroplasties saved patients $8,627 compared to a three- to four-day inpatient stay.

2. The proportion of patients eligible for outpatient surgery remains somewhat unclear, researchers said. Scoring systems such as the American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status classification system and the Outpatient Arthroplasty Risk Assessment have been used in the preoperative selection of candidates, to varying degrees of success.

3. Patient selection criteria can limit the number of individuals that may undergo outpatient surgery, and impacts the magnitude of potential cost savings, researchers said. Not having a universal patient selection criterion is lacking, and is one of the areas of improvement.

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