Driving Forces for Outpatient Total Hip and Knee Arthroplasty with Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Protocols: A Narrative Review

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Current Pain and Headache Reports


Purpose of review: To explore the recent developments and trends in the anesthetic and surgical practices for total hip and total knee arthroplasty and discuss the implications for further outpatient total joint arthroplasty procedures.

Recent findings: Between 2012 and 2017 there was an 18.9% increase in the annual primary total joint arthroplasty volume. Payments to physicians falling by 7.5% (14.9% when adjusted for inflations), whereas hospital reimbursements and charges increased by 0.3% and 18.6%, respectively. Total knee arthroplasty and total hip arthroplasty surgeries were removed from the Medicare Inpatient Only in January 2018 and January 2020, respectively leading to same-day TKA surgeries increases from 1.2% in January 2016 to 62.4% by December 2020 Same-day volumes for THA surgery increased from 2% in January 2016 to 54.5% by December 2020. Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocols have revolutionized modern anesthesia and surgery practices. Centers for Medicare Services officially removed total joint arthroplasty from the inpatient only services list, opening a new door for improved cost savings to patients and the healthcare system alike. In the post-COVID healthcare system numerous factors have pushed increasing numbers of total joint arthroplasties into the outpatient, ambulatory surgery center setting. Improved anesthesia and surgical practices in the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative settings have revolutionized pain control, blood loss, and ambulatory status, rendering costly hospital stays obsolete in many cases. As the population ages and more total joint procedures are performed, the door is opening for more orthopedic procedures to exit the inpatient only setting in favor of the ambulatory setting.



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Ambulatory Surgery, ERAS, Total Hip Arthroplasty, Total Knee Arthroplasty