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Inpatient Rehabilitation
Doesn’t Help Most Joint Replacement Patients

David Mitchell & Shaun English are currently at the Australian Orthopaedic Association Annual Scientific Meeting. “Every year we trawl through the presentations for things to change our practice, at the same time putting up there any research we’ve been doing.”

Research from Mater Hospital Sydney. Of 748 patients having hip or knee replacement, only 44 patients chose to go directly home. They matched these patients to 44 most similar remaining in rehabilitation. Satisfaction with the surgery was HIGHER in the patients discharged directly home, and the health outcomes were not changed. They concluded that rehabilitation doesn’t help.

At BallaratOSM – we run in excess of 90% of our patients discharged directly home with our LIA & Rapid Recovery program. A RAPT scoring system is used well prior to surgery to assess patient suitability for discharge directly home. A discharge check list is utilised to ensure patients are comfortable, mobile, independent, not nauseated, and except in the young and strong, have someone to stay with them the first night. The length of stay is also predicted on RAPT score, 70% of patients are suitable to go home after one night in hospital. We have a well developed program with progressive improvement over the last 12 years, and patients going home the day after knee replacement since 2010, and hip replacements since 2011.