Southern Trust first in NI to trial knee surgery as day case

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Thursday, May 9th, 2019

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has recently trialled unicompartmental knee replacement (UKR) surgery as a day case to avoid prolonged hospital stays.

Celebrating the success of the trial, Orthopaedic Consultant for the Southern Trust, Mr Gavin McLean explained, “If your knee is showing wear in only one compartment, you may be a candidate for partial/ unicompartmental knee replacement.



“This is when only the worn or arthritic compartment is replaced with metal and plastic components rather than the full knee joint, as in a standard knee replacement.

“Because this is less invasive than total knee replacement, patients can be safely discharged on the day of surgery with many benefits such as; reduced anaesthetic time, reduced post-operative pain, reduced complications and earlier return to function.

“We are delighted to be the first Trust in Northern Ireland to pilot UKR as a day case and are thrilled with the response from our patients who have reported high levels of satisfaction,” he added.



The service improvement trial of twelve patients was undertaken by a multidisciplinary team who carefully mapped the patient’s journey; from their attendance at the Orthopaedic Outpatient Clinic to Surgery ‘Check-in’ and then Post-Operative ‘Follow Up’.

Southern Trust Acting Head of Trauma & Orthopaedics, Paul Smyth stated, “Before ‘same-day discharge’, patients are provided with effective pain-relief, post-surgery information and assessed for safety by our physiotherapists on crutches and stairs.

“The next day, patients are contacted by telephone to check up on their progress and satisfaction and are then reviewed by our Orthopaedic Consultant within one week.



“As well as the benefits to patients, the Trust was able to avoid unnecessary hospital stay as inpatients, which led to reduced bed occupancy.

He added, “Following the success of this trial we will continue offering this service in order to deliver the highest standards of care to our patients undergoing knee surgery.”



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