Virginia Alan knew she needed a total hip replacement before traveling to Paris with her husband to celebrate their wedding anniversary. She also assumed the procedure would require a hospitalization. “I didn’t want to spend the night in the hospital,” she says. “I wanted to eat my own food, sleep in my own bed and be on my own schedule rather than deal with the hospital’s routine.”
Ms. Alan spoke with one of her husband’s colleagues who underwent a same-day knee replacement at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit and considered the possibility. “It seemed risky to have major surgery done on an outpatient basis, but she had nothing but positive things to say about the experience and had no problem recovering at home,” says Ms. Alan. “And knowing that a visiting nurse would check on me after discharge was reassuring.”
A consultation with orthopedic surgeon Michael A. Charters, MD, soon followed and Ms. Alan booked her procedure in April 2021. She recovered in the comfort of her home and deems the procedure a life-changing success. “Before surgery, I couldn’t walk up the stairs or around the block,” she says. “Even carrying a bag of groceries in from the car was painful.”
Her experience is becoming commonplace among a growing number of patients whose care is helping to drive increased demand for same-day joint replacements that shows no sign of slowing down.