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Joint Replacement in 23 Hours: Is It Right for You?

Hip JointHaving hip- or knee-replacement surgery once meant you’d have a lengthy post-op hospital stay, followed by admission to a rehab center. Today, for many patients the surgery can be done in a procedure called a 23-hour joint replacement. This means you’ll have the surgery, spend one night in the hospital and then recover at home.

A shorter hospital stay offers many benefits — including a quicker recovery. But a 23-hour joint replacement is not recommended for everyone.

Who’s a good candidate?
The best candidates for a 23-hour joint replacement typically are patients who need a hip or knee replacement who are younger and in overall good health, says orthopedic surgeon Kim Stearns, MD. That means those who are in a normal weight range and don’t smoke.

Even those who live alone may qualify. The key is to have support from family and friends while you recover, Dr. Stearns says.

“Older people, and those who are overweight, diabetic or have no resources at home don’t do as well,” Dr. Stearns says.

How a 23-hour joint replacement works