Outpatient total knee arthroplasty with a minimally invasive technique

J Arthroplasty. 2005 Oct;20(7 Suppl 3):33-8. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2005.05.021.


Fifty consecutive patients were enrolled in this prospective study. This was 37% of the 135 patients undergoing primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA) by one surgeon. The average patient age was 68 years (50-79 years). A comprehensive perioperative management pathway was developed and was implemented, which combined regional anesthesia with a minimally invasive, TKA technique in which the only incision in the capsule and extensor mechanism is a capsular incision from the joint line to the superior pole of the patella. Postoperatively, patients received oral analgesia. After specific discharge criteria were met, 48 patients (96%) chose to go home the day of surgery. No intraoperative complications occurred. There were 3 readmissions, none related to early discharge: gastrointestinal bleed at 8 days, superficial irrigation and debridement at 21 days, and a closed manipulation at 9 weeks. This study demonstrates that, in these selected patients, outpatient TKA was safe with no short-term readmission or complications related to early discharge. This comprehensive pathway may make it possible for this minimally invasive TKA to be done as an outpatient in specialized surgicenters in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Surgical Procedures*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures
  • Prospective Studies