Clinical practice guidelines for early mobilization hours after surgery

Orthop Nurs. 2010 Sep-Oct;29(5):290-316; quiz 317-8. doi: 10.1097/NOR.0b013e3181ef7a5d.


This clinical practice guideline (CPG) is the product of cohesive interdisciplinary collaboration. The impact of this project merits more than routine attention given the lack of published nursing literature. The Department of Nursing acted as the catalyst to improve the quality of patient care. This initiative resulted in a pivotal change in the standard of care, updating outmoded orthopaedic nursing practices. The most significant change improved the time patients began their first postoperative activity. Dangling the patient on the day of surgery enhanced the benefits of early activity and reduced the time from 16.8 to 6 hr with no adverse patient consequences. The CPG also demonstrated excellent postoperative pain management, realizing pain scores below 4 (0-10 scale) at multiple time points. In addition, the length of stay improved from 4.3 to 2.8 days. The results support the value of implementing a CPG.

MeSH terms

  • Arthroplasty, Replacement*
  • Education, Continuing
  • Humans
  • Pain, Postoperative
  • Postoperative Period
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Walking*