The concepts of Enhanced Recovery Programmes (ERP) are to reduce peri-operative morbidity whilst accelerating patient's rehabilitation resulting in a shortened hospital stay following primary joint arthroplasty. These programmes should include all patients undergoing surgery and should not be selective. We report a consecutive series of 1081 primary total knee arthroplasties undergoing an enhanced recovery programme with a one year follow up period. A comparative cohort of 735 patients from immediately prior to the enhanced recovery programme implementation was also reviewed. The median day of discharge home was reduced from post-operative day six to day four (p<0.001) for the ERP group. Post-operative urinary catheterisation (35% vs. 6.9%) and blood transfusion (3.7% vs. 0.6%) rates were significantly reduced (p<0.001). Within the ERP group median pain scores (0 = no pain, 10 = maximal pain) on mobilisation were three throughout hospital stay with 95% of patients ambulating within 24h. No statistical difference was found in post-operative thrombolytic events (p=0.35 and 0.5), infection (p=0.86), mortality rates (p=0.8) and Oxford Knee Scores (p=0.99) at follow up. This multidisciplinary approach provided satisfactory post-operative analgesia allowing early safe ambulation and expedited discharge to home with no detriment to continuing rehabilitation, infection or complication rates at one year.
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