Purpose: Unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) has a faster short-term recovery than total knee arthroplasty (TKA). The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility and safety of performing outpatient UKAs in a consecutive group of patients presenting with unicompartmental knee osteoarthritis.
Methods: A total of 105 consecutive patients underwent unicompartmental arthroplasty before noon with the intention of being discharged as an outpatient. All patients followed an established rapid recovery pathway to facilitate a same-day discharge. Post-operative complications and hospital readmissions were retrospectively recorded for all patients at one week and at three months after surgery.
Results: All of the 105 patients (100 %) indicated for outpatient UKA could be discharged home on the same day of surgery. No patients required readmission within the first week post-operatively, while one patient required readmission between week one and week 12. The single patient who required readmission developed a post-operative infection requiring irrigation/debridement with polyethylene liner exchange and intravenous antibiotics.
Conclusion: Using an established, multidisciplinary, rapid recovery protocol, outpatient UKA is safe and feasible in the vast majority of patients.