Feasibility and safety of performing outpatient unicompartmental knee arthroplasty

Int Orthop. 2014 Feb;38(2):443-7. doi: 10.1007/s00264-013-2214-9. Epub 2013 Dec 13.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ambulatory Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / classification*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / surgery*
  • Outpatients
  • Patient Readmission / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Safety*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome