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. 2018 Feb;187(1):97-109.
doi: 10.1007/s11845-017-1641-9. Epub 2017 Jun 16.

Enhanced Recovery Protocols in Total Joint Arthroplasty: A Review of the Literature and Their Implementation


Enhanced Recovery Protocols in Total Joint Arthroplasty: A Review of the Literature and Their Implementation

A S Galbraith et al. Ir J Med Sci. .


Background: During recent years, there has been an exponential demand for joint arthroplasty, which has coincided with the global economic recession. In response, the management of patients following arthroplasty is continuously evolving, with the average inpatient length of stay decreasing from weeks to days, and more recently, we have witnessed the development of "outpatient arthroplasty" as a novel concept which aims to address the high volume of patients. The reduction in length of stay has been made possible via implementation of "enhanced recovery programmes" encompassing each stage of the patient journey. Such programmes have aimed to maximise efficiency, whilst maintaining patient satisfaction and achieving exceptional functional outcomes.

Objective: We have undertaken a thorough review the literature in relation to enhanced recovery programmes (ERPs) and the research that has underpinned individual elements of enhanced recovery. A literature search of enhanced recovery protocols was carried out using PubMed, Cochrane, Embase and OVID. No language restrictions were imposed on the search.

Review: ERPs represent a multifactorial framework which may be subdivided into several phases. Pre-operative education programmes, outpatient consultation, pre-anaesthetic assessment, pre-procedural physiotherapy, day-of-surgery admission, pre-operative medications, type of anaesthesia, blood loss reduction protocols, multimodal analgesia delivery, day-of-surgery mobilisation, thromboembolic prophylaxis and ongoing rehabilitation are essential in enhanced recovery.

Conclusion: These successful strategies have streamlined the patient pathway of arthroplasty surgery in a cost-effective manner, whilst reducing length of hospital stay and maintaining patient outcomes. Further studies are required to appropriately quantify the impact of individual variables and development of an internationally agreed ERP.

Keywords: Enhanced recovery after surgery; Enhanced recovery programme; Rapid recovery; Total hip arthroplasty; Total joint arthroplasty; Total joint replacement; Total knee arthroplasty.

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