Patients who live alone can safely be sent home after joint replacement

Most patients who live alone can be safely discharged home from the hospital to recover after hip or knee replacement surgery, suggests a study in the January 17, 2018 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

The results question the belief that patients who live alone should routinely be sent to an inpatient rehabilitation facility after total joint replacement surgery, before going home. “Patients living alone had a safe and manageable recovery when discharged directly home after total joint arthroplasty,” write Andrew N. Fleischman, MD, and colleagues from The Rothman Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia.

Similar Outcomes after Joint Replacement for Patients Living Alone

The study included 769 patients who were discharged home after one-sided total hip or knee replacement. Of these, 138 patients were living alone for the first two weeks after surgery. The researchers compared complication rates and other important outcomes for patients who lived alone versus those who lived with others.

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