Experience in the first four years of Rapid Recovery; is it safe?

P. Pilot*, R. Bogie, W.F. Draijer, A.D. Verburg, J.J. van Os, H. Kuipers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The average length of hospital stay after Total Hip Replacement (THR) has been decreasing over time. Recently, many hospitals have commenced rapid recovery programs such as Joint Care(R). In Joint Care(R) the patients are usually discharged on the fifth post-operative day with relatively fresh surgical wounds. The aim of this study is to evaluate the Joint Care program after THR. Between February 2000 and February 2004, the Joint Care(R) program was used in 611 patients after THR. The average age of the patients was 66:3 yrs (SD 9.3; range 24-86 yrs) and 68% (n = 415) of them were female. All clinical and outpatient charts as well as nursery records were evaluated. The follow up was from 6 months to 4 years (average: 2.5 years). At the planned fifth post-operative day, 92% (n = 562) of patients were discharged from hospital (SD 1.7 days; range 6-25 days). 3.8% (n = 23) of the remaining cases faced wound problems - prolonged wound drainage in 2.3% (n = 14) and potential superficial infection in 1.5% (n = 9) - causing a delay in their discharge. The readmission rate was 6.4% (n = 39) due to hip dislocation (3.4%; n = 21), re-evaluation of wound (1.5%; n = 9), deep infection (1.2%; n = 7) and cardiac events (0.3%; n = 2). All the infection cases were treated effectively with debridement and antibiotics and no revision for any reason was reported. The Joint Care(R) program seems to be effective after THR. Post-operative hip dislocation was the main reason for post-operative readmission. However, no clear signs that the intensive rehabilitation program caused more complications compared to previous regimens were evident. The above results encourage the application of rapid recovery programs in Orthopaedic surgery and joint replacement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)s37-s40
JournalInjury-International Journal of the Care of the Injured
Volume37 suppl 5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


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