Patients undergoing hip and knee replacement surgery at the Friarage Hospital now have the chance to go home the same day.
The Northallerton hospital – which is set to open a brand new £35.5million surgical hub in 2025 – is now offering day case joint replacement surgery to suitable patients, avoiding the need for an overnight stay in hospital.
To be eligible for the day case surgery patients must have no major medical problems and have somebody staying with them after the surgery.
Previously patients would spend up to three days in hospital after joint replacement surgery but now the hospital’s Gara Orthopaedic Unit has two dedicated side rooms welcoming day case patients, with most people going home the same day.
The new initiative is already proving popular with patients who are able to get up and about earlier after their procedure which helps with pain relief and minimises complications.
Duncan Hutchinson, 70, was the first day case arthroplasty patient at the Friarage.
The retired civil engineer is now looking forward to being able to cycle on the sea front and take walks on the beach – something he moved to Redcar two years ago to do but has been unable to enjoy properly because his hip and knee were causing him so much pain.
Investigations revealed he required a hip replacement and that’s when he met consultant orthopaedic surgeon and arthroplasty lead Tim Brock.
“He asked me what he could do for me, and I said if you have a magic potion I can take so I can go home tonight and it’s all sorted I’ll have that! And that’s when he said he had a proposition for me and explained that they had just introduced day case surgery,” said Duncan.
“I felt privileged to be able to have this done and when I woke up the pain was gone.
“I’m feeling very well now. I’m just looking forward to getting back to normal – or even better than I was before.”
Mr Brock added: “We are very excited to be offering joint replacement as a day case procedure to our patients. Day case joint replacement gives patients control over their surgery and allows them to rehabilitate comfortably and safely in their own home.
“We have started providing day case hip and partial knee replacements and intend to roll this out to total knee replacements later in the year.
“The aim is to maximise patient experience and satisfaction while continually improving our efficiency to drive waiting times down.
“This service will be well established in time for the opening of our new surgical hub which will feature six main operating theatres, two minor operating theatres and a specialised day unit.
“The Friarage continues to go from strength to strength providing excellent care for our patients.”
The day case surgery is another exciting development for the hospital’s orthopaedic surgery team having also recently celebrated:
- being named as a major revision centre as part of a national drive to standardise care and ensure all knee revision patients receive the right care for their individual needs.
- becoming a provider of robotic hip and knee replacements (Stryker MAKO robotic assisted arm and Smith & Nephew CORI system)
- being awarded quality data provider status by the National Joint Registry (NJR) for excellence in patient safety standards.