Patient Information Resources

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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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My elderly sister (age 78 and 20 years older than me) is having her second total knee replacement. The doctor is planning to send her directly home after the operation. How is this even possible? Won't she need time to recover from the surgery itself?

Patients who are discharged directly home after a total knee replacement do spend some time in the hospital before going home. This is usually somewhere between three and five days. Discharging her "directly home" means when she's released by the doctor, she goes from the hospital to her home.

Patients are discharged directly to home when they are medically stable. They must be able to get in and out of bed, walk, and get in and out of a car. They are able to go to the bathroom by themselves. Self-care such as bathing and meal preparation may still be limited for a time.

Some patients need to go to an extended care facility for a period of time before going home. Others need more intensive care and go to a rehab facility (usually part of the same hospital complex). They are discharged from the hospital to one of these other centers.


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