Patients receiving a new hip are getting back on their feet faster with the help of better rehabilitation techniques.
Thanks to the new approach Kerryn Bailey, 54, was walking on his new hip with support three hours after returning from surgery at Ormskirk hospital. He went home the next day.
“I was using a frame at first and then sticks. The crutches we’re gone after two weeks and by week four I was feeling back to normal,” said Kerryn, from Birkdale, Southport.
A retired Merseyside Police officer of 33 years, who now drives part-time for Asda, he originally injured his hip in a motorcycle accident and later began to suffer arthritis.
“Before the operation I couldn’t walk more than 100 yards but the treatment has been fantastic. I couldn’t fault the NHS. The operation has transformed my life,” said Kerryn.
The accelerated rehabilitation programme has been developed by the physiotherapy and occupational therapy team and surgeons at Ormskirk hospital.
Traditional rehabilitation advised patients to restrict their movements and make temporary adaptations at home but this limited independence for up to six weeks after surgery.
Joanne Kenyon, Orthopaedic Therapy Team Leader at Ormskirk hospital, said there was little evidence to support the approach: “Instead we assess each patient before their operation and provide appropriate equipment for their individual needs. This reduces anxiety for the patient and saves the NHS money because we’re no longer providing unnecessary equipment.”
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Matthew Cartwright-Terry, who performed Kerryn’s operation, added: “Twenty-five years ago it wasn’t uncommon for patients to be in hospital two to three weeks after a total hip replacement. Now it’s two or three days – and our ambition to get discharge down to 24 hours where it’s appropriate.
“Improved anaesthetics and how we reduce bleeding and swelling have all helped but so too has our accelerated rehabilitation programme where we’re supporting patients help in their own recovery.”
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