Hartlepool hospital pioneers 'day case' knee joint surgery

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Surgeons in Hartlepool are performing “day-case” knee replacement – so patients can recover in the comfort of their own home.

The operations follow a successful sister pilot which saw North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust carry out hip replacements, with patients being admitted, operated on and discharged the same day.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Manju Ramappa and his team at the University Hospital of Hartlepool have been instrumental in expanding the day-case surgery service.

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He said: “The feedback from our first group of day-case hip replacements was really positive.

Knee surgery patient James O’Shea with staff from Ward 9 before being discharged.Knee surgery patient James O’Shea with staff from Ward 9 before being discharged.
Knee surgery patient James O’Shea with staff from Ward 9 before being discharged.

"Being able to operate on and discharge patients back to the comfort of their own home within the same day can have positive outcomes for their recovery.

"There is a lower risk of hospital acquired infection. Complications such as blood clots can also be reduced as these patients tend to mobilise early.”

He added: “Not all patients will be suitable for this procedure and patients undergo pre-operation checks by the specialist team to assessing their overall fitness and suitability for the procedure.

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James O’Shea, 63, who is a steeplejack from Thornaby, was the first patient to have the knee procedure.

The University Hospital of Hartlepool.The University Hospital of Hartlepool.
The University Hospital of Hartlepool.

He said: “When I was told I was eligible for the new day-case surgery and I could be in and out within the same day I was really pleased. Dr Ramappa was excellent at explaining the whole procedure and alleviated any concerns.

"I feel the procedures gone really well and the team have been brilliant in managing my pain levels.”

He added: “I always loved taking long walks with my dog Paddy but my knee has prevented me from enjoying that. I’m looking forward to taking him for a walk again.”

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Mr Ramappa added: “James’ mobility levels following the surgery were excellent. Within the first four hours after surgery, he was already starting to mobilise with the help of physiotherapist. I’m happy to report that he is now home and recovering well.

“Being able to transform and expand upon the procedures we offer is an exciting time for us at Hartlepool Hospital.

"It is contributing to improving overall patient experience and safety, and also seeing them safely recover at home sooner.”

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