Joint replacement outpatients 'as satisfied' as inpatients, survey says

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Joint replacement outpatients are as happy, if not happier than, their inpatient counterparts, according to a survey presented at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual Meeting, March 12-16 in Las Vegas.

Surgeon Richard Berger, MD, and his colleagues at Chicago-based Midwest Orthopedics at Rush, surveyed patient satisfaction after being given a choice between outpatient or inpatient total joint replacement.

Each patient had the same surgeon, hospital, anesthetist and nurse. Researchers monitored patients for preoperative pain and documented their age, gender, marital status, job status and distance traveled to surgery.

Outpatients noted having a higher overall satisfaction rate than inpatients. The outpatients were "happy" with the pain management protocol as well.

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