A retired electrician has become the first person in the UK to have hip replacement surgery in a day.
Chris Walker was back home just ten hours after his operation at Castle Hill Hospital, Hull, which is trialling fast-track hip and knee replacement surgery.
“It’s been great,” said the 71 year-old from Beverley. “I had a lot of advice and physio support before the operation and afterwards, both in the hospital and since I’ve been home.
“It’s certainly more relaxed being here than being in a hospital situation and I’m looking forward to being able to walk the dog and get on my bike again.”
Walker’s implant was manufactured by British healthcare company JRI Orthopaedics, who are supporting the trial by part-funding the provision of 3G tablets for patients taking part.
Consultant orthopaedic and trauma surgeon Elizabeth Moulder is coordinating the ‘joint replacement in a day’ project at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
“It has been a gradual change in attitudes over recent years. When hip replacements were first done patients would be in bed for two weeks post-surgery, but there has been increasing awareness that early mobility reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke,” she said. “So long as we can guarantee they are getting the same care and physiotherapy support in or out of hospital, then people would much rather be at home.”
Patients selected to take part in the trial are otherwise fit and healthy and will go through intensive pre-op physiotherapy.
Following hip replacement surgery, specialist physiotherapists help patients to get on their feet and ensure they can safely use walking aids and get up and down stairs.
Alongside a package of home-based physiotherapy, each patient leaves hospital with a tablet computer with dedicated rehabilitation and recovery information. If they have any problems with pain relief or mobility, the patients will also be able to Skype their hospital team.
The Furlong hip replacement implant being used is manufactured by JRI Orthopaedics at its manufacturing facility in Sheffield. The company is wholly owned by the charity Orthopaedic Research UK, donating profits to research into bone and joint disease.
CEO Keith Jackson said: “Innovation is at the heart of what we do and we are delighted that JRI is supporting the brilliant surgical team at Hull to deliver a better patient experience and realise significant efficiency improvements for the NHS.”
The first phase of the fast-track trial will see 20 patients having hip and knee replacements in a day.
“We believe it has to be better for the patient,” added Moulder. “They can take painkillers when they feel they need them rather than waiting for a drug round or nurse availability. Patients are less likely to get post-operative infections and our multi-disciplinary hospital-based teams have worked very closely together to ensure we can provide the quality aftercare support for patients.”