Many orthopaedic procedures are done in an outpatient setting. Patients are able to return home after their procedure with instructions for activity and follow up appointments with the physician. Pain management is also addressed prior to discharge. Physical therapy if ordered, is continued in an outpatient setting – the physician’s office, hospital or a community based clinic. Home health services may also be arranged to meet the need of patients who are unable to access an outpatient setting.
Other procedures such as hip and knee replacements, as well as hip fractures, generally require an inpatient stay of three to five days. Discharge from the hospital varies depending on the home situation as well as the progress of the progress with therapy. Therapy begins in the hospital the day after surgery. Many patients are able to go home with a plan to continue outpatient services or home health may be involved. The Reading Hospital Home Care is one example of home health services available to patients.
Rehabilitation facilities are another option that patients may have depending on their functional ability. The Rehabilitation Center at The Reading Hospital and Medical Center is an example, in addition to any other rehab hospital either in the area or out of area. Criteria for these units is specific and authorization must be obtained from your insurance provider prior to admission. Most patients that are approved for this level of care are transferred by the third day after surgery. Rehab stays are generally five days depending on the level of progress.
A nurse case manager specializing in orthopaedics will work with patients to facilitate the most appropriate plan and will obtain the necessary authorizations from the insurance companies and be an available resource. Social workers are another available resource to work with families and patients. Both case managers and social workers are part of the Care Management Department at The Reading Hospital and Medical Center. For more information, please contact this department at 610-988-8689.