Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center surgeons say 96 percent of minimally invasive knee replacement patients leave the same day, with no complications.

The orthopedic surgeons said many of the patients were able to walk out of the hospital unassisted or with a cane.

Dr. Richard Berger says it’s not just the surgeon’s skills and techniques that help patients avoid a hospital stay.

It’s a comprehensive management pathway (that) helps the patient avoid an overnight stay, said Berger. It’s optimal sequencing and timing of interventions by the nursing, physical therapy, anesthesia, and surgical team — it’s a team approach of equally weighted preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative care.

Berger, who pioneered minimally invasive outpatient surgery, said his technique for total knee arthroscopy does not cut the quadriceps muscle and quadriceps tendon.

The only incision is from the joint line to the superior pole of the patella, he said. The quadriceps tendon is not cut or split. The knee is not dislocated; instead, in situ cuts are made. The patient is out of surgery in less than two hours.

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