A state-of-the-art surgical rehab program in the South West has been hailed as a “gamechanger” for cutting join-replacement surgery hospital stays by more than half — with patients in and out of hospital in the length of an eight-hour work day. When Busselton man Peter Herd had his second knee-replacement surgery recently, he was prepped and wheeled into surgery at 8am, underwent the joint-replacement surgery, and was ready to go home at 5pm the same day — sleeping in the comfort of his own bed that night. He didn’t spend even one night sleeping in a hospital bed. Mr Herd said he didn’t experience any of the same pain or stiffness this time as he did following his first knee-replacement procedure in 2019. “It was very thorough, and it was much better going home and sleeping in your own bed and getting a good night’s sleep,” Mr Herd said. The new customised accelerated rehab program at the Busselton Health Campus is thanks to a collaboration between the hospital’s orthopaedics and anaesthetics departments, who have developed a system that allows improved patient outcomes, faster recovery times, less pain and more mobility. This collaborative approach to surgical, anaesthetic and perioperative treatment allows for a “day zero” joint replacement surgery system at the hospital, getting patients up and about on the same day as their surgery, and spending the night recovering in the comfort of their own homes. The hospital’s acute pain service coordinator Natasha O’Neill said the multidisciplinary team — comprising physiotherapy, occupational therapy, continence, nursing and pharmacy — worked hard to ensure patients were well-informed each step of the way. “Peter was well-prepared and went into surgery at 8am,” she said. “After completing his physiotherapy, Peter was cleared by all the team to go home at 5pm the same day.” Ms O’Neill said the team’s collaborative system has cut hospital stays for some procedures by more than half. “Unicondylar — or partial — knee replacement patients used to remain in hospital for two to four days,” she said. “I can’t tell you what a game changer this is. The advances have been amazing in the last four years. “ Specialist orthopaedic surgeon Dr Tim Fletcher said clinicians from across Busselton Health Campus were focused on early and safe discharges back to the patient’s own home. “I’m proud to be working alongside such a dedicated, compassionate and patient-centred care team,” he said.