New Knee, No Hospital Stay
Nina Campanicki was in pain. While the pain didn’t dampen her effervescent personality, it was taking a toll on her physically. Now 65, the Dover native works in the library at a local university, so she was on her feet quite a bit. Campanicki thought the pain was mostly located in her hips, so 10 years ago she traveled out-of-state to have them replaced. Unfortunately, like many joint replacement patients, Campanicki realized once her hips felt better, her knees were throbbing.
“I didn’t even know I had trouble with my knees until after my hips were replaced,” said Campanicki. “When I initially looked into having my knees replaced, the doctors I was working with out-of-state said that I needed to lose weight before I could be a knee replacement patient.” Campanicki set a goal and worked for several years to lose the weight. But after years of living with the knee pain, Campanicki was still working towards her weight loss goal. And then she fell.
“It was just a fluke fall but I broke my arm,” recalled Campanicki. That’s when she met Orthopaedic Surgeon Stephen Manifold, MD, and his team. “When they were working on my arm, I told them about my knee pain and the weight loss journey I was on. They told me I was absolutely a candidate for knee replacement, and I could potentially be one of the first patients to have it done without a hospital stay.”
Total knee replacements are a common surgery. New data from the National Institutes of Health shows one in 10 people will have a knee replacement by the time they are 80. Typically, patients who have a knee replaced stay in the hospital for at least one night before being sent home. Bayhealth now offers outpatient knee replacement for certain patients. Patients who undergo outpatient knee replacement have surgery and go home the same day.
“Proper patient selection is critical to the success of outpatient total joint replacement,” said Dr. Manifold. “Candidates are typically younger and healthy, and have a support system at home. Patient motivation is also key.”
Campanicki’s outpatient knee replacement took place at Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus. She arrived that morning and was back home by late afternoon. She started physical therapy on her knee before her surgery and was back at physical therapy the day after surgery.
“From the second I got up after surgery, I knew my knee was stable. I felt confident using my new knee immediately,” she said. “I can’t say enough about the staff at the Sussex Campus. I couldn’t have my family with me due to COVID, and the staff was amazing. They made sure I was comfortable and had all my questions answered. I couldn’t have my tribe with me but they became my tribe.”
Once she completed her physical therapy regimen, Campanicki turned to water aerobics to keep moving and stay active. Campanicki is hoping to have her other knee replaced next summer.
“Nina was an ideal candidate due to her positive, goal-oriented attitude and her willingness to do the necessary preparations prior to the day of surgery. As a result, Nina was able to return home to her familiar surroundings and sleep in her own bed on the day of her surgery,” said Dr. Manifold.
“I wouldn’t want to do my surgery any other way. Going home the same day was amazing. Dr. Manifold was the best. He made me feel so confident as a patient,” said Campanicki. “When I want something, I get it! I knew I didn’t want a lot of downtime after this surgery and I haven’t had much at all. After I get my other knee replaced, my next goal is Europe and I know I’ll get there. I couldn’t be more pleased with my experience start to finish.”
Visit Bayhealth.org/Orthopaedics to learn more about all the conditions we treat and our innovative approach to surgery.
When is it time to consider knee surgery?
It's hard to know when it might be time to consider surgery. Dr. Manifold outlines when you should speak with your doctor about this option.
- When nothing helps the pain. This includes exercise, physical therapy and pain management.
- When your day-to-day life is affected. If you can't walk, work or even sleep, it might be time to speak with your doctor.
- When you want to stay active. If joint pain is keeping you from the active lifestyle you want to maintain, seek help
- When your knees hurt even when resting. Activity tends to create pain, but if you're in pain even while resting your knees, it may be time to consider a joint replacement.