What is the Enhanced Recovery Pathway?

The ERP is designed to support physical recovery – for example, restoring function, strength and range of movement – as well as minimising physiological stress to the organs and major systems during surgery. Importantly, it also recognises the importance of the psychological aspects of recovery, offering information and support that helps patients to make informed choices at every stage of their treatment journey. Our aim is to closely involve you in decision-making, as well as inviting you to involve a relative or friend to act as a ‘coach’ and support you.

As part of our patient education programme, you will receive information on every aspect of their treatment and will have an opportunity to discuss any part of their treatment with a member of their healthcare team.

After surgery, the ERP focuses on getting patients out of bed and moving their new joint as soon as possible, supported by effective pain relief. This approach is backed up by a multitude of research papers, which have shown that the earlier a person gets out of bed and starts walking, eating, and drinking after their operation, the faster their rehabilitation is likely to be and the better their outcome from surgery.

The benefits of the ERP

  • Shorter length of hospital stay – the average is three days
  • A better range of motion and faster recovery in the early stages of recovery
  • Reduced rates of post-operative complications (including blood clots and infections)
  • Greater comfort for the patient – no wound drains, early removal of intravenous lines, no bladder catheters, no oxygen requirements
  • A shift from using general to local / regional anaesthesia is central to this, although you can request not to be aware during the surgery and be sedated.
  • The avoidance of blood transfusions where possible
  • Significant reduction and control of pain
  • A less stressful experience, resulting in increased patient satisfaction

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