Lee’s Summit man is first to have outpatient hip replacement surgery at metro hospital

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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- Outpatient surgery has become very common. But outpatient hip replacement? A Lee's Summit man is the first to have that at one metro hospital.

Jeff Driskill had put up with serious hip pain for four years. The arthritis likely started with a football injury back when Driskill played for Mizzou. He would need the joint replaced. Dr. Robert Paul, an orthopedic surgeon, told him it could be done without even an overnight hospital stay.

"Explained it to my wife and she accused me of talking him into it because she knew I didn't want to stay in the hospital any longer than I had to," Driskill said.

So two weeks ago, Driskill became the first patient at St. Mary's Medical Center in Blue Springs to have outpatient hip replacement. For most patients, it's still at least a two-night stay. Dr. Paul says Driskill was a good candidate because he's relatively young at age 54, in great shape and has family support. He was also motivated.

"They have to go through lots of hoops in order to be prepared for this kind of surgery. My part really is essentially the same, but everybody else's is much more involved," Dr. Paul said.

Driskill received education and therapy before surgery so he knew what to do after. He had the operation at 7:30 a.m. and went home at 6 p.m. after showing the staff he could walk and climb a few stairs on crutches.

"Well, thanks to the drugs I was on that day, I could touch my toes and I was walking and going up the stairs so that was relatively easy," Driskill said.

Dr. Paul says with the right patients, the outpatient operation isn't any riskier. A home health nurse visited at first, and Driskill comes back to the hospital for physical therapy.

He's been sore, but says that all in all he's "Very happy. It's been great."

His hip pain is gone.

Driskill's insurer had to sign off on the outpatient surgery. Dr. Paul says Medicare patients can't have it done that way because Medicare requires a two-night stay for hip replacement.