Making less fuss of knee replacement surgery in Australia and the inexorable trend towards day stay


Making less fuss of knee replacement surgery in Australia and the inexorable trend towards day stay

The increasing demand for definitive treatment of degenerative knee disorders continues to pressure the healthcare system, with availability of hospital beds particularly contentious. Within this context, surgical efficiency has seen dramatic improvements over time, with steady reductions in length of stay and increased confidence in patient outcomes. At Grafton Hospital, knee replacement cases have been discharged earlier over recent years and day stay surgery appears within reach. The same aspects that are improving the possibility of making total knee replacement on one knee a day procedure can be implemented to decrease the barriers in performing bilateral surgery. Day surgery for knee replacement may not be suited for every patient and doctor, however it is a safe and effective treatment method established and utilised widely overseas. In this presentation, Dr Martin will outline the fast track framework within a regional Australian context for joint replacement and review the outcomes of these protocols in other settings. In addition, he will outline the key factors that can be implemented to improve postoperative function, which extends beyond pain control and patient comfort.


Dr Sam Martin is an innovative and careful Orthopaedic surgeon. He is focussed on providing the most up-to-date techniques and technology to the people of regional NSW. He takes meticulous care from start to finish to minimise the risk of problems.

Communication is very important to Dr Martin. He listens to patients and doesn’t start by assuming everyone wants, or needs an operation. It is very important to him to

take time to go through the concerns a patient or their family may have, and to thoroughly answer any of their questions.

Dr Martin deliberately avoids medical jargon so that there can be no confusion. It is important to Dr Martin that you end up making the decision that is right for you.

To stay up to date, Dr Martin is interested in research and reads and travels widely. He is in touch with world experts and makes sure his practice is evidence-based. The National Joint Replacement Registry is an example of an important resource Dr Martin makes extensive use of.

Dr Martin cares about his patients and is aware that surgery hurts! Minimising the pain involved in surgery is important to him. He strongly believes you shouldn’t need to have a very high pain tolerance to be able to rehabilitate well from a joint replacement.

Dr Martin’s practice is expanding: some patients currently travel from quite a distance to see him. Everyone is welcome! Surgeon visits to observe his techniques are also welcome.

Dr Martin studied Medicine at the University of Tasmania where he graduated with Honours in the year 2000. He trained in Orthopaedic Surgery in Queensland and was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) in January 2010. He spent the rest of 2010 and early 2011 in Europe undertaking further Fellowship training in hip and knee surgery. In May 2011 he began his position at the Grafton Base Hospital and has enjoyed working there ever since.

Dr Martin currently operates at the Grafton Base Hospital where he can treat public and private patients, and at Baringa Private Hospital where he predominantly does hip and knee replacements.

Dr Martin is committed to the Clarence Valley region. He is currently working on the development of a specialist centre and private hospital adjacent to the Grafton Base Hospital.