Enhanced Recovery

Enhanced recovery is a modern, surgically-led, evidence-based approach that helps patients undergoing surgery get back to health as soon as possible following your operation. 


The Enhanced Recovery programme is championed by Mr Niall Graham and Mr Geraint Thomas, two of our senior Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons. It is being led by Rebecca Warren, who is the Enhanced Recovery Team Lead and a senior and experienced nurse.


It ensures that a patient's health is optimised prior to surgery, improved pain management is introduced during their hospital stay, and post-operative mobilisation is achieved earlier.


Patients who are under the enhanced recovery pathway are discharged from hospital when safe - this could be on the same day as surgery.

You can watch several videos about Enhanced Recovery here.


At the moment, enhanced recovery is only offered to patients undergoing hip and knee replacements at RJAH. There are plans to roll out this programme to other areas in the future. Enhanced recovery will also not be suitable for all patients, please discuss this further with your surgeon.

Stages of the enhanced recovery pathway


Before your procedure


If you are coming into hospital for a hip or knee replacement, you will need to attend Joint School prior to your surgery. Joint School is an informative session focusing on joint replacement. More about Joint School can be found here.


To prepare for your procedure, please consider what you may need to when you return home including ensuring you have a supply of your regular medicines so you won't run short and purchase simple pain relief such as paracetamol and gentle laxatives from your pharmacy. More information can be found here.


You will be admitted to hospital early in the morning on the day of your procedure.


After your procedure


You will stay in hospital until you have met the appropriate discharge criteria - this could potentially be on the day of surgery, but may mean an overnight stay. You will only be discharged when you are medically fit and it has been deemed as safe to do so. 


Although some pain is to be expected following your operation, we will aim to keep you as comfortable as possible. The team will help you get up and out of bed on the same day as surgery, if comfortable to you.

Early mobilisation is one of the most important parts of the orthopaedic enhanced recovery programme and pain will improve your new joint moving as soon as possible.


Following your operation, you will have a series of physiotherapy exercises to complete. You can see these here:



We recognise that leaving hospital after an operation can be daunting. Following discharge, patients who have any anxieties or worries can contact Rebecca on 07756876847 or at becky.warren@nhs.net