Belton Regional Medical Center—part of HCA Midwest Health System, Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider—recently launched the Fast Track Total Joint Replacement program designed for younger adult patients requiring total knee and hip replacement. The Fast Track program combines coordinated care for a patient before and after surgery, including less invasive procedures with advanced pain management, comprehensive education, follow-through and rehab that allows patients to return to daily activity more quickly with less discomfort.

“Through experience and commitment from our medical staff, such as board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Gillen, Belton Regional Medical Center is able to utilize the most current techniques to perform same-day, minimally invasive knee and hip replacements and accelerate a patient’s recovery,” says Jeff Taylor, Chief Operating Officer, Belton Regional Medical Center. “The Fast Track Total Joint Replacement program represents yet another way our hospital serves the community with innovative healthcare, right in their own backyard.”

Prior to surgery, patients meet with a nurse or physical therapist and are given information on the accelerated Fast Track program. They are encouraged to attend pre-operative educational classes, which prepare patients on what to expect during and after surgery. After surgery, patients are discharged from the post anesthesia care unit (PACU) to their room via stretcher. Once in their room, the patient walks from the stretcher to their bed with a walker or crutches. Most patients begin physical therapy and are able to walk down the hall the same day they had surgery. All hospital staff, including nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists and case managers, participates on postoperative care and assist the patient on their accelerated road to recovery.

Crysti Danahy, 38, of Peculiar, Mo., underwent total knee replacement surgery on December 14, 2015. As the first patient to experience the seamless care of the Fast Track Total Joint Replacement program, Danahy noted that the intensive patient education and post-surgery care she received was important to not only her physical recovery, but also her psychological disposition.  “I am a professor of nursing at the University of Central Missouri and actually worked for several years in the Belton Regional Medical Center Operating Room,” Danahy, a registered nurse, says.  “I had witnessed a few total knee replacements in surgery, so new what to expect from a physical perspective.  Dr. Gillen, who has been my orthopedic physician for years, had been monitoring my knee injuries and knew that finally I couldn’t tolerate the pain—it was getting the way of my life and activities.

As the mother of two young children, Danahy couldn’t ignore the discomfort her knee was causing and opted for the Fast Track Joint Replacement program. Discharged the same day as her surgery, Danahy visited Dr. Gillen’s office several times the first week to ensure her recovery was on target.

“Four months later in looking back, I wouldn’t do it any other way,” Danahy says. “Not every day was a great one, but Dr. Gillen and the physical and occupational therapists prepared me well and were there to assess my situation support me one hundred percent. I am convinced I was able to get back to enjoying life sooner—and with less pain—because of Fast Track.”

“With younger adults such as Crysti, promoting early mobility can decrease length of hospital stay and get them back to living their lives, including their jobs and the activities they enjoy,” says Dr. Gillen. “Our nurses work with patients to provide extensive patient education prior to surgery.  We use advancements in pain control after surgery so that patients are much more comfortable.  We are able to get patients moving much sooner after surgery and with much less pain.” 

Belton Regional Medical Center is part of HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider. For more information on the Fast Track Total Joint Replacement program, visit or call (816) 348-1200.