Richard Rees had total knee replacement at Blessing Hospital in the morning and was making dinner that evening.

“There was no pain, in fact, I went home and fixed tacos for the grandkids’ supper,” the Jacksonville, IL, resident boasted.

“Just before Richard came to us, we started doing most of our total knee replacements as outpatient surgery and now almost all of them are going home the same day,” said Darr Leutz, MD, orthopedic surgeon, Blessing Health System.

“When the doctor told me that it was going to be an outpatient, and I can go home the same, day, I thought that doesn’t happen,” Richard recalled. “But, it’s what happened and it worked tremendously.”

“Most people want to be at home and not in a hospital bed. You don’t get much sleep in a hospital bed.” Dr. Leutz observed. “Most of our patients are active and want to be out and about and do things.”

Just over a month after surgery, Richard was back in the gym, on the elliptical and doing a mile- and-a-half every day.

“Five years ago I wouldn’t have fathomed you could do an outpatient on a total knee replacement. I mean it’s just incredible,” Richard proclaimed. “I am back to leading an active life and I am so thankful.”

For more information on the care of the Blessing Health System orthopedic surgery and sports medicine team, go to