Outpatient Joint Replacement

Outpatient Joint Replacement at Rocky Mountain Surgical Center

Bridger Orthopedic and Rocky Mountain Surgical Center led by Dr. Martin Gelbke is redefining the experience for patients who require total joint replacement in Bozeman, MT, southwest MT and beyond. Patients who meet certain criteria may elect to have their surgery performed on a same-day basis in a more comfortable, relaxed setting, at Rocky Mountain Surgical Center, avoiding a lengthy hospital stay in the process.

By choosing to have your procedure performed at our surgery center –  you can sleep in your own bed on the morning of your surgery and be home that evening.

Here are just a few of the potential benefits of having a procedure in an outpatient setting over a traditional stay at the hospital:
Learn more about our outpatient joint replacement procedures:

WE ARE joint replacement Specialists

Joint Replacement Specialist
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T. Scott Curry, M.D.
Joint Replacement Specialist
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Abbey Kennedy, M.D.
Joint Replacement Specialist
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Can anyone undergo joint replacement at your surgery center?

Surgery centers have a more strict focus in regard to the types of patients they may admit, and not all patients who seek outpatient joint replacement are candidates for a procedure in such a setting. However, many patients meet necessary criteria to be eligible for this outpatient option. Candidacy for outpatient surgery is dependent upon certain health factors and your insurance coverage.

What are the necessary requirements for me to consider outpatient joint replacement?

Generally healthy patients who do not have significant underlying health conditions or concerns are typically able to undergo same-day, outpatient surgery. Consult your physician to determine the right surgical setting for you.

Which patients need joint replacement?

Joint replacement surgery is generally advisable for patients with severe arthritis or other joint disease who have failed conservative treatments that may include management through pain medication, local injections, exercise or activity modification, weight loss or physical therapy and rehabilitation.

Which joint replacement procedures are performed in an outpatient setting?

Bridger Orthopedic and Rocky Mountain Surgical Center currently offer the following procedures. Click to learn more about the procedure you may be interested in:

Knee Replacement

What is the difference between partial and total knee replacement?

Total or partial knee arthroplasty involves the repair and replacement of the natural components that make up your knee, which wear down and are damaged over time. These components are removed and artificial components take their place during surgery.

Partial knee replacement utilizes a minimally invasive approach (employing a smaller incision and less disruption) when compared to traditional total knee replacements. During a total knee replacement, patients have all cartilage in the knee removed and replaced by metal or plastic components. In a partial replacement, only the most damaged elements in your knee are removed and replaced by metal or plastic components. The healthy, functional elements of the joint are left remaining intact.

A Bridger Orthopedic surgeon will conduct the following steps to determine if partial or total knee replacement is right for you:

Dependent on these factors, the surgeon will determine if you are a candidate for a partial knee replacement. For some patients, this less-invasive approach is appropriate. For others, who have more severely diseased or advanced degeneration in the joint, a total knee replacement is the better option.

At Bridger Orthopedic, we have exclusive access to the accuracy and precision provided by NAVIO™ robotic assistance for partial knee replacement. NAVIO helps us precisely tailor operations that meet your specific needs.

Why choose a partial knee replacement?

Many people have knees that only have arthritis in one part of their knee. Therefore, the whole knee does not need to be replaced. In most cases, partial knee patients recover faster, have less pain, require less postoperative rehab and have a more normal-feeling knee after the procedure.

Through advances in pain control, technology and specialized medical staff, partial knee replacement at Rocky Mountain Surgical Center has been performed successfully in an outpatient setting for more than five years.

Partial knee replacement utilizes a minimally invasive approach (employing a smaller incision and less disruption) when compared to traditional total knee replacements.

Partial knee replacement

Why choose a total knee replacement?

The basic reason for total knee replacement surgery is to repair advanced joint damage caused by osteoarthritis – the wearing away or disease of most of the structural elements of your knee joint. People who need knee replacement surgery usually have problems walking, standing up, participating in light exercise, or climbing stairs. They may also experience significant discomfort even at rest. A total knee replacement is better for a patient who has more total or comprehensive wear and tear in bones and cartilage that make up the knee.


Since the inception of total hip replacement surgery decades ago, numerous patients in southwest MT have had their lives restored through this life-changing procedure. In fact, more than 300,000 patients nationally improve the quality of their lives each year by electing to receive a total hip replacement.

Beginning in the fall of 2016, we began to perform these procedures for some qualified patients in an outpatient setting at Rocky Mountain Surgical Center located in Bozeman, MT.

The Anterior and Posterior Approaches to Hip Replacement

Posterior hip replacement, a more traditional approach, involves a surgical incision along the outer buttock and provides access to the joint through the muscles on the back side of the lower pelvis.

Hip replacement using an anterior surgical approach may not be suitable for all patients, but for those with limited comorbidities and who are not significantly overweight, it can be a successful alternative. It allows for a slightly smaller incision and accesses the joint through the front side of the patient’s hip.

Dr. Martin Gelbke practices primarily practices the posterior approach – both in the outpatient setting as well as in the hospital. After a thorough evaluation of your medical records, imaging and physical examination by your physician, we can recommend which approach may best suit your particular needs. Whether you and your provider ultimately choose the anterior or posterior method, you can be certain you’re being cared for by one of Montana's most qualified and experienced total joint surgeons.

Both anterior and posterior methods are widely used in the United States, but outpatient joint replacement in a surgery center setting is new to Bozeman and southwest Montana. It's a true benefit for patients who meet the outlined necessary health guidelines and want to get back to their active life sooner.

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