Updated: Friday, December 6 2013, 11:18 AM EST
It's one of the "PERKS" of the program.
As News 13's Jay Siltzer explains in today's Health Alert, some local knee replacement patients are getting back into life quicker than ever.
"I had to walk with a cane...a stick."
That's not the case anymore since Mara Roth had knee replacement surgery at Mission Hospital in Asheville. She got back on her feet quicker than expected and with less pain than imagined after taking part in PERKS, a program for early recovery knee surgery.
To start with, after surgery, Mara kept her leg elevated and immobilized in spongy foam.
Mara Roth, knee replacement patient, "the foam just kept it really really straight which is important any way."
Dr. David Jarrett, Asheville Orthopedics, "the difference of swelling in the legs that we see early and even when they come to the office for their post-op follow-ups is dramatically different."
Since the PERKS Program began 15 months ago, more than 850 patients have completed it, most leave the hospital one day earlier at an individual cost savings of $900.
Dr. Jarrett, "it's not all about cost. The sooner a patient is back home with family and in a familiar environment, returning to a normal life. That's the reason we did the surgery in the first place."
Jennifer Soule, physical therapist, "our goal from the outset is to get them back to being able to fully function."
And that's just what happened for Mara, one of the PERKS of surgery.
Physical therapists say patients who take part in perks leave the hospital in two days. They often have better range of motion than patients who don't take part in the program and leave in three days.