NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Total knee replacement can now be done as outpatient surgery.

You heard that right – a total knee replacement that allows you to go home the same day.

As CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reports, knee replacement surgeries are very successful operations, but they have the reputation of being painful and taking a long time to recover from.

Craig Williamson is an active, 44-year-old dad, who loves spending time with his daughters, but years of baseball, basketball, and skiing have finally taken a toll on his knees.

“It was bad. I mean I have two kids. I couldn’t run around with them any longer… It just was excruciating going up and down the stairs, couldn’t run any longer, couldn’t play any types of sports anymore,” Williamson said.

An X-ray of Craig’s right knee showed the problem – bone-on-bone osteoarthritis. The only real fix at that point was a total knee replacement.

(Credit: CBS2)

Then his doctor, Steven Haas, told him that he was a good candidate for outpatient knee replacement.

“First I thought he was crazy. Only because I had ACL surgery when I was younger and I was in the hospital for three days,” the 44-year-old said.

Dr. Haas, chief of the knee service at the Hospital for Special Surgery, explained to Craig that a number of recent advances have in fact made same day knee replacement possible.

“We developed less invasive or minimum invasive techniques. It’s involved less cutting of the muscle and tendons around the knee,” Dr. Haas explained.

“That was followed by innovations in pain control. Got better at controlling the pain, better nerve blocks, injections around the knee.”

That improved pain control actually allows the patient to walk and even climb stairs within a few hours after surgery.

“The knee is stable from them up on the operating table. So they can bear weight on it and walk on it right away. What limits people from walking is really pain. The pain inhibits the muscle function,” Dr. Haas added.

Just three months after surgery, “I feel great. I go to the gym all the time again and I am taking spin classes a couple times a week, doing the elliptical. I actually ran up the stairs the other day,” Williamson said.

The implants themselves are also better. Much more like normal knee anatomy.

The new procedure isn’t for everyone. You have to be a healthy, motivated patient, willing to do all your rehab with a good home support system.

For more information on the procedure and to find out if you’re a good candidate outpatient knee replacement, call 877-606-1555 or click here