Are wait times for hip replacements in Canada justified — or could they be shortened?

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  1. John Van Aerde

    There is also huge variation between regions within a province. You live on Vancouver Island, the worst region in Canada for knee replacements (only 29% within the target) and second worst for hip (45%) according to 2016 CIHI data. Let’s learn from AB and SK, and improve together…. we cannot rely on political will (courage) only.

  2. Boris Sobolev

    We found that the chance of achieving a better than expected postoperative functional outcome decreased by 8% for each month on the waiting list for hip replacement. Expedited access resulted in a larger proportion of patients with better than expected function 12 months after surgery.

    Garbuz et al. Delays Worsen Quality of Life Outcome of Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty. Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research: June 2006 – Volume 447 – Issue – pp 79-84

  3. Drew Bednar

    Every province is a different system but Ontario provides an example of the potential evil in wait list targets. It’s much more insidious than just a bunch of nice people working hard to provide more care….

    A given hospital might be expected to do so many joints a year, there’s a bounty of $XYZ per case that is given to the hospital up front at the start of the fiscal year. Administrators go spend it immediately then restrict practice with no beds no OR time so fourth quarter comes up and we’re running behind. Hospital doesn’t have the cash to refund that up-front payment and so surgeons are driven by Admin to work eves and weekends to get the volume done. Often it can mean farming out other care, one hospital recently offloaded almost a hundred hip fractures to make room for joints – and then hired locum surgeons with little training or experience to do the work. Then Joe Public wonders why his or her joint is loose and infected – but nobody sees that, surgeon outcomes are not tracked nor monetized as they should be.

  4. Reta Graham

    I live in the NT, I started the process for knee replacement surgery in February of 2017 with a referral from my Family Dr. to get an appointment to see the Specialist. It took 8 months to finally get an apptointment with the specialist, which I got in September 2018.
    I then had to have an appointment with the surgery nurse in October 2018.
    Finally in November I was approved by anesthesiology and was placed on the waiting list, a total of 10 months to get onto the list.
    It is now March 2018 , I have been on the waiting list for 4 and a half months and I understand the list is 8 months to a year long. All this time I have been taking pain medications,had cortisone shots in my knee, did everything I could to help myself and get rid of the pain. I am now in a walker, pretty much housebound unless I get help from family, and the worse part is my hip is now causing discomfort and my family Dr. Says it needs to be replaced. That means I have to start this process all over again which I did by getting a referral to see this same specialist . Which I am already her patient.?
    I am 77 years old, 13 months has gone by and I am still waiting .
    Our health care system in the North especially for seniors is one of the best in Canada, I just don’t understand the long wait time for surgery when there is no other option to fix the problem. Living in pain is hard on anyone. Being a senior, my quality of life has declined due to pain and lack of mobility. Having to wait this long has worn me down and I am at the point now Of calling it off and resigning myself to living with pain and making the best of it. Just thought I would tell you my story of what waiting has done to my life.

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