Health
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Background

Page content: Waiting for joint replacement – the impact | Opportunities for service improvement | References

Why an OA Hip and Knee Service?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease and one of the ten most disabling diseases in developed countries. As of 2011-12 it was estimated that 3.3 million Australians were living with some form of arthritis. Over half (55.9%) of all reported cases were classified as OA, with the disease more prevalent in the female population than male (Australian Bureau of Statistics, National Health Survey 2011-12).

A major cause of pain, disability and health care use, the costs associated with ongoing care of people with OA are high.

Timely access to specialist clinic appointments can prevent further worsening of a patient's condition including overall physical and psychosocial wellbeing.

Number of hip & knee replacement procedures from 2002-2003 to 2011-2012

line chart showing the increasing number of hip and knee replacement procedures from 2002-2003 to 2011-2012

(AIHW, Australian Hospital Statistics 2002-2003 to 2011-2012)

Waiting for joint replacement – the impact

Long waits: All patients on an orthopaedic elective surgery waiting list have been assessed by an orthopaedic surgeon and categorised according to the urgency of their condition.

In Victorian public hospitals, there are three levels of clinical urgency that currently guide scheduling of patients for elective surgery. These are:

Category 1

Urgent - Admission within 30 days is desirable for a condition that has the potential to deteriorate quickly to the point that it may become an emergency.

Category 2

Semi-urgent - Admission within 90 days is desirable due to the clinical condition of the patient.

Category 3

Non-urgent - Admission within 365 days is desirable due to the clinical condition of the patient.

Current waiting times

For current statistics about waiting times for elective surgery, see Victorian Health Services performance - elective surgery - median time to treatment

This website will provide you with the time taken for patients to have similar surgery over the 12 month period. The time is the point at which half of all patients treated over the period - (the median) their surgery.

The OA Hip and Knee Service incorporates a multidisciplinary musculoskeletal clinic staffed by a MSC and other staff, such as a rheumatologist, general practitioner, nurse practitioner or orthopaedic surgeon. The OA Hip and Knee Service aimed to coordinate optimal communication between referring GPs, allied health services, waiting list managers and surgeons.

OA Hip and Knee Service – Features & Support Systems

Figure 1 – OA Hip and Knee Service – Features & Support Systems

Figure 2 – The OA Hip & Knee Service - Service Model

Figure 2 – The OA Hip & Knee Service - Service Model


References

  1. Sanmartin C. et al., Access to Health Care Services in Canada. Ottawa: Minister of Industry, 2004. 2003. Ostendorf M. et al., Waiting for total hip arthroplasty: avoidable loss in quality time and preventable deterioration. J Arthroplasty, 2004. 19(3): p. 302-9. Fielden J. et al., Waiting for hip arthroplasty: economic costs and outcomes. J Arthroplasty, 2005. 20(8): p. 990-7.
  2. Ackerman IN, Bennell KL. Does pre-operative physiotherapy improve outcomes from lower limb joint replacement surgery? A systematic review. Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, 2004. 50: 25-30.
  3. Osborne RH, Buchbinder R, Ackerman IN. Can a disease-specific education program augment self-management skills and improve Health-Related Quality of Life in people with hip or knee osteoarthritis? BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 2006. 7: 90. Ackerman IN, Graves SE, Wicks IP, Bennell, KL & Osborne RH. Severely compromised quality of life in women and those of lower socioeconomic status waiting for joint replacement surgery. Arthritis Care and Research, 2005. 53, 653-8.