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NHS Knee Replacement

In the UK over 70,000 knee replacement operations are performed every year in England and Wales alone, the majority of them in the NHS. Most major hospitals have orthopaedic units with a number of orthopaedic surgeons who specialise in knee surgery such as knee replacement.

According to the National Joint Register, NHS hospitals performed 67% of all knee replacements, with independent hospitals doing 21%, NHS treatment centres taking 5% and independent treatment centres 7% of the total.

Length of stay in hospital for a knee replacement is around six days for younger people up to age 70 years, when the time starts to rise steadily, hitting eight days for the 75-79 year group and ten days for the 80-84 year group.

Average waiting times for operation have come down steadily and in 2007-2008 the wait varied from 100 to 150 days depending on the region.

NHS units provide useful knee replacement patient information such as a knee replacement information leaflet or booklet so that patients can be well informed before they decide on having a complex operation and afterwards when they are awaiting the procedure.

Because signficant co-operation is required between the patient and the physiotherapist in the initial post operative period and often for several months, a clear understanding of the operation and the goals of the rehabilitation is vital for the best result.

Knee replacement recovery can take several months or longer and with this extended knee replacement recovery time it is essential that patients have clear goals for their knee and pursue the knee exercises diligently.

NHS Choices Knee Replacement pages have more information as DrFosterHealth gives an update on the knee replacement waiting times.

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