Waiting for Knee or Hip Replacements – How Long is Too Long?

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The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) just released a report outlining the patient wait times for five priority medical procedures in 2016 compared to the past 4 years. Two of these procedures are hip and knee replacements. According the CIHI, 75% of Canadians received their hip or knee replacement surgeries within the medically acceptable wait time, which has improved from 2012 by 22% for hip replacements and 18% for knee replacements. While this statistic may look great, the fact remains that the medically acceptable wait time for these 2 surgeries is 6 months! While policy makers may think 6 months is an acceptable time to wait for a surgery, this is an incredibly long time to be waiting in pain. In many cases, patients on the waiting list for these surgeries cannot enjoy their activities of daily living and leisure due to the pain.

If you are waiting for a replacement surgery, physiotherapy can help! Research has consistently shown that physiotherapy can help manage the symptoms of osteoarthritis by restoring and maintaining joint mobility, decreasing swelling and inflammation, and maintaining strength in the muscles protecting your joints. Research has also shown that “prehab” to the leg undergoing surgery will not only decrease the pain associated with the surgery but also the time spent for rehabilitation afterwards.

If you have osteoarthritis in your knee or hip, waiting for replacement surgery, come talk to the team at Peak Form Physiotherapy and see how a little prehabilitation can potentially decrease your pain and speed up your recovery post surgery.

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