Joint Replacement

A total of over 220,000 hip and knee replacement procedures are perform in the UK each year. At the moment, patients are given very general information about the procedure either from their GP; consultant or by searching on the internet. An innovative tool device by researchers from the University of Sheffield will give; patients personalize information about the risks and benefits of having a joint replacement for the first time.

The easy-to-use Patient Decision Aid For Joint Replacement generates an individualize set of results; for patients based on a variety of factors including: how long the implant will last; predict pain and function levels before and after surgery and the associated risks such as death rate.

Information from more than one million patients who have already undergone hip and knee replacements; record by the National Joint Registry, was used to create the intuitive tool which it is hope will both improve the success rate of joint replacements and prevent unnecessary surgery; saving the NHS money.

Joint replacements

Professor Mark Wilkinson from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Oncology and Metabolism; led the creation of the new tool, which can be used by patients in their own homes or by GPs during patient appointments. He said: “At the moment it is impossible for GPs and consultants; to give each individual patient tailor information specific to them and their lifestyle.

By using data from more than one million patients who have already undergone surgery; and information from individuals about their lifestyle and how joint pain currently impacts on their life; the tool is able to provide the risks and benefits in more detail than ever before. “Everyone has slightly different expectations about what they hope their treatment; will provide for them and hopefully the risk calculator will answer their questions.

“We hope the tool will help patients make better decisions about undergoing joint replacements base; on their own personal circumstances. Patients also have the option to see how their results would change if; for instance, they lost weight or if they waited a couple of years before surgery.”

University of Sheffield

Martha Holmes, 69, from Sheffield; underwent her first hip replacement four years ago and a replacement of the other hip nine months ago. She said the tool would have been very useful when thinking about the decision to have surgery. She said: “I always try to encourage anyone who is thinking about a replacement to go for it; and go for it as soon as possible. I’m a big walker and love going out hiking and it got to the stage where I could barely walk up the street. For me, not being able to walk really got me down.

“When you are deciding whether or not to have a hip replacement, you have to think about what things you love to do that you can’t do now and then think about getting that back again.” The tool was built by the University of Sheffield in collaboration with the University of Bristol, with support from the National Joint Registry and Versus Arthritis.

The data for the tool was provide by the National Joint Registry for England, Wales; Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man which collects information on hip, knee, ankle, elbow and shoulder replacement surgery; and monitors the performance of joint replacement implants. The organisation started collecting data in April 2003 and submission for NHS organisations has been mandatory since April 2011; as part of a continuous drive to improve the quality of outcomes of joint replacement surgery and support and enable related research.