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Wait Times for Joint Replacement

Joint Replacement Wait Times

Arthritis is the leading cause of joint replacement surgeries, including 99 per cent of knee replacements and more than 70 per cent of hip replacements. These restorative surgeries drastically change the quality of life of Canadians living with arthritis, giving them back their mobility, allowing them to return to work and normal activities without constant and devastating pain.

Unfortunately, in most provinces, wait times for joint replacement surgeries have increased since 2015, significantly impacting the health and quality of life for too many Canadians. Cancelled and delayed procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic have made the situation much worse, leading to even longer wait times.  According to the latest report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, during the first six months of the pandemic half of patients did not receive their surgeries within the recommended time frame, compared to a third in the same time period the previous year.

To address this urgent issue, the Arthritis Society brought together a pan-Canadian group of leading clinicians, advocates and health system leaders to analyze the situation and propose a wide range of potential solutions.  The report, The Wait: Addressing Canada’s Critical Backlog of Hip and Knee Replacement Surgeries [PDF 376kB] makes the case for a new and innovative approach to delivering more efficient and patient-centred care for joint replacement surgeries. We are using this report to launch our advocacy campaign calling on governments to take bold action to solve this crisis.

For further information, please see our position statement [PDF 561kB] on wait times.

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