With patients remaining active later in life and with life expectancy itself extending, Joint Preservation of the knee has become an orthopaedic sub-speciality in its own right. Understandably, how to fund this treatment has lead to a meaningful debate within NHS trusts, private insurance providers and healthcare companies.
To avoid an early joint replacement a patient will typically need to undergo multiple smaller procedures which in combination are usually more expensive than a primary total knee replacement.
The UK National Joint Registry (NJR) shows the need for active knee preservation. In 2013, 3% of all knee replacements (2,475) were implanted in patients under 55 and these have a 12% chance of failing within 10 years. For patients under 60 there were 13,727 implanted, clearly a very significant number of patients are in trouble with their joint at a young age.
Placing the cost of early surgical intervention against the consequences of revision joint surgery on the patient’s quality of life and the finances of the healthcare provider will be an ongoing topic of debate. The article attached discusses a situation which will become more common, one where a surgeon tried to perform an interim HemiCAP procedure to delay a joint replacement and found funding difficult to obtain.
It’s clear that this emergent field of surgery needs to be supported by reliable health economic data which enables clinicians and healthcare management to make informed choices on how best to provide the best patient care.
As suppliers to the speciality, Joint Operations and our partners are focussed on providing the tools to delay knee replacement, you can find more information through our website.