August 27, 2020 — Over 130,000 hip and knee replacements are performed in Canada every year. Among these are repeat surgeries on the same joint — known as revisions. Ideally, replaced joints should withstand many years of everyday use, with revision surgeries needed no earlier than 15 to 20 years after the initial surgery. However, some patients require a revision within a short period of time, and those happening within 2 years can be viewed as largely avoidable.

Explore our recent findings about early revision surgeries of hip and knee replacements and their impacts on hospital systems and patients in Canada.

Note: The following data and findings reflect the most recent information available for 2016–2017 to 2018–2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Key findings

  • Of the nearly 100,000 patients in 2016–2017 who had a primary hip or knee replacement due to osteoarthritis, over 2,000 patients had an early revision within 2 years.
  • More than 30% of these early revision surgeries are due to prosthetic joint infection, a serious and costly complication of joint replacement.
  • Every year, early revisions (within 2 years) cost more than $42.1 million in direct inpatient costs in Canada. These surgeries also have a large negative impact on the patients’ quality of life.
  • Avoiding these early revisions can help redirect resources to other health system priorities, like improving wait times for these surgeries.

Featured resources

Early Revisions of Hip and Knee Replacements in Canada: A Quality, Productivity and Capacity Issue

Explore our report that focuses on early revisions of hip and knee replacement surgery and their impacts on hospital systems and patients in Canada.

Download report (PDF)

Top reasons for and costs of early revisions of hip and knee replacements

Learn more about the reasons and costs behind these types of surgeries.

View infographic