July 19, 2018 — While the demand for hip and knee replacement surgeries continues to grow, repeat surgeries are an area that can benefit from improvements in short- and long-term revision rates. These surgeries happen when the joint needs to be fixed or replaced after the primary, or original, joint replacement procedure. New data released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) reveals that these revisions cost almost $130 million in inpatient health spending every year, at an average of more than $13,700 per surgery. This is more than 56% higher than the cost of a primary joint replacement.

In 2016, 9,400 hip and knee replacement revisions were performed in Canada, which represents 8% of all hip and knee replacement surgeries. The proportion of hip revisions being done decreased by 16% from 2012 to 2016, while the proportion of knee revisions remained the same.

“For patients with debilitating pain due to osteoarthritis, joint replacements can improve their lives substantially. The need for a repeat surgery — particularly shortly after the first one — is an especially negative outcome for the patient’s quality of life, and it costs the health care system a lot of money. That’s why it’s important to look for opportunities to continue to reduce these additional surgeries,” says Nicole de Guia, Manager, Joint Replacement Registry, at CIHI

Hip and Knee Replacements in Canada, 2016–2017: Canadian Joint Replacement Registry Annual Report identifies key statistics related to hip and knee replacement surgeries performed in Canada, as well as different rates of early revision for hip and knee replacements based on sex, age, the type of procedure and other surgical factors.

A national snapshot

Hip and knee replacement surgeries

  • Between 2012 and 2016, the number of hip replacement surgeries performed each year increased 18%, from 47,500 to almost 56,000.

  • The median length of stay (LOS) for hip replacements was 3 days.

  • Between 2012 and 2016, the number of knee replacement surgeries performed each year increased almost 16%, from 58,000 to 67,000.

  • The median LOS for knee replacements was 3 days.

Hip and knee revision surgeries

  • Between 2012 and 2016, the proportion of hip revision surgeries performed each year decreased by 16%, while the proportion of knee revision surgeries stayed the same.

  • The median LOS for hip revision surgery was 6 days.

  • The median LOS for knee revision surgery was 4 days.

About CIHI

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides essential information on Canada’s health systems and the health of Canadians.

We provide comparable and actionable data and information that are used to accelerate improvements in health care, health system performance and population health across Canada. Our stakeholders use our broad range of health system databases, measurements and standards, together with our evidence-based reports and analyses, in their decision-making processes. We protect the privacy of Canadians by ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of the health care information we provide.

Media contact

Marisa Duncan