Improved survival rates in joint ops

NHS England has today welcomed findings from two independent reports that show death rates following a joint replacement or hip fracture have fallen over the last ten years.

The results from the National Joint Register (NJR) annual report shows that patients undergoing hip and knee replacements are more likely to survive, as mortality rates have halved over the past decade.

This is despite a record number of operations, with the number of patients undergoing hip, knee, ankle, elbow or shoulder replacements increasing by almost five per cent over the last year.

Improvements in care and higher quality joint replacements also mean that the risk of patients having to have their implant replaced within ten years is less than five per cent.

There have also been vast advances in care for patients following a hip fracture. The National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD) audit published today found that hip fracture patients were getting faster transfers to surgery and more access to specialist consultants – saving hundreds more people a year.

Professor Chris Moran, National Clinical Director for Trauma for NHS England, said: “Ten years ago patients having a hip or knee replacement would have experienced longer stays in hospital, longer recovery times and had more risk of problems. These reports show that patient safety is improving all the time.

“As a trauma surgeon, I have seen first-hand the advances in technology and much more rapid care from specialist consultants, which is improving patient outcomes. More patients are now making a good recovery following a hip fracture or joint replacement, and the NHS is ultimately saving more lives.”