Extended Routine Follow-up of Primary Uncomplicated Hip and Knee Arthroplasty is not Necessary

The Open Orthopaedics Journal 31 December 2019 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874325001913010266



To create a more effective system to identify patients in need of revision surgery.


There are over 160,000 total hip and knee replacements performed per year in England and Wales. Currently, most trusts review patients for up to 10 years or more. When we consider the cost of prolonged reviews, we cannot justify the expenditure within a limited budget.

Study Design & Methods:

We reviewed all patients' notes that underwent primary hip and knee revision surgery at our institution, noting age, gender, symptoms at presentation, referral source, details of the surgery, reason for revision and follow up history from primary surgery.


There were 145 revision arthroplasties (60 THR and 85 TKR) that met our inclusion criteria. Within the hip arthroplasty group, indications for revision included aseptic loosening (37), dislocation (10), and infection (3), periprosthetic fracture, acetabular liner wear and implant failure. All thirty-seven patients with aseptic loosening presented with pain. Twenty-five were referred from general practice with new symptoms. The remaining were clinic follow-ups. The most common reason for knee revision was aseptic loosening (37), followed by infection (21) and then progressive osteoarthritis (8). Most were referred from GP as a new referral or were clinic follow-ups. All patients were symptomatic.


All the patients that underwent revision arthroplasty were symptomatic. Rather than yearly follow up, we recommend a cost-effective system. We are implementing a 'non face-to-face' system. Patients would be directly sent a questionnaire and x-ray form. The radiographs and forms will be reviewed by an experienced arthroplasty surgeon. The concerning cases will be seen urgently in a face-to-face clinic.

Keywords: Arthroplasty, Hip, Knee, Revision, Clinic, Follow up.
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