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Ontario attempting to reduce hip, knee replacement wait times

December 19th, 2009 by Formosa Medical Travel

An agency in eastern Ontario is launching an effort to bring down the long wait times for knee and hip replacement surgery in Ontario, Canada.

Currently, wait times for knee replacement and hip replacement surgery can be almost a year in many parts of eastern Ontario, compared with a provincial average of under 200 days. To help reduce this wait time, the Champlain Local Health Integration Network plans to launch a “Regional Hip and Knee Replacement Program” in early 2010, which is aimed at improving the quality of care offered to residents of the region. ¬†”The idea is to try and reduce wait times” and “improve efficiencies,” said Dr. John Gordon, the lead physician for the program.

Wait times are a common theme for patients with debilitating osteoarthritis. While some methods are available to delay the need for knee replacement and hip replacement surgery, most patients with severe osteoarthritis of the hip or knee must, sooner or later, pursue joint replacement surgery to treat the problem. The long waiting lists in many parts of Canada require many patients to suffer pain and reduced mobility in the months leading up to surgery.

There are concerns that, if the United States adopts a healthcare system similar to that in Canada, there will be similar issues related to waiting lists. Since osteoarthritis is not considered a life-threatening condition, joint replacement surgery is often put off until it has reached a very advanced stage, which has large implications for the quality of life of those afflicted by osteoarthritis.

Effects of delaying knee replacement

December 3rd, 2009 by Formosa Medical Travel

Delaying total knee replacement surgery for more than a year may cause poorer outcomes for patient, says a new study by Mark D. Rossi, PT, PhD, CSCS et al. The study examines the outcomes of patients who elected to pursue knee replacement surgery soon after their initial orthopedic office visit, compared with those who wait for more than 325 days to undergo the procedure.

Patients who receive the surgery earlier, the study shows, have decreased pain and improved mobility after the procedure. Those who wait, on the other hand, show decreased functionality and a higher level of pain. “Those who have longer waiting periods perceive greater pain and difficulty with tasks, place less body weight over the involved limb during squatting, and have worse mobility scores than their counterparts who have less of a waiting time to have surgery,” the study indicates.

The group that delayed surgery scored significantly lower on most of the evaluations, including the ability to place weight on the operated leg and perform exercises, as well as a decreased range of motion. The late surgical group also reported “significantly greater pain” in their operated knees.

While Rossi et al. submit that more research must be done to reach a solid conclusion, these results indicate that knee replacement candidates are likely to achieve better outcomes by pursuing surgery sooner rather than waiting.

Many Americans, especially those without health insurance, cannot afford the high cost of knee replacement surgery in the United States, and are forced to delay total knee replacement for years – possibly resulting in poorer outcomes, as this study shows. While the cost of knee replacement in the United States is high – as much as $65,000 in many cases – the procedure is much less costly in other parts of the world.

Formosa Medical Travel offers knee replacement surgery in Taiwan, for a total price of less than $15,000 – including airfare, surgical cost, accommodation, transportation, and full concierge service. ¬†Formosa Medical Travel’s network of hospitals include some of the finest medical facilities in the world, many of which are accredited by the Joint Commission International, the American standard of hospital accreditation. For the thousands of Americans who are putting off knee replacement surgery due to the exorbitant prices in the United States, Formosa Medical Travel offers an inexpensive, high-quality alternative. For more details, visit

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