Follow-up after arthroplasty of the hip and knee: ARE WE OVER-SERVICING OR UNDER-CARING?

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The number of arthroplasties of the hip and knee is predicted to increase rapidly during the next 20 years. Accompanying this is the dilemma of how to follow-up these patients appropriately. Current guidelines recommend long-term follow-up to identify patients with aseptic loosening, which can occur more than a decade postoperatively. The current guidelines and practices of orthopaedic surgeons vary widely. Existing models take up much clinical time and are expensive. Pilot studies using ‘virtual’ clinics and advanced-practice physiotherapists have shown promise in decreasing the time and costs for orthopaedic surgeons and patients.This review discusses current practices and future trends in the follow-up of patients who have an arthroplasty.

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