Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 11(2) March 2008 : 62-66.doi:10.12927/hcq.2008.19618
Ideas at Work

Easing the Burden for Joint Replacement Wait Times: The Role of the Expanded Practice Physiotherapist

Alice B. Aiken, Mark M. Harrison, Marg Atkinson and John Hope


There is a critical shortage of orthopedic surgeons in Canada today due to a decreasing number of surgeons practising here and the increased demand for their services from a population with record-high rates of osteoarthritis and obesity. A method of managing the increased demand for total joint replacement was implemented and evaluated. A physiotherapist and orthopedic surgeons performed assessments on patients referred for surgery and found that 34% did not require surgery and that all patients required appropriate conservative management. This has led to the development and implementation of a model of care that not only meets orthopedic demands but improves treatment options for orthopedic patients.



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