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British Hip Society (BHS) meeting, held online, 9–11 June 2021.


The rising prevalence of osteoarthritis, associated with an ageing population, is expected to deliver increasing demand across Scotland for arthroplasty services in the future. Understanding the scale of potential change to operative workflow is essential to ensure adequate provision of services and prevent prolonged waiting times that can cause patient harm. This future service demand for primary and revision hip arthroplasty across Scotland, and the rest of the U.K., is hitherto unknown.

We set out to provide projections of future primary & revision hip arthroplasty out to 2038 utilising historical trend data (2008–2018) from the Scottish Arthroplasty Project. All analyses were performed using the Holt's exponential smoothing projection method with the forecast package in R statistics. Results were adjusted for projected future population estimates provided by National Records of Scotland. Independent age & sex group predictions were also performed. All results are presented per 100,000 population at-risk per year (/100k/year).

The predicted rise of primary hip arthroplasty for all ages is from 120/100k/year in 2018 to 152/100k/year in 2038, a 27% increase. Based on a static 3 day length of stay average this would see 4280 additional patient bed days required for primary hip arthroplasty patients per annum. The number of revision hip arthroplasty procedures for all ages is projected to fall from 14/100k/year to 4/100k/year based on historical trend data. This does not however take into account the suspect increase in primary arthroplasty numbers that is likely to influence future revision rates.

Anticipated future demand for primary hip arthroplasty will require significant additional resource and funding to prevent deterioration in quality of care and an increase in patient wait times. Demand for revision arthroplasty is set to decrease, likely on account of improved implant materials, technique, and understanding of best practice to minimise complication risk. This doesn't however take into account the impact of the complex interaction between an increasing primary arthroplasty rate and revision risk. Understanding presented projections of changes to arthroplasty demand is key to future service delivery.