Safety of disinvestment in mid- to late-term follow-up post primary hip and knee replacement: the UK SAFE evidence synthesis and recommendations

Kingsbury SR, Smith LK, Czoski Murray CJ, Pinedo-Villanueva R, Judge A, West R, Smith C, Wright JM, Arden NK, Thomas CM, Kolovos S, Shuweihdi F, Garriga C, Bitanihirwe BKY, Hill K, Matu J, Stone M, Conaghan PG
Record ID 32018002476
Authors' objectives: Joint replacement surgery has revolutionised the management of degenerative joint disease. Increasing demand for surgery and post-surgical reviews has overwhelmed orthopaedic services and, consequently, many centres have reduced or stopped follow-up. Such disinvestment is without an evidence base and raises questions regarding the consequences to patients. To produce evidence- and consensus-based recommendations as to how, when and on whom follow-up should be conducted. Our research question was ‘Is it safe to disinvest in mid- to late-term follow-up of hip and knee replacement?’.
Authors' results and conclusions: Our overarching statements are as follows: (1) these recommendations apply to post primary hip and knee replacement follow-up; (2) the 10-year time point in these recommendations is based on a lack of robust evidence beyond 10 years; and (3) in these recommendations, the term ‘complex cases’ refers to individual patient and surgical factors that may increase the risk of replacement failure. Our recommendations are as follows: for Orthopaedic Data Evaluation Panel 10A* (ODEP-10A*) minimum implants, it is safe to disinvest in routine follow-up from 1 to 10 years post non-complex hip and knee replacement provided that there is rapid access to orthopaedic review; (2) for ODEP-10A* minimum implants in complex cases or non-ODEP-10A* minimum implants, periodic follow-up post hip and knee replacement may be required from 1 to 10 years; (3) at 10 years post hip and knee replacement, clinical and radiographic evaluation is recommended; and (4) after 10 years post hip and knee replacement, frequency of further follow-up should be based on the 10-year assessment (note that ongoing rapid access to orthopaedic review is still required) [Stone M, Smith L, Kingsbury S, Czoski-Murray C, Judge A, Pinedo-Villanueva R, et al. Evidence-based follow-up recommendations following primary hip and knee arthroplasty (UK SAFE). Orthop Proc 2020;102–B:13.]. For ODEP-10A* prostheses, the UK SAFE programme demonstrated that it is safe to disinvest in routine follow-up in the 1- to 10-year period after non-complex hip and knee replacement. At 10 years, clinical and radiographic review is recommended. Complex cases, implants not meeting the 10A* criteria and follow-up after revision surgery are not covered by this recommendation.
Authors' methods: The study comprised three complementary evidence synthesis work packages to inform a final consensus process. Work package 1 was a systematic review of the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness literature. Work package 2 used routine national data sets (i.e. the Clinical Practice Research Datalink–Hospital Episode Statistics, Hospital Episode Statistics–National Joint Registry–patient-reported outcome measures) to identify pre, peri and postoperative predictors of mid- to late-term revision, and prospective data from 560 patients to understand how patients present for revision surgery. Work package 3 used a Markov model to simulate the survival, health-related quality of life and NHS costs of patients following hip or knee replacement surgery. Finally, evidence from work packages 1–3 informed a face-to-face consensus panel, which involved 32 stakeholders. The current absence of data beyond 10 years restricted the evidence base.
Authors' identified further reserach: The evidence base for follow-up after 10 years requires further evaluation. Further work should establish the most clinically effective and cost-effective model of delivering a rapid access service and evaluate alternative models for follow-up services, such as virtual clinics. Finally, the needs and outcomes of patients who are symptomatic but do not have appropriate follow-up should be investigated.
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2022
URL for additional information: English
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Full HTA
Country: England, United Kingdom
DOI: 10.3310/KODQ0769
MeSH Terms
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip
  • Hip Prosthesis
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee
  • Knee Prosthesis
  • Follow-Up Studies
Organisation Name: NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research programme
Contact Address: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health and Care Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK
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