Mr Simon Stevens, the NHS England Boss, has spoken. He states that patients will face longer waits for operations such as hip and knee replacements, which are considered as ‘non-urgent’ operations. GPs are also expected to cut the number of patients they refer to hospitals and are advised to refer to physiotherapy instead.
Is this good or bad? What are the implications?
When people suffer from arthritis and pain is the biggest problem, health professionals believe that surgery should ALWAYS be the last resort.
Physiotherapy together with other methods to delay surgery are available. From having steroid injections into the affected joints, to strengthening the muscles and losing weight to relieve pressure from joints, these options MUST be considered first.
For those who have gone through the above steps and feel a joint replacement is inevitable, physiotherapy can in actual fact help to prepare for surgery. This is called Prehabilitation, and helps to restore as much movement and strength in the affected joint before surgery. This puts individuals one step ahead when they start the postoperative recovery process and is highly recommended by many surgeons and therapists.