Orthopaedic surgeons' perceptions of the changing burden of revision joint replacement surgery in Australia: A qualitative study

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Background: Studies examining trends in revision joint replacement surgery have been quantitative in their design. A qualitative research approach could provide detailed insights into the changing burden of revision surgery from an important stakeholder perspective. This study aimed to investigate orthopaedic surgeons' perceptions around the burden of revision hip and knee replacement surgery in Australia. Methods: A descriptive qualitative study design was used. Highly experienced Australian orthopaedic surgeons specialising in primary and/or revision hip and knee replacement surgery were purposely sampled. Interviews covered the perceived burden of revision joint replacement, factors contributing to revision burden and anticipated future burden. Deductive and inductive coding techniques were used to identify themes. Results: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 orthopaedic surgeons, who had substantial consultant experience (range 15–30 years) and largely high-volume practices. Five key themes were identified: (1) Revision burden has decreased over time; (2) Changes in clinical indications; (3) Perceived lack of policies focused on minimising revision surgery; (4) Role of the national registry and (5) Future trends and opportunities. Conclusion: The main indications for revision joint replacement surgery were perceived to have changed over time, moving away from implant failure-related causes towards infection and periprosthetic fracture. Most participants considered that formal policies designed to reduce revision rates did not exist but acknowledged the positive role of the national registry, particularly within an international context. The improving evidence base and provision of registry feedback on surgeon and implant performance was expected to reduce the proportion of revision procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-208
Number of pages9
JournalMusculoskeletal Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • hip arthroplasty
  • hip replacement
  • knee arthroplasty
  • knee replacement
  • orthopaedic surgeons
  • qualitative research
  • revision joint replacement

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