Manitobans waiting longer for hip, knee replacement surgeries
Manitobans are waiting longer for joint surgeries.
A new report released Thursday by the Canadian Institute for Health Information shows hip and knee surgery wait times in Manitoba have gone up over the last two years.
Winnipegger Kayla Cruickshank has been waiting months to find out about her operation.
In January, Cruickshank was in a ski accident that left her needing knee surgery.
“I’ve been back and forth to the doctors about four or five times now over the last couple months, and I’m still waiting to hear about a surgery date,” said Cruickshank.
She said she’s an active person, playing and coaching sports several times a week, but this injury has forced her to take a step back.
Cruickshank is one of hundreds in the province waiting for surgery, and she may have to keep waiting.
According to a report by CIHI, the majority of Manitobans are waiting longer than six months for hip and knee replacements. The benchmark across Canada is six months.
In 2015, 69 per cent of those needing a hip replacement got one within that time frame, compared to 53 per cent last year. For knee replacements, 64 per cent underwent the procedure in 2015 within six months, compared to 43 per cent in 2017.
Across Manitoba, approximately 3,800 hip and knee replacement surgeries are performed each year.
“The demand continues to grow, and our supply hasn’t been able to keep up with that,” said Dr. Jack McPherson, an orthopedic surgeon.
McPherson said an aging population is a contributing factor to longer waits. He also said there is a range of priorities.
“Some people need it tomorrow, and some people could wait six months, and some people could wait a few years,” said McPherson.
He’s part of the province’s Wait Times Reduction Task Force.
Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen said the committee is expected to give recommendations soon.
“Looking at other ways to do the procedures, as well,” said Goertzen. “So there’s been some good work in terms of being able to do hip replacements on a day program.”
Opposition leader Wab Kinew said the numbers are a big concern.
“These are the first independent evaluations that we’re getting of the cuts to the healthcare system that Pallister made,” said Kinew.
In the meantime, Kayla Cruickshank is hoping she’ll get in for her surgery within six months.
“The sooner you can get your surgery, the faster you can recover, the faster you can get back to day to day life, so that’s what I want to do,” said Cruickshank.
While Manitoba is near the bottom for hip and knee replacement wait times, it tops the list for hip fracture repairs. The benchmark for that procedure is within 48 hours. In 2017, 93 per cent of patients were looked after in that time frame, which is a slight increase from 92 per cent in 2015.