Trends in the utilisation rates and acute hospital capacity needs for total hip replacements: results of an analysis of administrative data


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Published online: Jan 08 2021

Nicolas Bouckaert, Koen Van Den Heede, Carine Van De Voorde

From the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, KULeuven, University Hospital Pellenberg, Belgium


Total hip replacement surgery is the mainstay of treatment for end-stage hip arthritis. In 2014, there were 28227 procedures (incidence rate 252/100000 population). Using administrative data, we projected the future volume of total hip replacement procedures and incidence rates using two models.

The constant rate model fixes utilisation rates at 2014 levels and adjusts for demographic changes. Projections indicate 32248 admissions by 2025 or an annual growth of 1.22% (incidence rate 273).

The time trend model additionally projects the evolution in age-specific utilisation rates. 34895 admissions are projected by 2025 or an annual growth of 1.95% (incidence rate 296). The projections show a shift in performing procedures at younger age.

Forecasts of length of stay indicate a substantial shortening. By 2025, the required number of hospital beds will be halved. Despite more procedures, capacity can be reduced, leading to organisational change (e.g. elective orthopaedic clinics) and more labour intensive stays.