Medical Matters: Things you can do to help manage your hip or knee condition while you await surgery

Torbay Weekly

Medical Matters - this week, Mr David Isaac, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, talks about the things you can do while waiting for hip or knee replacement surgery:

We have many patients who are waiting much longer than we, and they, would like for their hip or knee replacement surgery.

Torbay Hospital, like many other hospitals, has struggled to provide sufficient capacity for planned operations and, as a result, waiting times have increased over the past 18 months.

I’m pleased to say that we are starting to provide surgery in Torbay Hospital once again, and we are also contacting some patients to offer them the chance to have their operation at Mount Stuart Hospital in Torquay, and at the NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter from early next year.

A hip replacement is a common type of surgery where a damaged hip joint is replaced with an artificial one, known as an implant.

Adults of any age can be considered for a replacement, although most surgery is done on people between the ages of 60 and 80.

A modern artificial hip joint is designed to last for at least 15 years and most people find they have a significant reduction in pain and improvement in their range of movement.

Knee replacement surgery - arthroplasty - is a common operation that involves replacing a damaged, worn or diseased knee with an artificial joint.

Adults of any age can be considered but again this type of surgery is normally carried out on people between the ages of 60 and 80.

We know how difficult life can be while you are waiting for surgery and trying to cope with your worn-out hip or knee but please remember there are things that you can do to help manage your condition.

Below I have outlined a number of online resources which I hope you find reassuring and helpful.

The Torbay Charts Decision Aid is a tool which allows patients to be involved in making decisions about how to treat their hip or knee arthritis. Further information can be found at


The CONNECTPlus app has been developed with our team to help people with long-term conditions manage their care and treatment.

The app enables health services to provide you with condition-specific information and guidance wherever you are in the world.

You can use it to learn about your condition, and how to prepare for, and recover from procedures, and make informed decisions about your care.

The app also captures information about your condition to aid with your diagnosis and post-procedure treatment programmes.

Via the app you can keep a medication and appointment diary, get healthy lifestyle tips, find clinic locations, joint a virtual joint school and physiotherapy programmes, and contact the team directly.

It also has informative videos which show how to manage hip osteoarthritis or knee osteoarthritis.

We are adding to the app all the time and are currently working on features that help with medication management and trackers to help monitor your progress at home.

It is really easy to download the CONNECTPlus app.

Step 1: The app is available to download from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Just search for ‘CONNECTPlus’. Alternatively, you can use the below QR code to access the download page for the app or search in your app store.

Step 2: Select Torbay and South Devon. Once installed, open the app and select our Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust from the menu.

Step 3: Select hip osteoarthritis or knee osteoarthritis. Then select your condition from the menu and explore the features and information included.

Other useful advice and resources can be found at:

  • Royal College of Anaesthetists Fitter Better Sooner advice:
  • Escape Pain:
  • We are Undefeatable, 5 in 5 – Accessible exercises for a 5 minute workout: