How long does it take to get a joint replacement in Canada

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI)collects and provides actionable date and information that is used to accelerate improvements in health care, health systems performance and population health across Canada.  CIHI has released wait time metadata and we have reviewed it so you don’t have to.  Below you will find a brief summary of joint replacement wait times in Ontario:

The joint replacement benchmark

In Canada, the recommended time frame from initial consultation to hip replacement surgery is 182 days or approximately six months.  For joint replacements, about 62% of patients across Canada were treated with the recommended time frame between October 2020 and September 2021, compared with 71% in the pre-pandemic period.

The following chart indicates the percentage of patients that received their hip replacement or knee replacement surgeries within the recommended time frame in Ontario.

Year Percentage of Hip Replacements completed within 182 days of initial consultation Percentage of Knee Replacements completed within 182 days of initial consultation
2018 84% 79%
2019 85% 80%
2020  64% 56%
2021 75% 71%
2022 72% 68%


How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect hip or knee replacement surgery wait times?

Almost 600,000 fewer surgeries were performed across Canada in the first 22 months of the pandemic compared with 2019.  Scheduled surgeries and procedures were delayed several times as Canada’s health systems prioritized more-urgent treatments during COVID-19 waves.  Overall, joint replacement and cataract surgeries accounted for nearly one-quarter of the total reduction in surgeries.  The health system is working to meet the current demand for joint replacement surgery while also addressing the backlog.


Are you currently waiting for your joint replacement surgery?

If you are currently waiting for hip replacement or knee replacement surgery you can click here to access our FAQ about joint replacement physiotherapy.  If you would like more information about funding of hip and knee replacement physiotherapy click here to learn about bundled care.