A patient being escorted by a nurse, NJR patient consent, njr data opt-out, surgeon and hospital outcomes

Patient Decision Support Tool for
Joint Replacement

See the video above to hear Professor Mark Wilkinson talk about the development of the tool and some feedback from patients who have
benefitted from using it.

This tool is easy to use and will help you better understand your own risks and benefits of having hip or knee joint replacement surgery. It has been designed using the National Joint Registry (NJR) information from people just like you who have chosen to have their procedure outcome details recorded on the registry. You may wish to take a printout of your results to use in your medical consultation.

When you use the tool you need to know a few things in order for it to calculate the risks and benefits of the surgery you are considering:

  • Your weight in either stones and pounds or kilograms.
  • Your height in either feet and inches or metres.
  • Your age in years.
  • Whether you are considering a hip or a knee joint replacement.

National Joint Registry data is behind the recently developed the Patient Decision Support Tool (PDST), to help those considering joint replacement surgery to better understand the risks and benefits of these procedures as tailored to each patient’s personal circumstances. This innovative online tool provides all users with a unique personalised printable report giving an assessment of their own risks and the potential benefits of having joint replacement surgery.

patient decision support tool homescreen
Patient Decision Support Tool home screen

Created by the University of Sheffield with support from researchers at the University of Bristol, the development of the tool was led by Professor Mark Wilkinson, with funding support from Versus Arthritis. In a key collaboration between these partners, the tool has been designed using NJR outcome data from more than a million patients who have already undergone hip or knee surgery, to help people understand their own potential benefit outcomes using information from people just like themselves, who have already had a joint replacement. 

We are thankful to all those who have given consent for their data to be used by the NJR as it enables the development of innovative and powerfully enlightening tools such as this, that people can use in the comfort of their own homes and can thereafter have more informed conversations with their own doctor about their treatment options and in turn use it to support them to make an important decision that is right for them.

If you decide to use the decision tool, you will be able to input some information about your own circumstances and symptoms in order to calculate the potential risks and benefits of the hip or knee surgery you are considering. 

patient decision support tool
Patient Decision Support Tool in action

The easy-to-use survey generates a unique set of results for a variety of factors including how long the implant may last, a pain and function score before and after surgery and risk of death

  • The tool can be used by patients in their own homes or by GPs during appointments
  • It is hoped the tool will both improve the success rate of joint replacements and prevent unnecessary surgery, saving the NHS money.

The tool is not intended to provide a substitute for expert opinion – but please do use the information to engage with your GP/ Consultant for further discussion about whether joint replacement is the right option for you, either now or in the future.

We value your feedback after using the tool – please feedback any thoughts on your experience with the tool to: communication@njr.org.uk

Please bear in mind that if you have previously undergone an operation for a joint replacement, the calculated risk may not be as accurate. Read the published paper showing how user-centred design can be practically applied to produce an effective health information system such as this patient-decision support tool, while also improving its development efficiency.

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